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Drugs in Sport

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Physiology OAC ISP: Drugs in Sport From ancient times, athletes have sought to improve their performance, to better themselves and their peers, and to set new records in their sports of choice. The Olympic games have always been the ultimate place for athletes to show off their skills and compete with the highest elite athletes from countries around the world. Each and every athlete trains to be in the peak of their physical condition, or as close as they can be to that, in the time of the competition. This 'peak' is an athlete's most effective work zone, where they get the most use from every calorie; the most force from every muscle contraction, and their cardiovascular system is functioning at its maximum efficiency. Yet at this elite level, where fractions of seconds choose winners and losers, and records may seem impossible to beat, some athletes refuse to rely on training alone. One aspect of the ancient Olympics that carries on today is the tradition of doping. From the first games, competitors ate 'magic' concoctions composed of mushrooms, wild berries and other potentially dangerous herbs in the belief that it would make them stronger, faster, and better. Today, supplements and practices that improve performance are much better designed, administered, and provide better results. Biochemical laboratories serve as sources for the drugs needed to push a willing athlete to the finish line ahead of anyone else. From the herbal 'therapies' of old to the modern designer chemicals that are used to boost specific functions of the brain or muscles to superhuman levels, the idea remains the same. The variety of drugs available for athletes to take is as varied as the sports themselves. Some drugs, such as EPO, are synthetic copies of a natural body hormone, while others, like anabolic steroids, affect muscle growth and the body directly and much more broadly. Stimulants can decrease reaction time, heighten senses, increase overall speed as well as delay exhaustion. ...read more.


The side effects of both of these procedures are minimal, as both break down and/or are excreted from the body soon. Every blood doping procedure provides a benefit for aerobic sports, such as marathon running, cycling, swimming, and any of the long-duration events. No form of blood doping would help someone in a sport such as weightlifting or the 50-metre sprint, because one's oxygen capacity is irrelevant in CP/Lactic energy sports such as these. Steroids The full name for steroids, at least of the form used to build strength, is Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, or AASs, 'Roids, or any number of other variations. There are also several other forms, like corticosteroids, but these are not useful in strength training for sport. Steroids are a class of drugs whose primary function is to promote building of muscle and the body. They are similar in structure to the male sex hormone, testosterone and are similar in function. Because using steroids creates a hormonal imbalance in the body, there are serious and major side effects. In the human body, testosterone promotes muscle building and growth, as well as causing increases in bulk with exercise. When athletes take steroids, these drugs act as a mimic to testosterone, helping the body to build muscle and strength quickly. Obviously, this is an important thing for people involved in sports such as weightlifting, shot put, hammer throw and other places where strength and power are necessary. The main problem with taking steroids, aside from the litany of serious side effects, is that they are incredibly easy to detect. Steroids must be injected intramuscularly on a regular basis, and they can build up in the body if overused or overdosed. Another problem for athletes wanting to take steroids is the fact that they are prescription only, intended for infirm or people who have need to rebuild wasted muscle (bedridden people, cancer patients) in order to become healthier. ...read more.


Allen was taking general education development classes at Carteret Community College. He collapsed outside the college during a break from class Oct. 20. It wasn't known when he took the pills. A security guard found him and called the rescue squad, which took him to Carteret General Hospital, where he died last Wednesday. Authorities said it appeared that Allen died of heart rhythm irregularities associated with the high dose of caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. This article shows just how dangerous caffeine can be, much like any other drugs, when misused. Conclusion: Although there are many more drugs available to enhance performance in sport like diuretics, painkillers, beta agonists and more, there is just too much information for one sitting. Sports associations recognize the problems of drugs being used by athletes and have put in harsh penalties against their use, from mere loss of their medal or title to being banned from the sport for two years or more, even to life banishment. Olympic drugs tests become more and more strict and technically advanced by the year, and athletes must be careful of what they eat or drink, because trace amounts of drugs may be present for whatever reason. Regardless of how the athlete gets the drug into their system (i.e. Silken Laumann and her cold medication) it is their responsibility to stop it from happening. Drugs in sport will continue to advance in their effects and specialization, but tests will keep developing to fight cheaters. Athletes must weigh the consequences and choose, to dope or not to dope. ISP Abstract: 1 Microsoft Encarta "Track and Field", section on altitude training: http://encarta.msn.com/find/concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=761562123&cid=96#p96 2 WebMD: Edema http://my.webmd.com/content/dmk/dmk_article_1457441 3 WebMD: Polycythemia Vera http://my.webmd.com/content/asset/adam_disease_polycythemia_vera 4 The Steroids Game - By Charles E. Yesalis and Virginia S. Cowart 5 Speed And Amphetamines - Julian Chomet 6 Substance Abuse In Sport - By William Carroll, Frances Niccolai, Robert Banks 7 Amphetamines and Other Stimulants - Lawrence Clayton 8 Facts On Drugs And Sports - Harry Shapiro 9 Caffiene, The Most Popular Stimulant - Richard J. Gilbert ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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