Questions (8-11)

8) I have met athletes who have experimented with performance enhancing drugs in their prime days they had it all but later in life they have many complications that have led them to living a very poor lifestyle and their reputations ruined. I myself have never used performance enhancers but had been targeted during my athletic career due to the fact that I was always larger and stronger. Parents and opposing coaches would even question my physical stature during high school and was forced to comply with many “random” drug tests. In college I was also subjected to these supposed random drug tests as again my stature proved to be ahead of others.

9) My recommendation to prevent the use of these drugs comes straight from the top. I have had personal contact with a former World’s strongest man competitor and he told myself and a select few of others of the dangers associated with taking the drugs. My source came out and directly stated that these drugs may give you what you want in the beginning but as testing standards become harder and harder to pass you stand to lose more and more as penalties also grow more severe. And as time goes on your body begins to shut down. You will develop shrunken testicles and for those who have seen the movie “Fight Club” you can develop male breasts. All in all we were told that if we liked our bodies and wanted them to for the most part remain normal and last till our old age that we should just avoid these drugs and supposed muscle building substances all together and to focus on hard training and a balanced diet. Steroids to my knowledge are not entirely illegal for use. They are however are illegal when used in competitive sports such as the WIAA, NCAA, and NFL/ professional sports. They carry very heavy fines, suspensions, and if you are found to repeat you face expulsion from the sport entirely.

10) My direct action to combat people using performance enhancers is to show them actual persons who have taken the drugs and now face everyday struggles as their bodies breakdown and eventually shut down. Holding seminars for coaches would be a step in the right direction so coaches no longer try and push performance enhancers on the athletes. In today’s world coaches want the bigger and faster athlete and they want them built fast. Teaching them to develop the athlete naturally will keep the athlete healthier and prevent the team from failing drug tests later during their season. I have seen cases like this. Showing athletes from a young age that hard work does pay off and that cheating does not prevail will help teach the young athlete the benefits of taking special care of their body and to train appropriately and properly. This will save the athletes body and allow the athlete to continue with their athletic career without questions being raised about their training method and if they did so legally or not.

The video listed after this comment gives you a very good idea about the dangers and effects that Anabolic Steroids and EPO give the user. I like this video because it also touches on a few other Performance Enhancers that are not quite as popular but still not worthy as well as a number of good cases where the drugs have been seen or used. This video is loaded with information if you are interested in learning more about performance enhancers.

11) References

National Strength and Conditioning Association. (n.d.). Performance Enhancing Drug Education. Retrieved from https://www.nsca.com/Programs/Performance-Enhancing-Drug-Education-Program/

 ProCon.org. (2013, August 8). Historical Timeline. Retrieved from http://sportsanddrugs.procon.org/view.timeline.php?timelineID=000017

 

Cheatham MD, S. A., Hosey MD, R. G., & Johnson MD, D. L. (2008, October). Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Today’s Athlete: A Growing Concern | Orthopedics. Retrieved from http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/sports-medicine/journals/ortho/%7B93d32e5b-a2c8-4c5c-8e0c-d600a3fee2b3%7D/performance-enhancing-drugs-and-todays-athlete-a-growing-concern

 

USADA. (n.d.). Effects of Performance Enhancing Drugs | U.S. Anti-Doping Agency USADA. Retrieved from http://www.usada.org/effects-peds/

 

Steroids Overdose – Effects Of Steroids Use – Treatment for Steroids Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/library/steroids-overdose/

 http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/72228/Documents/PHL%20462,%20Diuretics.pdf

 

Docherty, J. R. (2008, May). Pharmacology of stimulants prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2439527/

 

Mayo Clinic. (2012, December). Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/performance-enhancing-drugs/HQ01105.html

Questions 4-7

4) Pharmacology and Effects of Sports Enhancers:

Anabolic Steroids-ways to administer steroids as I mentioned in my prior post is to either inject the substance directly into the body or there are now oral methods that allow you to take the substance.

Masking Agents- Masking agents will typically come in a pill form that you will take orally. Usually a diuretic these pills will then be digested by your body and you will suddenly begin eliminating most of the water that is present in your body.

