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An overview of the anabolic steroids in the olympics

Erythropoietin initially proved very difficult to detect in doping athletes because it closely matches the hormone naturally occurring in the body. Not only that, but it disappears from the body within a few days. A test developed in Australia was first used at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney to identify erythropoietin in urine, but it did not identify any positives. But the Australian experts from the Institute of Sport had also developed another method that could identify athletes who had used erythropoietin weeks before — by looking at how indirect markers in their blood had changed.

The use and abuse of anabolic steroids in Olympic-caliber athletes.

Now anti-doping authorities find blood dopers by looking for abnormalities in indirect markers of blood doping in samples taken from athletes over time, called the athlete's biological passport ABP.

Cycling and athletics are the sports where hormones that increase oxygen supply are most often detected. Blood doping can cause heart attacks and stroke and many athletes have died after using erythropoietin. Growth factors Scientists worked out how to make growth hormone to treat children with growth deficiencies. Athletes take growth hormone and other growth factors because they reportedly boost muscle mass and power.

Blood doping

But there is little clinical evidence these effects are real and growth hormone is most often used in a cocktail of drugs with steroids. Growth hormones are very hard to detect because they are present in the blood and urine at very low levels and disappear quickly from the bloodstream. A growth hormone test was first used at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Russian powerlifters Nikolay Marfin and Vadim Rakitin were disqualified before the London 2012 Paralympics when they tested positive for it.

Side effects of growth hormone include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

  • Growth hormones are very hard to detect because they are present in the blood and urine at very low levels and disappear quickly from the bloodstream;
  • Methods to detect AAS have evolved gradually over the past three decades and currently, despite an impressive array of sophisticated analytical equipment and methods, anti-doping authorities and analytical scientists continue to face challenges as have occurred from the use by athletes of designer AAS during the past few years;
  • AFP They were originally banned because they were thought to dilute the concentration of banned drugs in urine;
  • Diuretics, which boost urine production, are also classed as masking drugs;
  • The use of anabolic steroids by athletes and others is not only wrong, but also illegal, because increased muscle mass is not the only effect of using these chemicals.

WADA also bans a range of drugs that alter metabolism. Masking drugs WADA has banned a series of drugs they call "masking agents", which make other banned drugs harder to detect. Some masking agents act by stopping particular drug products forming in the urine.

  • If the only effect of anabolic steroids on your body was to enhance your athletic performance by increasing your muscle mass, using them would still be wrong, for one very simple and important reason;
  • Beta-blockers are drugs that control heart rate, hand tremor and anxiety, an advantage in any sport where a steady hand is important;
  • Among adolescents, anabolic steroids can also lead to premature termination of the adolescent growth spurt, so that for the rest of their lives users remain shorter than they would have been without the drugs.

Plasma expanders work by increasing the volume of blood, which hides erythropoietin or other red blood cell boosters. Diuretics, which boost urine production, are also classed as masking drugs. Australian swimmer Kylie Palmer withdrew from the Australian team last year after testing positive, with a minute amount of a diuretic found in her system.

AFP They were originally banned because they were thought to dilute the concentration of banned drugs in urine.

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This is less of a concern with more sensitive drug detection, but diuretics are still banned because they can cause fast weight loss in sports like boxing and weightlifting. Such weight loss would let an athlete unfairly compete in a lower weight category. Australian Olympic team wrestler Vinod Kumar was suspended for four years last month following a positive drug test and will not compete for Australia in Rio.

  1. They are banned in archery and shooting, though only during competition, not in training.
  2. Mixtures of stimulants, including the poison strychnine, heroin, cocaine and caffeine, were used by athletes until the 1920s.
  3. Australian swimmer Kylie Palmer withdrew from the Australian team last year after testing positive, with a minute amount of a diuretic found in her system. WADA also bans a range of drugs that alter metabolism.
  4. Athletes take steroids believing the steroids will allow increased periods of intensive training and will increase muscle strength with proper weight training. Most athletes taking anabolic steroids are taking very large doses with no thought as to the potential adverse side effects.
  5. Athletes take growth hormone and other growth factors because they reportedly boost muscle mass and power. Anabolic steroids break down white matter in the brain, says Hildebrandt.

According to media reports, he reportedly tested positive for a diuretic Uppers and downers Stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine can improve endurance, increase alertness and make athletes less tired. Mixtures of stimulants, including the poison strychnine, heroin, cocaine and caffeine, were used by athletes until the 1920s.

They are all banned by WADA, except for caffeine.

  • Helping anabolic steroid users get clean is another challenge;
  • Scientists soon discovered that by slightly altering the chemical structure of testosterone, they could produce synthetic versions, like the two structures shown in the diagram, that facilitated the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals;
  • All require a prescription to be used legally in the United States, and all are banned in professional, college, and high school sports.

Likewise, drugs that have a calming effect are also banned, but only in particular sports. Beta-blockers are drugs that control heart rate, hand tremor and anxiety, an advantage in any sport where a steady hand is important. They are banned in archery and shooting, though only during competition, not in training. North Korean shooting double medallist Kim Jong-Su was stripped of his medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after he tested positive for a beta-blocker. Chinese swimmer Sun Yang served a ban for taking trimetazidine, which the World Anti-Doping Agency previously classified as a stimulant but is now classed as a metabolic modulator.

It is used to treat angina, a heart condition that causes chest pain through lack of oxygen. In athletes it improves their oxygen use. Gene doping Gene doping is the new frontier of doping in sport. The idea is that a gene is transferred into the cells of the body to change the levels of genes and therefore proteins — to improve performance. Gene therapy was developed to replace defective genes or proteins in people who have genetic diseases. Erythropoietin is an obvious target for gene doping and a genetically modified erythropoietin to treat anaemia in cancer patients has already been developed.

It works by adding a modified erythropoietin gene to the patient, which responds to low oxygen concentrations in the blood. Gene doping is very difficult to detect because the introduced genes cause proteins to be expressed that are very similar to those the body produces naturally.

But putting foreign genes into the body irreversibly alters body chemistry and is fraught with risk.

  1. Any type of drug abuse comes with its own societal stigma, making it more difficult for addicts to get help. If someone was not an aggressive person, they are not going to start bar fights all of a sudden, but they will be more irritable and quicker to react, he explains.
  2. Of the 37 olympic athletes disqualified in Bejing for anabolic steroid use, 22 were weight lifters.
  3. Professor Fitch said that without a test to detect gene doping, it was impossible to know if athletes were already doing it. Some masking agents act by stopping particular drug products forming in the urine.
  4. A test developed in Australia was first used at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney to identify erythropoietin in urine, but it did not identify any positives. AFP They were originally banned because they were thought to dilute the concentration of banned drugs in urine.
  5. Helping anabolic steroid users get clean is another challenge.

WADA bans all forms of gene doping even though there is no test for it. Professor Fitch said that without a test to detect gene doping, it was impossible to know if athletes were already doing it.