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How Doping Boosts Performance and Affects Person’s Health?

Perhaps you’ve heard about professional athletes being disqualified because they were caught doping. Yet, some people don’t exactly know what doping is. Simply put, doping refers to the use of banned athletic performance enhancing drugs, because using doping to enhance performance is believed to be unethical and prohibited by most sports organizations.
While the origins of athletic performance enhancing substances go back as far as to the creation of the sport itself, today the primary reason for why doping is banned in sports is due to the health risk. But every performance-enhancing drug is different, so they come with their own benefits and risks. Learn about the most often used ones below:

1. Anabolic Agents (Including Testosterone)


Anabolic agents are used in medicine to treat problems like delayed puberty, impotence, muscle-wasting diseases, and similar issues. However, if anabolic agents are used for a too long period and in too large quantities, anabolic agents may become harmful.
But many athletes and especially famous bodybuilders use anabolic agents to build muscle mass, lose body fat, and to become stronger. Some of the most common problems after using anabolic agents are acne, liver damage, stunted growth, baldness, the increased risk of depression, aggression, and se**al appetite.

By some factors, how anabolic agents affect a person depends on the gender. Males might experience breast tissue development, impotence, reduction in sperm production, and shrinking of the testicles. Females might experience deepening of the voice, abnormal menstrual cycles, hair grow on the face, stomach, and upper back, and abnormal breast development.

2. Blood Doping

Blood doping refers to the practice of misusing some techniques and substances to increase the number of the red blood cells in the body. As the red blood cells transport oxygen to the muscles, by increasing its numbers, a person boosts the endurance of his body. To do so, athletes use erythropoietin (EPO), synthetic oxygen carriers, and blood transfusions.
Also, these methods are used for medical purposes when a patient loses lots of blood, as it helps to keep him/her alive. By misusing these methods, it may result in blood clotting, stroke, and increased stress on the heart.

3. Narcotics


In small amounts, narcotics are used for medical purposes when there is a need to relieve pain and help to fall asleep. On the other hand, the misuse of narcotics often leads to addiction and other mental problems like depression, nausea, vomiting, decreased heart rate, increased pain threshold, and failure to recognize injuries.

4. Growth Factors, Peptide Hormones, and Related Substances



These substances are used for a huge variety of reasons as treating cancer and aiding those who are born prematurely. If an athlete is found to have higher levels of these substances because of psychological or pathological reasons, the athlete won’t be disqualified.
Some examples of these substances are human growth hormone (HGH), insulin, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), erythropoietin (EPO), and adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH). Misusing of these substances may lead to hypertension, heart attacks, feminization, thyroid problems, anemia, and blood cancer.
As you can see, using doping helps to become a stronger athlete, but it comes with the risk of harming oneself. So, to use them or not depends on a person’s beliefs and goals.

See the vide about performance-enhancing drugs below: