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Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports Fast Facts

Here’s a look at performance enhancing drugs in sports.


The use of performance-enhancing drugs by professional athletes, or “doping,” has been acknowledged as a problem since at least the 1960s.

The issue has gained prominence in the last 10 years as a result of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) investigation, tell-alls by former professional athletes and the Mitchell investigation into drugs in professional baseball.

About Performance-Enhancing Drugs:

There are several types of performance-enhancing drugs: anabolic steroids, stimulants, human growth hormone and supplements.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that stimulate proteins that help build non-fat muscle mass, helping an athlete become stronger and able to train and play for longer periods of time.

Tetrahydrogestrinone, also called “THG” or “The Clear,” is the type of steroid purportedly used by many high-profile athletes, including track star Marion Jones and baseball player Barry Bonds.

Stimulants help boost an athlete’s energy level, helpful after strenuous training. Amphetamines are a type of stimulant.

Human growth hormone (HGH), is available only by prescription and is administered by injection. Athletes take it for improved endurance and strength although there is no definitive proof that it boosts athletic performance.

Androstenedione, known as “andro,” was formerly an over-the counter supplement but was banned by the NFL, Olympics, NCAA and later the MLB. It helps the body process testosterone.

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