Methods used to research long-term effects of drug use in sport
So much so, that Todd (1987) estimated that by one third of the American track and field team had used steroids prior to the Mexico Olympics. Ziegler could not have imagined that his methods in producing a performance-enhancing drug would have such unprecedented long-term consequences. His actions, like all human actions were constrained by a complex network of relationships of which they are likely to have at best, only a limited awareness. When Dianobol hit the global market, athletes were known to be taking high doses.
It was only then that Ziegler ‘realised the mistake he had made introducing the drug to the athletic community’, and it dawned on him that he had ‘created a monster. A fact he regretted for the rest of his life’. (Voy, 1991) Blood doping is also a very common performance-enhancing drug. According to Gledhill & Norman (1982), The intent of blood doping is to increase maximal aerobic power by increasing the capacity of blood to carry oxygen. This manipulation gained notoriety in the sports world because of rumors of blood doping by competitors in endurance events.
Kalinski et al. (May 2003) found evidence of a state-sponsored blood doping programme in the former Soviet Union. They found information regarding the development and use of blood doping in the former USSR, which was previously unknown in the west. They found that both the Department of Biochemistry and the Division of Bioenergetics of the Central State Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow (USSR) had carried out research programs devoted to the application of ergogenic aids in the training of top athletes.
According to Volkov (1990), all the work was ordered and sponsored by the USSR’s State Sport Committee and the procedures involving blood withdrawal, storage, and preparation for transfusion were performed at the Central State Institute of Hematology and Transfusiology. It was found that Aerobic and anaerobic powers were assessed before and after blood letting as well as after blood reinfusion. Volkov (1990) observed a dramatic increase in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) during a training season in swimmers undergoing blood doping, when compared with the control group.
Kalinski et al.(2003) concludes the evidence revealed that the practice of blood doping was pervasive in the USSR. Middle and long distance swimmers, cyclists, rowers, skiers, biathlon athletes, and skaters used this procedure in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic games. The methods used to obtain this data I believe are quite conspicuous. Firstly, how was the data suddenly obtained, when it was previously unknown in the west for years? Information of this importance is not suddenly released ‘off the cuff’. Secondly how can kalinski et al. (2003) be so sure that this programme was in use at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics?
Therefore is the evidence completely reliable? Another popular method of performance enhancing involves diuretics. According to Goebel (2003), Diuretics are pharmaceutical drugs, which are used to increase urine flow by promoting the excretion of water by the kidneys. Their potent ability to remove water has caused diuretics to be misused in sport where rapid weight loss is required to meet a weight category. For example in Weightlifting and Horse Racing. Diuretics are often used as part of weight-loss diets, particularly in women.
Cole (1993) highlights the growing emphasis on cosmetic fitness and thinness among women, and the need for displaying ‘heterosexualised hard bodies’. This emphasis relates to the long-term effects on participation in sports by women. Many women who do participate in sport combine physical activity with weight-control behaviour that produces the desired effect of a lower body fat, but deprives them of nutrients, and increases the likelihood of injuries. Studies by Barr (1987) have shown numerous accounts of women using diuretics in conjunction with their training.
Reents (2002), explains that some diuretics have very adverse effects in themselves. Furosemide can cause quite large changes in electrolyte balance and impairment of the body’s cooling mechanisms. Obviously the long-term effects are not good, but such is the pressure to obtain that ‘slimline’ body, that people, (mostly women) use drugs to get it. The methods used are particularly valid, and shows that not all drugs are ‘performance enhancing’, but actually have the complete opposite effect.
Reference List www. bjamidlandarea. org. uk/drugsinsport.www. cbc. ca/sports/indepth/drugs/glossary/classes Gledhill, Norman (1982) – Medicine and science in sports & exercise Goebel et al. (2003) – Rapid screening methof for diuretics in doping control using automated solid phase extraction & liquid chromatography. Official journal of the Amercian college of sports medicine (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins) www. sciencedirect. com Sport & exercise Pharmacology – (Reents 1999) Sport, Health & Drugs – A critical sociological perspective – Ivan Waddington (2000) .