Stimulants- Stimulants can come in many various forms. A simple can of soda has caffeine which is a stimulant so you can take stimulants orally, you can inhale a few of them, and injection is an option if the user wants to use this form of substance.

Erythropoietin (EPO)- Blood doping as this is commonly referred too is a very long and arduous task but comes with high reward. Blood is taken from the user or the athlete and red blood cells scientifically added to the blood. Then before the event usually a few days the blood is put back into the athlete and the substance has been reentered.

Physiological Effects of Various sports enhancers:

Anabolic steroids come with many undesirable physiological effects that can have some very unwanted side effects. Some of the side effects that are associated with this substance include; acne, baldness, liver damage, stunted growth, and if given to children it can disrupt puberty.

Masking Agents also come with  its fair share of negatives. Although maybe not as terrible as anabolic steroids these side effects can really hurt your chances for athletic success. These agents typically will cause dehydration, muscle cramping, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, and loss of coordination. How can you be an effective member of your team if you can’t even stand up or much less function?

Stimulants have some really bad effects that really may scare you. These effects truly may be the worst of all of the sports enhancers. Effects include; insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, addiction, dehydration, tremors, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and an increase risk of stroke. These are terrible side effects that can essentially ruin your game and hurt you both mentally and physically.

EPO has the fewest side effects of the bunch but nonetheless they are still very severe in their nature. Increased stress on the heart, blood clots, and stroke are all a possibility if you decide to begin blood doping. Increased stress on the heart means that your heart could literally burst while you were in the middle of you game or competition.

5) Causes for concern

Anabolic Steroids- There are as we know many side effects associated with anabolic steroids but there are also a lot of acute and chronic toxicities also involved with the substance. Some acute toxicities include baldness, shrinking of the testicles, impotency and those are just for males. Females will experience facial hair growth, reduction in female sex characteristics, and deepening of the voice. The chronic toxicities associated with this substance can include mental health problems, aggression, violence, other drug usage, liver failure, heart failure, and higher risks of cancer. These are no joke!

Masking Agents-  masking agents may not sound all that bad in the short run as their acute toxicity typically involves headaches, nausea, and vomiting but, if you take the substance for a long term the chronic toxicity can be frightening. You can suffer from cardiac failure, experience extracellular fluid volume, impaired renal function, and some other serious effects.

Stimulants- As was touched on in the last question have many side effects associated with them. In the acute term anxiety, insomnia, severe weight loss, and dehydration. Over time the substance can create worse health effects and the chronic toxicity of the drug can lead to heart arrhythmias, heart complications, problems controlling your body temperature, and cardiac arrest.

EPO- While there are virtually no acute side effects from EPO besides the possibility of various diseases the chronic toxicity is far worse. EPO can thicken the users blood which can lead to the heart having to work harder to pump the blood through the body, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes are also a danger.

Dependence potential- As with any substance there is always the potential for an addiction or dependence on the substance to occur. Athletes are always looking to gain a physical edge over the competition and as long as competition is out there so will the desire for these sport enhancing drugs. For those who already have tried these sport enhancers before a common dependence characteristic stems from the wanting to be more muscular or to be one of the dominant athletes and the feeling of inadequacy drives their dependence on the substance.

Social Issues- There are always social issues associated with a substance. In the world of sports enhancers many people see the users who are typically or at least publicized more often are the professional athletes. There are always stories of a new pro athlete using a sport enhancer and it creates an uproar every time.  You will always see the people who support the usage because they believe that it is the users option to take the drug while the other side sees the user as taking away from the game and ruining the sport. Baseball is a prime example of how people believe that the sport is ruined because so many athletes have used performance enhancers in the MLB. I have seen baseball lovers turn into baseball haters because the sport has become so corrupt. Reputations can  be ruined due to these substances. My example in the last post about Lance Armstrong is a prime example.

6) Current  beneficial uses- In sports athletes rarely think about what they are doing to their bodies as long as they are winning and are getting what they want in the present time they are content. If using performance enhancers is giving them the results they want such as rapid muscle growth or the inability to feel pain right away or the opportunity to supply the body with more oxygen then they see that as a beneficial use. To them using the substances is beneficial but more often than not, in the long run the effects are detrimental like I have explained above.

