Doping: Red Blood Cells

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Cesar Escobar
Per. 5 Martinez

Summary on Project

I decided to do my project on Doping in Sports. Doping is a very controversial topic in

sports, mainly baseball and the Olympics. Doping refers to the act of using performance

enhancing drugs to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent. Some examples of

doping substances include anabolic steroids, erythropoietin (EPO), tetrahydrogestrinone

(THG) and modafinil. Some substances are legal in small doses such as alcohol and

caffeine. Another form of "doping" is blood doping. Blood doping is the practice of

boosting the number of red blood cells (RBCs) in the circulation in order to enhance your

athletic performance. Since they carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, more

RBC's in the blood can improve an athlete's aerobic capacity and stamina. Another form

of blood doping is using the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). Considered doping by many

would be using substances that mask or hide substances tested for doping. There have

been many organizations that are now fighting against the use of doping substances and

masking agents. The first international governing body of sports to take the situation

seriously was the International Amateur Athletic Federation (now know as the

International Association of Athletics Federations). In 1928, they banned participants

from doping. But since at the time there was little way of testing if an athlete was clean or

not, most of the time, they would have to take their word for it. From there, nobody really

did much about it until 1966. FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association)

and Union Cycliste Internationale joined the IAAF in the fight against drugs and doping

in sports. The following year, the International Olympic Committee joined in the fight.

Progress in pharmacology has always made it difficult for sports federations to

implement rigorous and thorough testing...
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