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Performance-Enhancing Drug Use in Recreational Athletes

By May 14, 2024May 15th, 2024No Comments

Medical experts see significant dangers in the use—and particularly the gross over-use—of anabolic steroids. Some of the effects are minor or only last while the drug is being taken; others are more serious and long-term. For example, anabolic steroids can cause high blood pressure, acne, abnormalities in liver function, alterations in the menstrual cycle in women, decline in sperm production and impotence in men, kidney failure and heart disease. Adderall abuse needs its own section because it is commonly abused by college students, including college athletes. A John Hopkins University study found that Adderall misuse among college-age students is on the rise.

types of performance-enhancing drugs

IV. Factors Contributing to the Limited Appreciation of the Adverse Effects of PEDs

A 44-item survey mostly adopted from Ip and colleagues (14) was used to assess several characteristics of men who participated in the strength training. In the first section, we asked about the demographic variables such as age, height, weight, marital status, and educational level. If the participants had a history of PED use, we asked the 3rd part of survey.

  • For example, between 2005 and 2015, 47 MLB players were suspended for using banned drugs.
  • The main reason people misuse anabolic steroids is to increase lean muscle mass when using them in conjunction with weight training.
  • Thus, surveillance techniques such as the Drug Abuse Warning Network (25) do not capture AAS users.

B. Prevalence of use

In 1993, the Proxmire Amendment limited jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration over nutritional supplements. Dietary supplements can be found in health food stores, supermarkets, and even the corner gas station. The easy availability and advertising campaigns directed at young athletes have lead to a high rate of use among adolescents. The use of performance-enhancing drugs spans the categories of legitimate use and substance abuse.

types of performance-enhancing drugs

Medical Professionals

The pediatrician who cares for adolescents also must consider the media and its effects on adolescents taking performance-enhancing substances. Field et al (9) found that 8% of girls and 12% of boys reported using some type of product to improve appearance, gain muscle mass, or improve strength. Adolescents who reported that they wanted an improved physical appearance were more likely to use performance-enhancing substances.

  • Beta blockers – these help a performer to keep calm and prevent the hands from shaking.
  • Our study showed that more than half of the bodybuilding athletes had a history of PED use.
  • Most drugs, like anabolic steroids, are illegal without a valid prescription.
  • One solution introduced in 2009 is statistical profiling, which essentially allows testers to create a ‘biological passport’ for each athlete.

What are the side effects of anabolic steroids?

A List of Performance Enhancing Drugs and Their Definitions – Muscle & Fitness

A List of Performance Enhancing Drugs and Their Definitions.

Posted: Wed, 08 Apr 2020 18:31:09 GMT [source]

In addition, bodybuilding athletes who use AAS were more prone to gain weight. Moreover, athletes who co-administered both AASs and stimulants reported higher rate of jaundice and psychoactive effects in comparison to the only AASs or stimulant users. A structural understanding of steroids, their metabolites, and testosterone is central to developing analytical protocols for their detection. Testosterone (T) is a naturally produced hormone and the native ligand for Performance Enhancing Drugs the androgen receptor. When this receptor binds to an androgen such as testosterone or a synthetic steroid, it becomes activated, resulting in desirable performance-enhancing effects including increased muscle strength, bone density, and red blood cell production. While stronger muscles and bones are an obvious advantage for an athlete, the increased red blood cell production provides more oxygen to muscles and organs, which fuels energy production and recovery.


Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2003 and subsequently was suspended from all forms of cricket for 12 months, leading to him missing the 2003 ICC World Cup. Warne claimed to have taken the tablet to ‘get rid of a double chin’ for television appearances. In 2007 Alexander Vinokourov, a rider in the Tour de France, tested positive after winning the 13th stage of the race. His blood was found to contain two different blood cell populations, which confirmed the use of allogenic transfusions.

Stimulants – substances such as caffeine can increase alertness and improve performance in games by reducing reaction time. Endurance athletes also like to use caffeine as it helps to better transport fat in the blood and decrease the impact of pain. However, caffeine can also cause diarrhoea and disrupt sleep patterns. Used by diabetics but co-opted by bodybuilders to gain bulk and increase stamina, sometimes as part of a “kitchen sink” stack of steroids, insulin, and HGH. “I had one patient who used to steal it from his grandmother.” Mild side effects include bloating, but misuse of insulin can also lead to heart problems and hypoglycemic shock, which can be fatal. The integrity of sport is predicated on the assumption that all athletes compete on a level playing field.

AAS exposure affects dopamine receptors in brain areas included in the functional anatomy of aggression (238, 239). Although AAS use is widespread in Western countries, the United States appears to have the largest absolute number of AAS users. This is not surprising because the United States is the most populous country with substantial AAS use, and likely the first country in which AAS use began to spread from elite athletics to the general population (18). In general, it’s like, people have kind of come and told their truth or not told the truth and kind of moved on.

In accordance, they acquired information about PEDs from unsuitable sources. Another study, in accords with ours, showed that friends and coaches rather than physicians were the most important sources of information about PED administration (10). Accordingly, it is unfortunate to state that starting PED use in adolescence without consultation with a physician or pharmacist and lack of complete knowledge about these agents may predispose athletes to the risk of serious adverse effects. This study confirmed the high prevalence of PED abuse among bodybuilding athletes in the south of Iran.

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