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drugs in sport

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Introduction In a highly pressured world of athletics, where a fraction of a second can mean the difference from failure to success. Athletes are continually finding themselves at the centre of a battle to run that little bit faster, jump a little bit higher and train a little bit harder. The rewards of success can feel incredible but some athletes go to extreme lengths in search for that ultimate performance. For many, performance enhancing drugs seem to be the answer The structure of steroids Steroids are derived from the lipid category of molecules. All steroids have the same basic structure (figure 1.1) (1). However different steroids have different functional groups attached to this basic structure(2), like the steroid testosterone (figure 1.2) .Steroids can be divided into groups depending on their function, the two main types being Androgens and Anabolics. Androgens stimulate or control the development of masculine characteristics(3), like facial hair and a deepen voice while anabolics promote muscle growth. ...read more.


One side of the DNA, called the template strand is used to make the messenger RNA )molecule (mRNA. This is made by free nucleotides which are free in the cytoplasm and line up alongside the DNA strand. The bases on the mRNA are complementary to those on the template strand which follow the law of complementary base pairing. The completed mRNA leaves the nucleus and attaches itself to a ribosome molecule. Translation has now begun, a transfer RNA molecule (tRNA) which carries a specific amino acid molecule has three base sequences called an anticodon. These are complementary to the mRNA. When the tRNA becomes attached to the ribosome with the mRNA, a long chain of amino acids are formed (figure 1.4). These are joined together by a peptide bond. The chain of amino acids then fold into a specific shape which determines its function.(8) Steroids are believed to stimulate protein synthesis. ...read more.


Both groups did the same training, took the same steroids and took the same dietary supplements. His results showed, inexperienced weightlifters gained barely any muscle mass while simultaneously taking anabolic steroids. In contrast, experienced regularly trained to their maximum capacity showed strength increase. Wright claims to show that trained athletes respond better to anabolic steroids treatments. Hervey (1990), (12) experimented the importance of training before and during a period of steroid treatment. Two groups of experienced weightlifters did six weeks of continuous training without any steroids. Both groups showed an increase body muscle. The next six weeks one group took steroids whilst the others took a placebo. These results showed that the group on steroids significantly improved on body muscle. Harvey shows from these experiments that hard training regimes alongside doses of anabolic steroids claim to increase muscle strength. All these results show that anabolic steroids do affect an athlete's performance in some way. However these experiments were conducted years ago and the methods used could have contained many sources of error. In recent experiences, scientist believe that steroids do not improve overall athletic performance. ...read more.

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