Types of Drugs used in Sport
There are five main categories of drug that are banned
because experts believe they may give an unfair advantage:
•Anabolic steroids - these help athletes to build muscle, and
to recover faster from training;
•Peptide hormones - these are substances that occur
naturally in the body, but which produce similar effects to the
•Strong analgesic painkillers - such as morphine and other
•Stimulants - drugs like amphetamines and cocaine can
raise the heart rate and may improve performance;
•Diuretics - chemicals that help the body to lose fluids, and
may, for instance, be useful in helping boxers to meet their
But - Some cold and cough remedies include
banned stimulants such as ephedrin and pseudo-
Asthma inhalers contain steroids and Beta
blockers are used to treat Heart conditions
Tommy Simpson was one of Britain's
most successful cyclists, yet his
memory is plagued with controversy
after he "rode himself to death".
Who Cares? – Let them take what the want…..
Surely the fascination with is just to see what the
human body can produce –
The Olympic motto is Fortius, Altius Maximus
which means – Stronger, Higher, Faster
But what about Role Models? – the kids see
the stars and want to copy them!!!!
All athletes want to get the edge - the line
between legal and illegal is easy to cross -
Creatine is sold legally over the counter in synthetic
form as an amino acid powder. It helps build muscle and
speeds recovery from training.
Trypthophan or 5HT - claimed to boost production of the
"fight or flight" hormone adrenalin
Glutamine - claimed to reduce fatigue, build muscle and
boost the immune system
A recent national newspaper poll of top athletes found
that more than half admitted taking Creatine.
David Brailsford from the GB team comments, "I
think it's fair to say the problem exists… and I
think once you accept there is a problem you can
go out and openly try to do something about it."
David says that Great Britain is doing something
about it, with new programmes being put into
Under the new system all riders in Team GB will
have to submit to monthly drugs tests. "That way
we can ensure that anyone who rides for Britain is
clean," explains David.
What more can be done?
• Better tests
• Different sanctions – Zero Tolerance?
Lifetime bans? (2 yrs in cycling)
• Spread out prize money – Less need to win!
• Better Education
Every world-class event is somehow tainted by
"doping", the use of illicit performance-enhancing
• Are the Olympic Committee turning a blind eye or in
a state of denial
• Is the business side of the games too important?
• The IOC has even been accused of "covering-up" the
drug epidemic in sport, but critics contend that the
organization has sometimes discarded positive drug
test results in fear that the image of the Games would
Random Drug Testing - How does it work?
The testing officer approaches
the sportsman to be tested and
shows them his UK Sport
accreditation. From this point on
they must have the official with
them at all times, until the test
The sportsman signs the
Sample Collection Form. He
gives his name, the event he
has been competing in and an
address for notification of the
Inside the designated doping
control area, the athlete selects
a pot to hold their urine sample.
They are given a choice of at
least three pots.
Having washed their hands,
the athlete takes the pot and
produces the sample. Their
midriff and genitals must be
clearly visible so the testing
officer can see the urine going
directly from body to pot.
The athlete takes a fresh lid
from a selection offered by
the testing officer and seals
There must be at least 75
millilitres of urine for the
sample to be valid. If the
athlete cannot produce enough
in one go, the test is put on
hold until they can.
The athlete is asked to choose
from a selection of sealed
sample boxes. While the
testing officer dons rubber
gloves, they check the seal is
Inside the box are the red
'A' and blue 'B' sample
bottles. Checking that the
seal is unbroken, the athlete
tears open the cellophane
In full view of the tester, the
athlete then re-opens his sealed
urine sample and pours equal
amounts into the 'A' and 'B'
samples. He leaves a small amount of
urine in the original pot.
The athlete screws lockable lids
onto the two sample bottles. The
bottles are turned upside down
to make certain there is no
The tester takes the remainder
of the sample and checks it to
make sure the specific gravity
(concentration) and pH (acidity)
are within the agreed limits. If
the athlete has drunk too much
water, the urine may be too weak
to be tested.
The sportsman is asked to
declare if they have taken any
medication in the last seven
days, and if so, what product,
when and how much. Even a
household drug like
paracetemol must be included.
The athlete signs having been
asked to double-check all the
information on the form, from
the time and date of test to his
or her own name, address and
The tester fills in a Chain of Custody
form, which states the number of
samples, whether they are in or out
of competition, the sport and the
sport's governing body. The samples
are identifiable only by a barcode -
there is no reference whatsoever to
the athlete's identity. Then they are
sent by courier to the Lab.