How Doping Can Ruin Your Career and Worse


How Doping Can Ruin Your Career and Make You an Addict

It’s very common these days- an athlete emerges and rises to become a superstar in a short duration. Fans marvel at their quickness, agility, and strength. Then all over sudden, the athlete faces doping accusations followed by probations, investigations, suspension and subsequent permanent ban from professional sporting. Their career comes to an end. This leaves many fans wondering why a professional athlete would put their career at risk with doping.

Why Sportsmen Use Doping?

There are many reasons why a sportsman would use doping. These professionals are under enormous pressure to perform optimally and excel in every competition. In addition to getting a gold medal, an athlete earns a huge amount of money with every win. They also become famous. But, sportsmen have a limited time to achieve all this.

Although sportsmen know that the best way to win competitions is to train, they realize that practices like doping can enhance their performance. Thus, doping can be a shortcut to riches and fame. For many years, sportsmen have always engaged in any preparation as long as it enhances their performance. But, the use of performance-enhancing drugs increased during the 1960s. Although the exact reason for this increase remains uncertain, it’s at this time that the sale of anabolic-androgenic steroids became popular. Since that time, there has been an increase in the number of athletes looking for the best drug rehab centers in their efforts to recover from addiction.

Overall, sportsmen use doping for the following reasons:

  • To build mass and muscles and/or bones strength
  • To boost oxygen delivery to the exercising tissues
  • For body stimulation
  • To mask pain
  • To reduce weight
  • To relax
  • To hide the effects of other drugs’ use

Essentially, most sportsmen use doping in their attempt to achieve international excellence. Unfortunately, most performance-enhancing drugs have been banned in most competitions.

How Doping Affects the Body and Performance of Sportsmen

Doping is a widespread problem in the world of sports. A lot of emphases is put on doping detection. The detrimental effects that doping agents have on the health of athletes are rarely discussed. But, research shows that some performance-enhancing drugs such as androgenic anabolic steroids have positive effects on the strength and mass of the muscles of athletes.

The hormone responsible for human growth increases the muscle mass. However, this is largely attributed to extracellular fluid increase rather than the muscle mass. In a recreational athlete, there is no major effect of the growth hormone on muscle power, aerobic capacity, and strength. However, it stimulates the capacity for anaerobic exercise.

Administration of erythropoietin increases the capacity of blood to carry oxygen while enhancing endurance measures. When a beta-adrenergic agonist is administered systematically, it can affect sprint capacity positively while beta-adrenergic antagonist can minimize muscle tremor. As such, some drugs have the potential to improve certain aspects of the athlete’s physical performance.

Nevertheless, there are doping agents that affect the body of sportsmen and their performance negatively. Their effects are the reason there are increasing numbers of athletes going to drug rehab centers. These drugs have worse effects when used at high doses, for long durations, and in combination. Predicting the long-term effects of these drugs on the health and performance of sportsmen is not easy. However, they are mostly substantial, particularly for athletes where gene doping is a consideration.

Overall, some of the negative effects of doping on the health of sportsmen include baldness, breast tissue enlargement, impotence, as well as a decrease in sperm production, severe headaches, hypertension, anxiety attacks, and increased aggressiveness which leads to criminal behavior.

In addition to affecting the health of an athlete, doping can ruin your career. That’s because it is considered unethical. Doping is an artificial enhancement of the performance of a sportsman via illegitimate means. This implies that an athlete that uses performance enhancing drugs wins unlawfully while robbing hardworking and honest athletes their opportunity to win.

As such, if it’s proven that a sportsman has been using doping, they are stripped off the titles they have won. For instance, when Lance Armstrong confessed to doping in 2013, he was stripped of all Tour de France Titles he had won between 1999 and 2005. Maria Sharapova was also slapped with a 2-year ban from tennis competitions after testing positive for an anti-ischemic drug called Meldonium.

Why Doping Is Not What Athletes Need to Use

Doping entails the use of synthetic substances that enhance sportsmen performance. Sporting is primarily aimed at testing the natural human limits. Doping provides a way of extending these limits artificially. This makes it wrong because it beats the sporting essence.

In addition to synthetic substances like anabolic steroids, there are naturally occurring drugs like Erythropoietin that are banned. Even techniques like blood doping that do not involve synthetic substances are banned. That’s because practices like blood doping increase the supply of red blood cell, thereby boosting stamina.

Essentially, doping is wrong because it gives some athletes illegitimate advantage over the others who do not use performance-enhancing drugs. It also puts athletes that do not use performance-enhancing drugs under pressure to dope to achieve the same advantage. Unfortunately, doping has negative effects that lead most athletes to drug rehab facilities.

How Sportsmen Recover and Detox after Using Dope

Research has shown that the best way to address doping among sportsmen is by taking preventative measures, motivational interviewing, and education. However, pharmacologic interventions should be used when necessary. Most performance-enhancing drugs do not fall under prescription medications or illegal drugs categories. Some of them are actually dietary supplements and they are available in healthy foods and grocery stores both locally and online. This makes them readily available to athletes. What’s more, athletes can use substances like marijuana and alcohol for recreational purposes without the intention of enhancing their performance.

However, there are sportsmen that use these substances to cope with stressors like pain, injuries, and retirement. Unfortunately, this can lead to substance use disorders regardless of the reason for their use. When this happens, sportsmen need to detox and recover from addiction. A sportsman can do this by entering a reputable drug rehab facility or alcohol treatment center. Such a center provides all the assistance sportsmen need to detox and recover from substance addiction safely and effectively.

The Bottom Line

Your sporting career can come to an end due to doping. You can also become an addict after using performance-enhancing drugs for some time. Therefore, avoiding doping is the best way to prevent your career from being ruined by performance-enhancing drugs. Nevertheless, it’s possible to detox and recover from addiction after using dope. Thus, life doesn’t have to end because your career has been ruined by doping.

About the Author:

Thanush Poulsen is a Danish journalist who closely investigates how drugs affect the human body and mind.