To succeed in different sports, sportsmen are pushed by the urge to perform to the edge, where they turn to use of substances to enhance their performance. Although these wicked methods compromise the rules governing the world of sports, these individuals fall in the snare, lured by the desire to optimize their psychological and physiological as well as biological factors.
In order to enhance their performance, sportsmen use specific “methods” which optimize the qualities needed for their sport, on the basis of various physiological, biological, and psychological factors.
When the aim is to increase strength and muscular power and improve technique, protein, natural or synthetic anabolic agents are frequently used, in combination with hyper protein diets and muscle-building exercises. The balance between the increase in muscle mass and the loss of fat mass can be maintained thanks to growth hormones associated with amino acids or other drugs with anabolic properties (but whose initial medical purpose is other), or with nutritional supplements.
To postpone fatigue and enable the body to reach its utmost limits, one can use antalgics, cardio-respiratory analeptics, central nervous system stimulants, several of which are strong anti-depressants and stimulants.
In sports where body features or size, tall or short, are important, such as body-building, the shape of the body can be modified through hormonal manipulations.
Various drugs are used to fight stress, facilitate sleep, and remain in good physical shape, such as benzodiazepine derivatives and amphetamines, cannabinoids, alcohol, beta-blockers. For disciplines where it is important to stay alert, the sleeping-waking rhythm can be controlled thanks to amphetamines or more recent drugs.
To achieve the ‘force’ needed to make it in sports, sportsmen are looped into using a number of substances that are said to provide the much needed force to keep going. These drugs have been in use for well over a century now, only changing faces and others coming up throughout the years. The worrying thing about this issue is the health menace these drugs pose to the users, from mere health complications to death.
Diuretics expel water from a body, and athletes who need to meet weight restrictions may be tempted to use them. The primary medical use of these compounds is to treat conditions such as hypertension, kidney disease and congestive heart failure. Taken without medical supervision, use of these substances can result in potassium depletion and possibly even death.
These substances are used to prevent the detection of other classes of drugs. An example would include the use of epitestosterone, used to restore the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio (a common criterion in steroid testing) to normal levels after anabolic steroid supplementation.
These substances are often used to stimulate the body and mind to perform at optimal levels by increasing focus, energy, and aggression. The primary medical use of these substances is to treat conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity. Examples of stimulants include caffeine, amphetamines, and methamphetamines.
These substances are often used to mask pain so that athletes can continue to compete and perform beyond their usual pain thresholds. In small doses, narcotics have medical uses in relieving severe pain and inducing sleep. However, narcotics are often misused due to the psychological stimulation and sensation of euphoria associated with their use.
Cannabinoids are illegal in many jurisdictions and states and can have many dangerous side effects for athletes, including slowed coordination and reaction time, distorted sense of time and space, and increased heart rate.
From the first doping case ever reported in early 20th century, stake-holders in sports have been putting endless efforts to curb this menace. With the sophisticated development in technology over time, more means to bust dopers have been realized, which means that by now this problem should be within control. However, from the looks of it, especially considering the fruitless efforts being employed, as the case in Rio Olympics this year, the world has a long way to go in fighting this vice.
Anti-doping at the Rio Olympics was branded the “worst” ever at a Games on Wednesday night after the process of sample collection was compromised by a wave of no-shows and walkouts by volunteers and testers, as well as a series of security lapses.
The integrity of the entire process was under threat due to major staff shortages, with barely half the volunteers recruited to help run the event reporting for duty and several doping control officers drafted in from overseas walking out after being pushed to breaking point trying to fill the void.
Organizers also admitted that unauthorized individuals had gained access to restricted areas during the drug-testing process, although they denied failing to ensure that anti-doping at the Games was beyond reproach.
One senior figure in the war on drugs with experience of several major events said of the sample-collection system in Rio: “This is by far the worst I’ve seen.”