Since time immaterial people engaged in competitive sports have looked for ways of improving their overall performance. The use of different supplements and drugs are, is one such method of enhancing the performance. Their first documented use was in ancient Greece in the form of doop, a derivative of opium. It was used as a pain numbing agent so that a participant can push harder to excel in the games.
History of drug use in sports for performance enhancement
The first steroids were discovered by Nazi scientists. Before that the athletes were using compounds like Heroine, cocaine, strychnine and caffeine. The first modern day use of drugs as performance enhancer was in 1950’s. The drug being used was Amphetamines and it was developed by the military. The anabolic steroid was first approved by FDA in 1957 for sale in the United States. Dr. John Bosley Zieglar created Dianabol on the basis of its use by Russia in the 1950’s in weightlifting.
Regulation of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports
The International Olympic Committee or IOC formulated a medical commission in 1967 to prevent doping in sports. The anabolic steroids were added in 1975 by the IOC as a banned substance. The steroid testing was done in 1976 for the first time at the Montreal Olympics.
The WADA or World Anti Doping Agency uses the drug classes as the basis of prohibition. According to the prohibited classes the following are some of the banned drugs
- HGH or Human Growth Hormone
- Winstrol etc.
How do the athletes benefit from steroid use?
The benefits gained by athletes are as follows
- It enhances muscle mass
- It enhances endurance
- It enhances strength
- Fat loss
The performance enhancing drugs increases the Adenosine triphosphate or ATP that’s responsible for physical muscular movement. The drugs also cause fat loss through cellular differentiation. They improve protein synthesis, bone density and RBC production. They also cause quicker recovery times.
The health risks of Steroid use
Some of the health issues associated with the use of steroids are as follows
- Cardiovascular problems
- Liver damages
- Suppression of immune systems
- Kidney Ailments
- Cholesterol imbalance
- Irregular testosterone levels, etc.
The possession of steroids imported or exported to the UK with intent to supply is illegal otherwise possession is not illegal. Still, its use in professional sports is banned and it may result in the athlete getting banned. The use of steroids, in spite of stringent regulation, is an ongoing problem and it results in the ruination of many athletic careers.