Q &A on Doping

`Doping` is commonly referred to the practice in sport when athletes use prohibited substances or other means to unfairly improve their sporting performance.

Compiled by Vineet Sharma

`Doping` is commonly referred to the practice in sport when athletes use prohibited substances or other means to unfairly improve their sporting performance.

What is Benzedrine and how does it help in enhancing sports performance?

Benzedrine is another trade name for amphetamine. It is responsible for increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite. These apparent effects gave it the street name "speed".

A doping player does not get fatigued easily and possesses a lack of judgement (not knowing when to listen to the body, thereby getting better result at the risk of fatality) and is willing to take risks, and will get better results. He/she will have a gargantuan advantage over athletes who are pushing themselves in ethical ways.

What are anabolic steroids and how do they give an unfair advantage?

They are drugs which imitate the effects of the human male sex hormones dihydrotestosterone and testosterone. Stimulating bone growth and increased appetite, they increase protein synthesis inside the cells, resulting in a build-up of cellular tissue (commonly referred as anabolism), especially in the muscles.

Due to this, there is a sharp increase in muscle mass and physical strength. This is the primary reason for their use in sports and bodybuilding.
Several successful athletes and professional bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva have admitted methandrostenolone (an anabolic) use before the drug was banned.

The use of any form of anabolic steroid is banned by all major sporting bodies of the world, including the International Olympic Committee, ATP, FIFA, WTA, ITF, UEFA, PGA Tour, the NHL, MLB, NBA, the European Athletic Association and NFL.

What is the World Anti-Doping Code?

The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the document that harmonizes regulations regarding anti-doping in sport across all sports and all countries of the world. The Code provides a framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations for sport organizations and public authorities.

Why is doping prohibited in sports?

The practice is unethical and essentially against the very foundation of sportsmanship. The use of the banned doping materials or methods to augment performance is disadvantageous to the overall impact of sport.

Not only is drug misuse harmful to an athlete`s physical and mental health or to the co-athletes competing on a clean platform. It irreparably fractures the reliability, representation and significance of a sport.

What is the World Anti-Doping Agency?

WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. WADA is a Swiss private law Foundation. Its seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland, and its headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.
WADA works towards a vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment.

What an athlete must know about doping?

An athlete could be tested during competition or at any other time to ensure the equity of his performance.

All athletes need to have personal access to the prohibited list of medication (easily available on the internet or as handouts from all accredited sporting agencies) and know exactly what is banned through WADA Code.

Any positive tests for banned substances can get an athlete banned from competition and they can even be tried by a court of law.

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