Adverse Health Consequences of Performance-Enhancing Drugs: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement PMC

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Treatment with anti-epileptic drugs in athletes should be always reported and plasma levels measured. Serial ECGs are necessary to verify tolerance to therapy and, as asymptomatic bradyarrhythmia and nocturnal AV block can occur, Holter monitor might be needed. The most commonly used antiplatelet drugs include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix®), prasugrel (Efient®), and ticagrelor (Brilique®). Just like anti-coagulants, antiplatelet medications increase the haemorrhagic risk, particularly in physically active individuals that might be involved in contact sports or sports with a higher intrinsic risk of injury. ESA use is most prevalent in endurance sports, such as distance running, cycling, race-walking, cross-country skiing, biathlons, and triathlons (387). ESAs increase net oxygen delivery to the muscle by increasing red cell mass (VO2max) and thereby improving endurance.

  • Side effects of these nonsteroidal drugs include headache, nausea, nervousness, diarrhea, perspiration, hot flushes, and bone pain (88).
  • These drugs, however, can be extremely dangerous and, in certain situations, deadly.
  • Nutritional supplements, however, that have the potential to enhance human performance may also have biomedical side effects.
  • There are several categories of PEDs that are currently popular among nonathlete weightlifters and athletes.
  • Gene therapy has also shown promise in SCID-X1, Leber’s congenital amaurosis, and some forms of muscular dystrophies.

These drugs, however, can be extremely dangerous and, in certain situations, deadly. The negative effects these drugs can have on one’s body make USADA’s mission paramount as to why no athlete should ever have to consider PED use to succeed in sport. Once a single athlete decides that using performance enhancing drugs is to their benefit, then it creates a powerful effect of peer pressure on the remainder of the individuals involved in that competition. Sports Illustrated demonstrated this effect by surveying Olympic athletes about using doping as a way to experience success.

What should I do if I need to take medicine for a health reason?

Currently, there are no WADA-approved methods for the detection of gene doping. However, researchers are developing novel technologies to detect gene doping based on structural differences in the transgene or differences in the posttranslational modifications of the recombinant proteins (40, 421, 422). Gene doping refers to the use of nucleic acid sequences (delivered either as naked DNA or through viral vectors) and/or normal or genetically modified cells to enhance sports performance (385, 404, 405). Gene doping has not been detected in any sports event to date, although many experts have predicted that gene doping will become a reality in the near future (385, 404,–408). Currently, it remains a theoretical but plausible threat in competitive sports, but because of its complexity and expense, gene doping is unlikely to be easily accessible to nonathlete weightlifters or to become a major public health problem in the near future. AASs are the most commonly used PEDs, with testosterone, boldenone, and trenbolone being the most frequently detected drugs among illicit PED users in the United States (Figure 4).

AAS exposure affects dopamine receptors in brain areas included in the functional anatomy of aggression (238, 239). Another amino acid of interest with respect to aggressive behavior is γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). AASs elicit both acute modulation of GABA(A) receptor-mediated currents and chronic regulation of the expression of the GABA(A) receptor and forebrain GABAergic transmission (235). Testosterone is metabolized rapidly in the body; however, esterification of the 17β-hydroxyl group renders the molecule more hydrophobic. When these esters of testosterone (such as testosterone enanthate and cypionate) are administered in an oily suspension, they are released very slowly into the aqueous plasma because of their hydrophobicity.

Asthma Issues: sport, travel, and pregnancy – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

What is often ignored are the long-term consequences of taking this drugs or hormones, which can include acne problems all over the skin, impotence in men, issues with balding, and difficulty in controlling one’s emotions. Items classified as doping products are often vouched for as a safe item. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States, the National Institutes of Health, and even the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists all vouch on some level that human growth hormone is safe to take.

  • Class C drugs are the least dangerous, with the lightest penalties, but this does not mean they are safe to take.
  • Goaltending rules in basketball were introduced to prevent removing the ball from the cylinder after players grew tall and strong enough to get above the rim.
  • As shown in Table 1, detection underpins many of these risks, which increase as anti-doping policies become stricter and testing more frequent.
  • Doping is commonly understood as the use of prohibited performance enhancing substances or methods in sport.
  • Using drugs to improve performance in sport may lead to an athlete being banned and may also harm their health.
  • Although there are always exceptions, fans are generally more interested in the outcome of a game more than they are the way a player gets ready for it.

Learn how these drugs work and how they can have effects on your health. Beyond the legal consequences, an increasing number of public authorities and governments have adopted legislations that treat doping as a criminal act. Consequently, in addition to being ineligible to coach or compete, you may face criminal charges in your country.

Negative Impacts Drugs Have in Sports

By shifting the focus from the individual athlete to the sporting context, we can see how harms to doping athletes are socially produced (c.f. Rhodes, 2002). Such an approach seems more or less impossible to combine with the cultural beliefs and discourse around values of fair-play and sportsmanship in the elite sport context. While harm reduction strategies and interventions for recreational drug negative effects of drugs in sport use have flourished, sport has remained stubbornly bullish on a detect and punish approach (Henning & Dimeo, 2018), not only in elite sport but also in recreational and non-competitive sport contexts. Amateurs and recreational athletes are included anti-doping’s remit and they may be punished in the same way as elites for anti-doping rule violations, regardless of their athletic ambitions.

  • By analysing known cases of systematic doping we can see how they employed strategies similar to those outlined in Table 2.
  • A handful of studies have examined the efficacy of motivational enhancing interventions specifically among athletes, with promising results.
  • For example, they may be suspended for using a substance legal in several countries and states in the United States (cannabis), but they are allowed to use narcotic painkillers in an effort to facilitate their return to the practice or competitive arena.
  • My life went from being a wide-eyed, green bike racer from Marblehead, Massachusetts to a few years later in a little bit of a dark world, very secretive, two different faces.
  • Decades of draconian punishments have failed to eliminate, or even consistently lower levels of recreational drug use within the general population; there were more than a half million deaths related to illicit drug use in 2017 alone (United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, 2019).

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