How Do Doping Drugs Work?

You Rockheads might have read my post about dopin’ in sports. If not, go here to learn all about it. I thought I’d talk here about the science of doping. How these drugs and methods work and why many are dangerous.Blood Doping

 

Here are the categories on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance and methods list*:

S0. Non-Approved Substances

S1. Anabolic Agents

S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and related Substances

S3. Beta-2 Agonists

S4. Hormone Antagonists and Modulators

S5. Diuretics and Other Masking Agent

 

Prohibited Methods

M1. Enhancement of Oxygen Transfer

M2. Chemical and Physical Manipulation

M3. Gene Doping

 

Substances and Methods Prohibited In-Competition

S6. Stimulants

S7. Narcotics

S8. Cannabinoids

S9. Glucocorticosteroids

 

Ok, let’s break this down.

S0. Non-Approved Substances

These are substances that are not currently on the list but have no government approval for human therapeutic use; these are banned at all times. Substances that fall under this are drugs in clinical development, discontinued drugs, designer drugs, and veterinary drugs.

S1. Anabolic Agents

These are steroids used to increase muscle mass and physical strength, shorten recovery time, and keep muscle from breaking down. There are a lot of bad side effects. Besides the well-known “‘roid rage,” anabolic steroids can cause your body to stop its normal production of testosterone, the testes to shrink, sperm production to drop, breast tissue to develop, and the liver to become diseased.

S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and related Substances

The definition of growth factors includes any “growth factor affecting muscle, tendon, or ligament protein synthesis/degradation, vascularization, energy utilization, regenerative capacity or fiber type switching.” This category includes human growth hormone (HGH) which is still considered a very complex hormone, and many of its functions are still unknown. Athletes use it for similar results as anabolic steroids. Some early studies have shown that taking HGH can actually decrease exercise stamina.

These also include EPO, a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production. This is used in a method called blood doping. Blood Doping is when an athlete removes about a liter of their own blood and freezes it so it doesn’t die. Once the blood has grown back into the body the extracted blood is put back in giving the athlete more red blood cells to carry oxygen to the muscles. EPO is used to increase how much oxygen is carried to the muscles to increase endurance.

S3. Beta-2 Agonists

These are usually used to treat asthma and pulmonary diseases. They cause smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in dilation of bronchial passages, vasodilation in muscle and liver, relaxation of uterine muscle, release of insulin, and contraction of the heart muscle. They are used by athletes to have anabolic effects (increased muscle mass, reduced body fat percentage and faster recovery rates). The side effects are insomnia, anxiety, increased heart rate, and tremors.

S4. Hormone Antagonists and Modulators

These are intended to raise hormone levels not be taking a particular hormone, like testosterone, but by altering related hormones or interfering with a hormone’s receptor.

S5. Diuretics and Other Masking Agent

These are taken to try to hide the fact that the athlete has taken a prohibited substance.

M1. Enhancement of Oxygen Transfer

This blood doping as described above.

M2. Chemical and Physical Manipulation

These are methods used to alter or tamper with a sample like such as injecting saline to try to dilute the blood.

M3. Gene Doping

Messin’ with yer genes!

S6. Stimulants

Stimulants directly affect the central nervous system, increasing blood flow and heart rate and inducing temporary improvements in either mental or physical function or both. Many of these drugs are also capable of causing anxiety and heart failure.

S7. Narcotics

Narcotic analgesics decrease the sensation of serious injuries, allowing athletes to continue training for competition after serious injuries.

S8. Cannabinoids

The cannabis products marijuana and hashish are also banned due to their cannabinoid content. This is because it is feared that this would give an advantage by decreasing anxiety in players of sports like archery and golf where concentration is desired.

S9. Glucocorticosteroids

Glucocorticosteroids affect the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and proteins, and regulate glycogen and blood pressure levels. They possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity and cause alteration of connective tissue in response to injuries. However, they can mask injuries which lead to more serious injuries.

 

Lots of info Rockheads, I know. If you’re lookin’ to be a better athlete, Ol’ Scratch recommends doin’ it the old fashion way; practice, exercise, and healthy food. If you are tryin’ to increase muscle mass, try a protein supplement first before you turn to doping.

 

Doping Body

 

 

* Most of this information comes from the USADA’s website, Webmd, and Wikipedia.

 
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One thought on “How Do Doping Drugs Work?

  • November 13, 2012 at 7:00 am
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    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Cheers! Where are your contact details though?

    Reply

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