Drugs in Sport

Drugs in Sport

Drugs in Sport

Drugs in Sport

Synopsis

Drug use and abuse represents perhaps the most profound and high-profile issue facing sport today. Each major international championship seems to deliver a new drug-related controversy, while drug takers and sports administrators attempt to out-manoeuvre each other with new substances and new testing procedures. Drugs in Sport - 3rd Edition is a fully revised and updated version of the most comprehensive and authoritative text available on the subject. Leading figures in the field explore the hard science behind every major class of drug, as well as the social, ethical and organisational dimensions to the issue. Key topics include: * analysis of all the key substances, including anabolic steroids, EPO and human growth hormone * alcohol and social drug use in sport * creatine and nutritional supplements * evidence and issues around doping control in sport. This is a highly accessible text for all sports science and sports studies students, coaches and professional sports people, and sports administrators and policy-makers.

Excerpt

The extensive use of medicinal products for the alleviation of the symptoms of disease can be traced back to the Greek physician, Galen, in the third century BC. Interestingly, it was Galen who reported that ancient Greek athletes used stimulants to enhance their physical performance. At the Ancient Olympic Games, athletes had special diets and were reported to have taken various substances to improve their physical capabilities. The winner of the 200 m sprint at the Olympic Games of 668 BC was said to have used a special diet of dried figs! (Finlay and Plecket, 1976). The Ancient Egyptians used a drink made from the hooves of asses, which had been ground and boiled in oil, then flavoured with rose petals and rose hips, to improve their performance. In Roman times, gladiators used stimulants to maintain energy levels after injury. Similar behaviour by medieval knights has also been noted (Donohoe and Johnson, 1986). In fact throughout history, there are examples that athletes have sought a magic potion to give them that extra edge, to help them take a short cut to achieving a good performance or to enable them to compete under circumstances when otherwise it might not have been possible, such as injury or illness. Today's athletes may simply be following previous traditions.

The use of drugs is not restricted to humans, horses were also found to have been doped. The intention was not always to improve performance, it may have been to 'nobble' the opposition. Doping of horses was prohibited in 1903, however it was not until saliva testing was used effectively in 1910 that horse doping could be proven. Subsequent improvements in technology to identify the vast range of substances prohibited in equestrian sports has led to blood and urine testing being carried out regularly at race meetings and more recently at no notice at stables.

In the nineteenth century, swimmers in the Amsterdam canal races were thought to have used some form of stimulant, as were cyclists in the endurance events. Caffeine, cocaine, strychnine, ether, alcohol and oxygen were reported to have been used alone and in combination (Goldman, 1992).

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