Category Archives: Doping in Sports


By @forensicfield

What is Doping ?

Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following anti-doping rule violations.

  1. Presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample
  2. Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or method.
  3. Refusing to submit to sample  after being noticed.
  4. Failure to file athlete whereabouts information & missed tests.
  5. Tampering with any part of the doping control process.
  6. Possession of a prohibited substance or method.
  7. Administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to a athlete
  8. Trafficking a prohibited substance or method

Why sports performers take drugs?

  • Better results lead to better sponsors and endorsement contracts
  • Desire to be the best at all costs; winning brings financial rewards
  • Making the most of a short sporting life
  • To recover from injury more quickly or to mask pain
  • Influenced by others
  • Desire to meet expectations of others
  • Natural ability isn’t good enough

History of Doping

  • Ancient Greeks ate plants to try to improve performance at the Olympic Games.
  • 1886: Fatality of an English cyclist using the stimulant trimethyl.
  • 1904 Olympic Games: Some American cyclists used strychnine.
  • 1976 Montreal Olympic Games dominated by East German women‘s swim team.

Historical Efforts to Stop Doping

  • 1983:    The USOC Drug Control program was established (widespread perception that the USOC was helping athletes beat testing programs).
  • 1950s:  IOC passed a resolution against doping.
  • 1967: IOC established a medical commission to control drug use.
  • 1988:    Summer Olympic Games in Seoul: Ben Johnson.’’


A drug is any chemical substance you take that affects the way your body works.

Most drugs are developed for medical purposes, but doping means taking drugs to improve sporting performance.

It is a growing problem in sport.

Classes of Banned Substances

  • Stimulants
  • Narcotics Analgesics
  • Diuretics
  • Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers

Why are they banned?

  • Health Concerns – some drugs used by athletes can have serious effects on an individual’s health. e.g. Anabolic Steroids
  • Legal Concerns – some drugs are banned because they are illegal in general society. e.g. Cocaine
  • Ethical Concerns – The use of certain drugs which do not pose a major health risk, but may offer a performance advantage over other athletes. This may be considered cheating. e.g. Beta Blockers

Anabolic agents

Anabolic agents are the most commonly used drugs in sports. They mimic testosterone, a male hormone


  • Stanozolol
  • Clenbuterol
  • Boldenone
  • Nandrolone
  • Testosterone

Effects can include:

  • Increases muscle mass
  • Develops bone growth
  • Increases strength,
  • Rapid improvement
  • Increases aggression

Side-effects can include



Stimulants are the second most commonly used drugs in sports.

Examples of these drugs include: amphetamines, ephedrine, cocaine and caffeine.

Effects can include:

  • Reduces feelings of tiredness so a person can train for longer.
  • Stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) making people more alert

Side-effects can include:

  • User becomes irritable and is unable to sleep.
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular and faster heartbeat.


Narcotic analgesics are addictive drugs & are usually injected into the blood stream. Ex: heroin, methadone, morphine & codeine.

Effects can include:

  • Reduces the sensation of the central nervous system.
  • Masks pain

Side-effects can include:

  • Loss Of Concentration
  • Loss Of Coordination


Diuretics are drugs which increase the rate of water loss from the body. Ex: Furosemide, Triamterene & Chlortalidone.

Effects can include

  • Diuretics are used in sports where there are weight categories to ‘make the weight’.
  • Speeds up work of kidneys by producing more urine. This reduces fluid retention, which causes rapid weight loss.

Side-effects can include:

  • Dehydration and possibly dizziness.
  • Headaches, nausea & fatigue.
  • Kidney illness can develop.
  • Muscle cramps.


Beta-blockers are used as a relaxant.

Examples– atenolol and nodolol.

Side effect

However, they can reduce the heart rate so much that there is a danger that the heart may stop.

Effects of Substances -BLOOD DOPING

  • A procedure which involves injecting extra blood, red blood cells, artificial oxygen carriers and related blood products into the body as a means of increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
  • Flaws in technique can lead to complications ranging from bacterial infections to fatal reactions.
  • The sharing of needles or blood can lead to diseases such as hepatitis or HIV.

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By @forensicfield

What is Doping? 

Doping means illegal intake of substances by athletes to enhance their performances. The most commonly used drugs are stimulants and hormones.



*The detection period is very much dose-dependent. The larger the dose, the longer the period the drug/metabolite can be detected in the urine.

Legal provisions for Drug abuse in sports

WADA (world Anti Doping Agency) is a Swiss private law foundation contains all legal clause for drug abuse in sports.

According to BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative)

  • First offense: 50 game suspension
  • Second offense: 100 game suspension
  • Third offense: Lifetime ban
  • First offense: four game suspension
  • Second offense: six game suspension
  • Third offense: minimum one year suspension

Forensic Aspect Of Drugs Abuse in Sports

Drugs testing for legal purposes primarily aims to detect illegal or banned drugs use in a variety of situations.

Forensic toxicology testing using a variety of body fluids and tissues that may be tested during a crime  investigation, the goal may be to determine whether drugs were a contributing factor to an accident or crime, such as driving under the influence.

Testing may also determine whether someone died of drug overdose or drug- related condition. 

Testing and Sample Analysis

Blood Testing And Urine Testing are Performed for examination of drugs used by Athletes

These samples are tested by below methods:Gas ChromatographyImmuno-Assays,Mass Spectrometry, Etc.

  • Gas Chromatography
  • Immuno-Assays,
  • Mass Spectrometry, Etc.


Spanish cyclist Eladio Jimenez (34) has been banned for two years for doping with the blood-boosting hormone EPO.

The International Cycling Union says the suspension was imposed by Spain’s national federation, which also fined him $11,000. Jimenez failed a doping test after winning Stage 6 of the Tour of Portugal for the CC Louie team in August 2009.


Kim Jong Su, a silver and bronze medalist in Beijing 2008 Olympics. Kim Jong competed in shooting for North Korea. Kim used propranolol, a drug that has been known to quell tremors. Obviously, this would offer quite an advantage in shooting. Kim has been stripped of his medals.

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