To continue the fight against doping - Fondazione Gianni Benzi Onlus

Doping is not new to the people . In ancient Greece, there were specialists who used to offer athletes nutritional ingredients in order to enhance their physical performance. Those specialists may be compared to the current sports medicine specialists . During the Olympic Games in the third century BC, the athletes tried to increase their sports performance by taking mushrooms and opium . In the Ist centaury AD, the Greek runners used to drink a herbal beverage to increase their strength and become capable to run long distance races. Gladiators are also reported to use various substances for enhancing strength . In the modern era , the use of performance enhancing substances and techniques by the top sportspersons across the world has been a presistent issue in the world of sports for nearly four decades. Since the beginning of the 21st century, many athletes have been engaged in taking such substances. Some of them have been tested positive such as Tim Montgomery, Marion Jones, swimmer Phelps, etc.

Concept of Doping

‘Doping’ is the word, which is used in the field of sports, to refer to the situation when athletes use prohibited substances or methods to unfairly improve their sporting performance. In general terms, doping is the use of performance enhancing substances or methods by athletes to gain an advantage over their competitors . In fact , some athletes take illegal substances to enhance their performance . This activity is known as ‘doping’ . Doping in sports is the deliberate or inadvertent use by an athlete of a substance or method banned by the International Olympic Committee. In fact, the ban or prohibition on such substances is necessary to protect the athletes from the unfair advantage which may be gained by those athletes who use prohibited substances or methods to enhance their performance and also from the possible harmful side effects which these substances or methods can produce. The following definitions of doping may help in understanding its exact meaning:

According to International Olympic Committee, ‘‘Doping is the use of any method or substance that might harm the athlete, in a quest to gain an unfair advantage, over his/her fellow competitors”. In fact, doping is the use of prohibited substances or methods designed to enhance an athlete’s physical or mental abilities or to mask the use of such substances or methods during preparation for or participation in a sports competition .

According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ,” Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the anti-doping rule violations set forth in Article 2.1 through Article 2.8 of the code.”