7) Assessment of sports enhancers- In my own personal opinion after revealing the information provided above I must acknowledge that sports enhancers are a dangerous substance. To the user they may see the results that they want in the short run. The muscle growth, weight loss, extra attention, and the increased oxygen entered into the body are all great things to the user. But as listed above the side effects associated with these drugs can ruin lives, tear down bodies, and ruin your opportunity to compete. With side effects like cardiac arrest, thickened blood, heart arrhythmias, and other very serious effects one must be careful as to what they are putting into their bodies. Supplement stores are full of these kinds of sport enhancers it is important to understand what is in the supplement and ultimately ask yourself is it safe to take. Ask an employee or take a friend who is knowledgeable on the subject. Do not just walk into a store without knowing what you are doing you must do the research. As you can see taking a substance for an extended period of time without knowing you are taking it can lead to serious consequences. Besides the physical ruin of your body your reputation will suffer greatly and you will always be looked down upon and I know for the athletes out there that that is what hurts us the most.

 

 

 

 

Sports Enhancers (Questions 1-3)

 

1) There are four primary types of Performance enhancing drugs.

  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Masking Agents
  • Stimulants
  • Erythropoietin

Anabolic Steroids- These are manmade substances that are meant to increase testosterone levels. Testosterone is one of the building blocks for building muscle mass. To most people Anabolic Steroids is typically referred to as “Juice”. In order for the anabolic steroids to function and produce the results that the individual taking the steroids wants the person takes in way more than the body needs. Our bodies produce testosterone naturally but with the addition of these steroids the results are a person who has more testosterone than needed. Steroids can either be injected into the body or there are a few types that allow for oral ingestion.

Masking Agents- The purpose of masking agents are to do exactly as its name says. It is meant to mask the use of other performance enhancers. There are varying types of masking agents but the most common form of masking agents are diuretics. Diuretics help promote water loss is the body which means that the individual is urinating more often which helps either eliminate the chemical from the body or helps cover up the banned chemical.

Stimulants- Again is as it sounds it stimulates the body. Caffeine is a very common stimulant that can be found in soda and coffee for example. This drug helps you focus and helps you put off the feelings of fatigue, and also has the potential to mask pain. In performance enhancers stimulants can be inhaled, injected, or given orally in pill form.

Erythropoietin- also commonly known as EPO is another man made chemical that synthesizes hormones that promote red cell production. This creates an increase in red blood cells and this is important because the more red blood cells the more oxygen that the body can get. This gives the user a very large advantage in terms of performance. If anyone remembers this is the drug Lance Armstrong was using when he was still biking. EPO is done through blood doping. Blood is taken from the individual and scientific measures are taken to increase the red blood cells. Then a few days before the event the blood is then pumped back into the individual.

2) Sport enhancers have been taken since the ancient roman times before Christ. It was believed that doping which is derived from the Greek word “doop” would give the athlete a competitive edge. Athletes tried everything they could get their hands on including animal hearts and testicles. They also explored using hallucinogens and opium juices. Progressing through time athletes and even Hitler experimented using various chemicals and natural sources such as coca leaves which was believed to stave off fatigue and keep the athlete going. Hitler experimented steroids on prisoners to see the results and determine if he wanted to give it to his soldiers to give them an “edge”.

3. In the sports world all enhancing drugs are illegal and using them is identified as misuse. There should be no chemicals present in the athletes body when and if they are tested. Sports enhancers are highly trending right now as the latest and greatest undiscoverable agent is created. Recent studies are showing that high school athletes are even beginning to experiment with these agents to give themselves the competitive edge. These drugs are not only found in the agents I listed above but can be found in highly advertised supplements that are available for sale to anyone. Athletes are highly susceptible to falling into this trap and the consequences can be severe. As you watch ESPN or the news anytime this week look out for stories regarding sport enhancing drugs you will see just how popular and how destructive these drugs are becoming. Personally these drugs are ruining sports and the bodies of young athletes at an earlier and earlier age. Sport enhancers need to be more controlled if not eliminated entirely because at the rate we are going today we have a large issue on our hands.