Sport Enhancers 101

What you need to know!

Prevention of Sport Enhancers

 

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Personal drug use: cases of someone you know 

I have one guy in my group of friends that was always a fantastic athlete in high school.  He never used any sport enhancers in high school, but now has been introduced to them in college and is using them frequently.  He was always a smaller guy, and wasn’t able to gain much weight.  Now that he has started using a variety of sport enhancers, he has been able to gain the muscle weight he always wanted.  Now his dream is to do a body building show in the near future.

Approaches to prevention/mitigation

In the journal Regulations Governing Drugs and Performance Enhancers in Sports describes how the U.S. Government  does not fit neatly into the structure.  The USADA though has led the International Olympic Committee to create a World Anti-Doping Agency.

Later on in the article Adolpho Birch, lawyer at the management council for the NFL, discuses some of the leagues policies. The NFL splits its drug policy in two, one is Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances and the second is Substance Abuse, which include drugs like cocaine and marijuana.  The NFL’s goal is to protect the health and safety of their players.  Also, like any other sport they want the game to be as fair as possible.  They also understand that sending the right message to their audience is very important. The NFL wants to make sure the players are setting a good example for younger athletes.  In conclusion, the NFL wants to communicate their policy to the players and make sure they all understand the consequences.

This is just one example of a drug policy.  Each athletic organization in the country has their own rules and regulations to prevent these types of drugs from their athletes.

 

My recommended action

For national organizations I recommend they make a harder punishment for their athletes.   Their athletes are aware of the side effects and risks of the drugs.  They also know the consequences, but maybe the consequences need to be worse.  Last year, for example, Ryan Braun was caught during a drug test for anabolic steroids and was suspended for the rest of the season, and came back this year.  Maybe there should only be a one or two time offense.  The first time they are caught it’s a warning, and the second the athlete is kicked out of the league permanently .  If athletes were threatened to be completely banned from the leagues, I doubt as many would risk it.

For the younger athletes , I suggest we start drug testing them as well.  They need to learn at a younger age that these steroids are risky, and illegal in any type of sport organization, as well as holding some informational programs for the younger athletes.  As an athlete I never was informed about the dangers of steroids, and what supplements were legal and illegal.

For non-athletes who are purely taking the drugs just for appearances.  I recommended that they know all the risks of the supplements they are taking, as well as informing a physician, and keeping up with annual physicals.

References

Fitness. (2012, December 12). Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134?pg=2

Ormsbee, M. Performance Enhancing Drugs. IDEA Fitness Journal2. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/performance-enhancing-drugs

Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts. (2014, May 28). CNN. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/performance-enhancing-drugs-in-sports-fast-facts/

Yesalis, C. E., & Bahrke, M. S. History of Doping in Sport. International Sports Studies24, 42-45. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from ibrary.la84.org/SportsLibrary/ISS/ISS2401/ISS2401e.pdf

History of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports. (2013, August 8). . Retrieved June 27, 2012, from http://sportsanddrugs.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000017

Fitness. (2012, December 12). Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks. Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134?pg=2

ProCon.org. (2009, May 6). Top 10 Pros and Cons. Retrieved from http://sportsanddrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002352

 

Jurith, E., Birch, A. A., Housman, R., & klempner, R. Regulations Governing Drugs and Performance Enhancers in Sports. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal12, 7-10. Retrieved July 6, 2014, from http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1241&context=iplj&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fq%3DNCAA%2Bpreventing%2Bsport%2Benhancers%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%26as_vis%3D1%26oi%3Dscholart%26sa%3DX%26ei%3Dhbu5U8nEJ5KqyASGy4KwDw%26ved%3D0CBsQgQMwAA#search=%22NCAA%20preventing%20sport%20enhancers%22

The Effects and Concerns of Sport Enhancers

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Pharmacology & Physiological effects

There is a variety of sports enhancing drugs.  Each of them come with  physical side effects that are not so pleasant to the body. For example, anabolic steroids may cause baldness, impotence, infertility, etc. just for men.  For women, side effects such as a deeper voice or increased body hair may occur.  Also, both sexes may experience severe acne, high blood pressure, heart and circulatory problems, etc.

Cause for Concern

When it comes to acute and chronic toxicity, for example, anabolic steroids have more of a chronic toxicity.  Anabolic steroids may be handed over the counter, but in extremely low doses. With low doses side effects are still possible, but less likely, while having a large dose of these steroids  can cause increased risk of side effects.

