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Performance Enhancing Drugs

The drive to win among athletes is pushing them to take risks to their health by using so-called performance enhancing drugs. These drugs come in many forms, from steroids to growth hormone, stimulants to pain killers, GHB to diuretics - anything they think will give them that winning edge (Kowalski, 2003, 6-11). Motivation ranges from college scholarships to high-paying spots on professional teams, to Olympic gold medals. No level of sports is immune to this problem. The taking of performance enhancing drugs, or doping, as it is referred to, is banned by most sports regulatory bodies, yet it is rampant. Three athletes lost their gold medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City when they tested positive for drugs. Athletes are willing to take the risk of being caught, even though it may mean they are barred from competition for life, just to edge out the competition.

The Centers for Disease Control note that roughly five percent of high school athletes take performance enhancing drugs; the National Collegiate Athletic Association says nearly 60 percent of athletes take supplements which may contain banned substances (Kowalski, 2003, 7). Athletes use the drugs for several reasons: to build body mass and strengthen muscles; to increase oxygen delivery to exercising muscles; to mask pain; to generally stimulate the body; to relax and reduce stress; to lose weight; and to mask the use of other drugs (Freudenrich, 2004).

The drugs used depend on the effects desired by the athlete. They are known as ôroids,ö ôhype,ö ôpump,ö and ôjuice,ö by athletes, and are either taken orally or injected (Bruce, 2002). Anabolic steroids, which are chemicals similar to sex hormones, e.g. synthetic testosterone, help the body build muscle (Freudenrich, 2004; Kowalski, 2003, 7). They help the athlete train longer and harder. Other synthetic anabolic steroids mimic this action. The substances are turned into hormones in th...

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Performance Enhancing Drugs. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:25, May 24, 2020, from