Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports

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Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports
Kara Dunn
Axia College of the University of Phoenix

What are performance enhancing drugs? They are drugs that give an athletic advantage over those who do not use them. Performance enhancing drugs can be used to enlarge muscles or increase the blood's oxygen carrying capacity. The use of substances to improve athletic performance dates back thousands of years. These types of drugs are becoming more common and are being used at a younger age. Today's society is one that makes others feel as though they have to compete at the highest level to be successful.

There are many different types of performance enhancing drugs. Steroids and stimulants are types that recently received a lot of attention lately. Both of these drugs are controlled substances. Controlled substances are drugs whose manufacture, distribution, and use are regulated heavily by the government because they are highly abused and can cause medical complications (2007, King). Health supplements, even though they are over-the-counter, are frowned upon in most sports. Sometimes these supplements end up being banned and some are still legal. These types of performance enhancing drugs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the long term effects are unclear. The human growth hormone (HGH) is another performance enhancing drug, but one in which the enhancing effects are unknown (2007, King).

Medical procedures to improve performance are sometimes used instead of drugs. Blood doping and gene doping are two of these medical procedures. Blood doping increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood which boosts aerobic performance (2007, King). Hormone erythropoietin (EPO) is a drug that mimics blood doping. It is naturally occurring in the body and stimulates the production of red blood cells. This is illegally when injected and it is hard to pick up on a drug test (2007, King).

A variety of reasons exist in today's society...
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