Current Benefits (if any)

The website sportsanddrugs.procon.org lists the top ten pros and cons of performance enhancing drugs.  One argument is the pros and cons of health risks.  Simon Robert doesn’t disagree that their isn’t health risks, but argues that if athletes are aware of the risk, why can’t they choose for themselves whether or not to endure the side effects. The article continues with topics of sport fans,  sportsmanship,  drug testing, etc.  With each example they never necessarily argue if there are any benefits psychologically.  The website continues to give examples of why it should be legal, and how it could be fair as long as all athletes had access to the same drugs.

Overall health impact assessment

From research so far I have found drug enhancers are just about as bad as any other drug.  They have their extreme side effects that  affect us internally, and our outside appearance.  From here I wouldn’t recommended these drugs to anyone.  In the link below CNN explains more knowledge and risks of sport enhancers. 

CNN Explains

 

Introduction to Sport Enhancers

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Sources and Forms of Sports Enhancers 

Sports enhancers are rapidly becoming more popular all over the world.  These types of drugs are not only being used by professional and college athletes, but individuals are using them just to enhance their appearances.

Sport enhancing drugs are unlimited and come in an absurd amount of varieties.  Some types are: anabolic steroids, stimulants, human growth hormone, and supplements.  While each of these types have effects that vary,  they each help an individual with an element of their body.  Anabolic steroids help athletes gain muscle without gaining any fat, which is beneficial to athletes because they increase their strength and allow them to perform better over a long period of time. Stimulants do not help build muscle like anabolic steroids, but help with performing longer periods of timesby giving the athletes an energy boost or extreme focus.  Human growth hormone comes with many side effects, and are typically injected.  Human growth hormone may help with endurance and strength.  Finally ,supplements are the never ending variety, and they can either be consumed by a powder, liquid, or pill.  They are typically an over the counter drug, and the most popular is creatine. If you click on the link below you will be led to a  video that explains the dangers of creatine for younger athletes.

Dangerous Muscle Enhancers Real

History/Origin and Early use

It is probably no surprise that sport enhancing drugs began in the ancient Greek times.  The Greeks were notorious for their Olympic athletic games, and just  like then,  today’s athletes will do anything to enhance their performance.   In the ancient games they used not our typical types of steroids we use today , but rather their stimulants were specialty wines and brandy mixers.  They used mushrooms which caused hallucinations and sesame seeds to enhance their performance.  In the early days they believed in eating organs of animals and even sometime humans.  For example, a heart was thought to promote bravery or the brain to improve the athlete’s intelligence.

Fast forward many years later and in the early 1900’s  performance enhancing drugs were being introduced and used for the modern Olympic games.  Then in 1928 the International Association of Athletics Federation made the first rule against performance enhancing drugs. In the late 60’s the Olympic games decided to drug test the competitors for the first time.  From there, steroids were a booming concern for not just the Olympics, but for others sports leagues such as the MLB, NFL, and NBA.  They  terminated the drugs officially from these organizations, and now hold annual drug tests.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped athletes such as Ryan Braun or Lance Armstrong from using these enhancers.

Drug use/misuse

According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association 3 million people in the United States alone have used anabolic steroids.  Of that they suspect that 12% of the use is young men and 2% young women.  In 1999 a survey was conducted with high school football players, with about 6% reporting that they had used these drugs starting at the age of 14.

Anabolic steroids are banned in the Olympics and all professional sports leagues, as well as in the NCAA but as we still know athletes are still getting their hands on steroids.  Most come from the black market,  unethical healthcare professionals, and even some team physicians.  An interesting survey was conducted in 2001 among NCAA athletes.  Approximately  13,914 student athletes were using anabolic steroids, and 40% of these steroids were obtained from the athlete’s physicians.

With such a high rate in the USA population using sport enhancing drugs, many tests have shown concerning side effects.  Each type of enhancer attributes to different consequences in the body. Human growth hormones alone can cause diabetes, high blood pressures, and muscle weakness. While stimulates can cause hallucinations, strokes, heart palpitations, and dehydration.

Many individuals enjoy the results of their sport enhancing drugs, however they must understand all the health risk and be prepared to know the serious danger it could cause to their body.

 

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