Doping - unauthorized and unhealthy

No world-class sporting event, it seems, can do without a doping scandal. Whether winter or summer Olympics, Tour de France, World or European Championships: The unfairness is apparently just as much as the much cited Olympic spirit or the "Elf-friends-must-be-yours" group happiness.

Faster, higher, further - at any price?

Who dopt acts unfair and harms himself. First, the use of unauthorized means to increase performance is unfair. This ethical-moral side of the coin not only affects the sports club community, but is an overall social problem. Second, as in the past, doping can cause massive health damage. In addition to the often long-term consequences for athletes, doping late damage now also entails criminal consequences under the aspect of personal injury. But obviously neither the one nor the other keeps athletes, coaches, carers and officials from recognizing the natural limits of well-trained top athletes.

Doping is ...

... according to the framework guidelines of the Main Committee of the German Federation of Sports (DSB) the attempt to increase performance by the application (ingestion, injection or administration) of substances of the prohibited groups or by the application of prohibited methods (eg blood doping).
Accordingly, there is a long list of banned substances that include, but are not limited to, stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, diuretics, peptide hormones, and compounds that are chemically, pharmacologically, or of desired effect. In addition, other substances and drug groups, eg. As alcohol, sedatives, psychotropic drugs, beta-blockers, listed under the doping substances, if they are used accordingly in sports.

An old problem

Especially strength athletes such as weightlifters, discus and hammer throwers, but also cyclists, runners and swimmers are among the repeated Dopingsündern. The history of doping is as old as the Olympics itself - attempts to increase performance have been around since antiquity, where wrestlers, for example, tried to gain extra strength by eating bull's testicles. The term "doping" was first used in 1899. An English lexicon entry under this term referred to the administration of a mixture of opium and narcotics for racehorses.

Anabolic agents

From the experience of animal breeding because some of the unlawful in athletes doping, such as drugs with anabolic effect, which together with an increased food intake lead to more muscle and muscle strength. The term "anabolic" comes from the Greek and means "muscle building". Above all, by the late effects now known in athletes from the former Eastern Bloc states, one knows that anabolic steroids can lead to growth in adolescents, severe liver damage or liver cancer, inhibition of sperm production in men and masculinization in women. Psychological consequences have also become known. Nevertheless, even today anabolic steroids are used in doping, because while they are used during training and between the competitions, but then be dropped off in time for the sporting event. The proof is so hardly possible, which is why now often doping controls at random are required during the training phases. Since 1989 there is a catalog of the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which contains the doping substance classes and doping methods. It needs to be updated regularly. These substances include:

  • stimulants
    These substances increase attention and motivation. They delay the fatigue, but also lead to an increase in aggressiveness and a reduction in self-control. Amphetamines and drugs with a potent central nervous system action are included. These substances are very similar to the natural substance adrenaline, which has been increasingly released from the body by humans in ancient times in extreme dangerous situations. At maximum physical stress, even a "normal" dosage can be fatal. However, because cough, cold or circulatory means may contain these funds, they may be taken only after consultation with the responsible physician of the Association and must be discontinued at least three days before the competition. This class of substances also includes caffeine and ephedrine, which is used, among other things, as an allergy remedy for hay fever and asthma.
  • narcotics
    Narcotics are painkilling substances that are used abusively. This includes codeine, which is used in painkillers and cough medicine. However, this substance is no longer prohibited.
  • Diuretics are substances that increase urinary excretion (diuresis). They are used in medicine for the treatment of hypertension, for the treatment of ascites and the elimination of cell footage in edema. With doping, you want to achieve two main things with diuretics: Firstly, the increased fluid excretion to ensure rapid weight loss in martial arts with weight classes. In addition, it is intended to reduce the concentration of doping agents in the urine and thus prevent their detection. For example, patients with heart failure who regularly take diuretics know that such an intervention in the electrolyte balance must be closely monitored. Because the balance of electrolytes in the body is closely linked to the water balance and can - if it gets out of hand - lead from severe dysfunction to death.
  • Peptide and glycoprotein hormones and analogs
    These include the growth hormone HGH (Human Growth Hormone, Somatropin) and erythropoietin (EPO). While there are no actual performance-enhancing effects at the HGH, it can lead to serious damage even after completion of the growth phase. Especially an enlarged heart can cause great problems for the athletes. EPO is made as a glycoprotein, a composite protein, naturally in the kidney. It regulates the rate of synthesis of red blood cells. Thus, the oxygen absorption capacity of the blood can be increased and thus a higher performance in the endurance range (20-30 minutes) can be achieved. Especially in cycling, this substance is therefore often used without permission. However, EPO also leads to a thickening of the blood, as a result of which it can lead to blockage of the arteries (thrombosis) and thus death. Genetically engineered erythropoietin has been used since 1989 to treat anemia associated with chronic renal failure (renal anemia), which also affects the body's own EPO production. However, this substance can hardly be distinguished from the body's own, which led to problems in the detection of doping. A drug that has been further developed since 2001 now ensures that the active ingredient remains longer in the body in patients with renal anemia and that the substance is better distinguishable from the body's own EPO.

Drug groups whose authorization is restricted

Alcohol, marijuana, local anesthetics, corticosteroids and beta-blockers complete the list. Local narcotics (except cocaine) may be used for medical indication under information from the IOC Medical Commission. Corticosteroids should only be given as ointments or as an injection if medically necessary. This also applies to beta-blockers, ie antihypertensive agents. Substances belonging to the prohibited groups of active substances may only be administered to competitive athletes if their use is expressly permitted by the IOC Medical Commission. The list of prohibited substances does not only contain substances, but consequently also the methods by which they are used. These include blood doping, in which the banned substances are more or less administered as a "self-blood transfusion", which can lead to kidney damage and other side effects.Of course, a manipulation of the urine sample, which is used for doping control, not allowed.

Gene doping

Scientists and critics expect therapeutic developments in this area to be used abusively in sports, and the genetic modification of the genome has not been included in the doping list so far It is expected that therapeutic developments that are taking place in the future will abusively be used to increase performance.What sounds like distant music of the future has already been successfully practiced in animal experiments.In December 2001, a US biotech company was granted a patent for a treatment for anemia By injecting genetically modified viruses, body cells are induced to produce EPO, unlike artificially produced substances, this form of EPO would no longer be detectable, and overproduction could easily be inborn as a degenerate However, this manipulation could probably be proved by a DNA analysis.

Doping, the big cat-and-mouse game between athletes and the anti-doping agencies, harms everyone. Real winners can not be doping.

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