Blood Doping

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Blood doping is a way to enhance your athletic ability illegally. Although this is not as common as steroids, or other drugs, blood doping is still a serious threat to an athlete’s body if done wrong, or overused. Blood doping is most easily explained as an athlete getting extra red blood cells to increase their stamina. This process is as complicated as it sounds, with many different things that could go wrong. To first start out this process you would have to have a trustworthy doctor, or somebody who has a lot of experience with blood cells. After this step, you make a decision to either use your own blood or somebody’s illegally donated blood. Whenever you get the blood, you have to separate the red blood cells and put them directly into the freezer, where they will stay until a couple days before your big event. Using somebody else’s blood is called homologous transfusion. Although those who use homologous transfusions may be able to train harder before their competition, they run the risk of contracting several threatening diseases. Some of these blood borne diseases include AIDS, hepatitis, and malaria. The other type of method somebody would use is called auto-transfusion which means you take your own blood out of yourself, then you use a centrifuge machine, which separates the red blood cells. Usually with an auto-transfusion you have to do this a couple months before your event. Then about 7 days before your event you replace the red blood cells into your bloodstream. This method may seem like the easiest way, although removing your own red blood cells makes you weaker, which means you cannot train near as well. On the last day of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, three cross-country skiers were booted out of the Games for blood doping. Two of the skiers lost their medals; the other was disqualified from the games. Blood doping by athletes is cheating - just like using steroids or bribing a judge. The 2006 Winter Olympic Games saw police...
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