Doping in sport is a widespread problem not just among elite athletes, but even more so in recreational sports. In scientific literature, major emphasis is placed on doping detection, whereas detrimental effects of doping agents on athletes’ health are seldom discussed. Human growth hormone also increases muscle mass, although the majority of that is an increase in extracellular fluid and not the functional muscle mass.
The term doping is widely used by organizations that regulate sporting competitions. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical, and therefore prohibited, by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the term “doping” probably comes from the Dutch word “dop,” an alcoholic beverage made of grape skins that was used by Zulu warriors to make them stronger in battle.
Ancient Greek athletes used special diets and stimulating potions to improve performance, and 19th century endurance athletes indulged in strychnine, caffeine, cocaine and alcohol.
The American specialist in doping, Max M. Novich, wrote: “Trainers of the old school who supplied treatments which had cocaine as their base declared with assurance that a rider tired by a six-day race would get his second breath after absorbing these mixtures.” John Hoberman, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, said six-day races were “de facto experiments investigating the physiology of stress as well as the substances that might alleviate exhaustion.”
Effects of doping in sports
It builds muscle but causes abnormal growth, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, hypertension, blood cancers and arthritis. Other adverse effects include joint pain, muscle weakness, visual disturbances, enlarged heart and diabetes.
Other side effects include:
- Heart palpitations.Heart rhythm abnormalities.
- Weight loss.
- Mild high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart attack and other circulatory problems.
- Constipation.Skin rash or dermatitis.
- Dry mouth.
UFC ( Ultimate Fighting Championship ).
In December 2013, the UFC began a campaign to drug test their entire roster randomly all year-round. Random testing, however, became problematic for the promotion as it began to affect revenue, as fighters who had tested positive would need to be taken out of fights, which adversely affected fight cards, and therefore pay-per-view sales.
According to Steven Marrocco of MMAjunkie.com, about 31% of UFC fighters subjected to random testing since the program first started have failed due to using performance-enhancing drugs. That is approximately five failed tests for every sixteen random screenings.
From July 2015, the UFC has advocated to all commissions that every fighter be tested in competition for every card. Lorenzo Feritta, who at the time was one of the presidents of the UFC, said, “We want 100 percent of the fighters tested the night they compete”. Also, in addition to the drug testing protocols in place for competitors on fight night, the UFC conducts additional testing for main event fighters or any fighters that are due to compete in championship matches.