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History of Doping

By adam46 Dec 01, 2009 945 Words
Adam Licht
Research paper Darft
History of doping

Texts going back in history suggest that men have always sought a way to work harder or at least to suffer less at what they were doing. It has even been argued that Adam and Eve were the first to take a substance (the forbidden fruit) to gain “god like power”. When the fittest of a nation were selected as athletes or combatants, they were fed diets and given treatments considered beneficial. Scandinavian mythology says Berserkers could drink a mixture called "butotens", perhaps prepared from the Amanita muscaria mushroom, and increase their physical power a dozen times at the risk of "going crazy .Even back in the original Olympics in the BC era, it was recorded that some athletes ate special diets in order to out perform other city states athletes.

We can’t really rely on that information due to how long ago it was. So the next accurate recorded case was in 1889. In 1889 a French psychologist by the name of Charles Brown-Sequard created a product that was made out of testicles from dogs and guinea pigs. The product description was a rejuvenating elixir and claimed to increase anyone’s physical strength. It is the first know product that contains testosterone.

Up until this point in history doping in sports is not a majorly discussed issue. The technology to create drugs that would change how we play sports now days was to far fetched. It was like talking about flying cars. In 1935, two men would change history with what they created. Adolf Butenandt and Leopold Ruzicka, two German scientist, developed synthetic testosterone and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Now, they never intended for their discoveyr to be used outside medical purpose, it happened anyway.

In the 1940’s Researchers found that men given testosterone had an increased capacity for endurance work. Weightlifters and other athletes begin experimenting with testosterone and other synthetic steroids to improve performance. It was found out that the Nazi tested primitive steroids on POW’s. No one knows how the test turned out due to the burning of the documents when Germany surrenders the war.

The 1950’s was the first time of a team being rumored to be using steroids. The Russian Olympic was rumored to have given their athletes steroids to out perform the competition. The reasoning behind this was because they basically ran the table at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. The rumors are confirmed only two years later when a Russian weightlifting coach tells the American coach, John Ziegler, about the benefits of using testosterone and other steroids. When this is found out, world athletes start using steroids on a regular basis. Also the downfall of doping is yet to be fully understood.

In 1975, steroid use is banned by the Olympic committee after a series of fatal cycling accidents. One cyclist crash after taking a stimulate and dies from a skull fracture. Where another cyclist Tom Simpson collapsed and died while ascending Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France. His autopsy showed he had consumed amphetamines, which resulted in heart failure. His death spurs the Tour de France to institute doping controls, which in turn influences the Olympic Committee to do the same.

In the 1980’s two more kinds of steroids are produced. In 83’ the gene for human erythropoietin (EPO) is cloned, then in 1985 HGH, a synthetic human growth hormone, is produced. This in turn forces the U.S. to ban the sale of anabolic steroids for non-medical purposes is outlawed in the United States. At the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of his gold medal in the 100-meter race after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol.

In 1990, the NFL mandates year round drug testing to prevent players from using steroids in the offseason. In 1991, a new federal law makes it illegal to sell or possess anabolic steroids in the United States without a doctor's prescription. In 1998 a few major events took place involving steroids. First, customs agents find 13 vials of HGH carried by a Chinese swimmer as she arrives for the world championships. Second, vials of EPO are discovered in a French Festina team car at the Tour de France. Several riders and team support crew are charged with doping. They were suspended. And third, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire admits using androstenedione.

In the past ten years, there have been a number of reforms and new policies instated to enforce the ban on steroids. Like how the NHL instituted a drug-testing policy for performance-enhancing substances. Players are tested twice a year. The first positive results in a 20-game suspension, the second brings 60 games and the third a permanent ban, though players can apply for reinstatement after two years. This took place in 2005 as well as Jose Canseco admitting to taking steroids and accused many MLB stars of using performance-enhancing drugs in his book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big.’. These are the major events in history about steroids. This industry starts out very primitive and becomes one of the most complex jobs in the worlds by creating these synthetic hormones. In my opinion, the reason we study history is to learn from our mistakes, but what I see in my research is that some humans are ignorant to our limitations. We can have god like strength or improve our speed but it takes old fashion work. The athletes who use steroids are cheating themselves as well as others.

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