What is Doping and How Athletes Enhancing Their Physical Performance

what is doping
What is Doping?

You’ve heard the news that Lance Armstrong has finally admitted to doping and now maybe you’re wondering what exactly doping is and why all the fuss. Was what he did illegal, immoral or both?

Doping by Definition

When someone is doping, it means that they’re enhancing their physical performance with the use of some sort of drug. Of course, when you hear the word ‘drug’ the first thing that may come to mind is something illegal and, in some cases you would be right.

However, the drug itself may not be illegal; it may just be that it is simply banned by that sport’s professional association. That would shift it to something that isn’t necessarily prohibited by law, but rather something forbidden by the rules set in place for that particular group.

What are some drugs that are prohibited? According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the 2013 list includes substances such as:

  • Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
  • Peptide Hormones and Growth Factors
  • Beta-2 Agonists
  • Hormone and Metabolic Modulators
  • Diuretics and Other Masking Agents
  • Stimulants
  • Narcotics

While there are several more items on their list of prohibited drugs, this gives you an idea of what substances they’re trying to keep out of the world of professional sports.

Why is Doping so Bad?

Anti-doping health professionals outline a couple of reasons as to why doping is such a serious offense in the world of sports. First, some substances that people use to dope with are potentially harmful to the body. Sure, they may make the athlete function better in the short run, but they also pose a long term risk to their heart and other body systems by introducing unnatural ingredients into the human body.

Second, it gives the doper an unfair advantage against the other athletes that are competing. If someone is adhering to the no doping rule, they may not fare as well as someone who is using these body altering substances.

Doping is a huge deal in the world of professional sports. Not only can it cost you removal of some very high medals and honors, as it did with Lance Armstrong, but it can also tarnish your character, reputation and integrity. The question is, is it worth it?

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