One of the biggest reasons why performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are common among athletes and professionals is because they help in stimulating the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain. Moreover, PEDs are beneficial in increasing protein synthesis and promoting the levels of muscle mass, muscle function, nitrogen retention, calcium retention, and growth and development of male primary and secondary sexual characteristics. These drugs are also helpful in promoting gluconeogenesis in the liver, contributing to the maintenance and function of pancreatic islets, promoting libido and stimulating the immune system, increasing muscle mass through sarcomere hyperplasia, and promoting lipolysis.
In addition to these advantages, performance enhancing drugs are also used by sportsmen to benefit from tissue repair, cell replacement, bone strength, sexual function, organ health, energy level, and integrity of vital body organs. If that was not all, professional sportsmen even use PEDs for minimizing sun-damage type wrinkles, total body fat, and LDL (bad) cholesterol and enhancing sense of well being, appearance, vision, and sleeping patterns besides being useful in improving correlation between the strength and muscle size. Furthermore, these drugs even help sportsmen train longer and frequently with unmatched intensity to stay close to success and recognition in more than just a way. When complemented with resistance training and a diet high in calories, performance improvement drugs can increase strength and size of the skeletal muscle cell (major muscles of the body) to a significant extent besides stimulating development of the penis, sexual behavior, maturation of the sperm, growth of body hair, growth of facial hair, and deepening of the voice.
Some sportsmen even use anabolic steroids for losing weight and reducing cellulite, improving eyesight, and improved emotional stability while some use them for gaining weight and muscle mass besides promoting amino acid uptake and minimizing oxidation of proteins. In addition to that, performance improvement drugs can also be beneficial for muscle toning, immunity, concentration, metabolism, and skin elasticity besides improving bone strength, brain function, stress handling skills, exercise capacity, and muscle tissue repair. Many budding and professional sportsmen even use them for maintenance and function of pancreatic islets and reducing liver uptake of glucose.
Common anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs used by most sportsmen include Anavar, Albuterol, Anadrol, Cheque Drops, Clenbuterol, Deca Durabolin, Dianabol, DNP, Dutasteride, Equipoise, GHRP-6, Halotestin, IGF-1 LR-3, Hexarelin, Masteron enanthate, Masteron Propionate, MGF, Turinabol, and Sustanon 250. Some of the other popular drugs include Testosterone Cypionate, Testosterone Enanthate, Testosterone Phenylpropionate, Testosterone Propionate, Testosterone Suspension, Trenbolone Acetate (Finaplix), Trenbolone Enanthate, and Winstrol.
GlaxoSmithKline Anti-Doping Laboratory
GlaxoSmithKline Anti-Doping Laboratory Some of the most reputed sportsmen who have been accused of or used anabolic steroids and stimulants include Alex Sánchez, Barry Bonds, Jorge Piedra, Agustín Montero, Juan Rincón, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Palmeiro, Ryan Franklin, Mike Morse, Carlos Almanzar, Félix Heredia, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts, Edinson Volquez, and Jay Gibbons. The list of sportsmen on performance enhancing drugs does not end here. Big names such as Andre Agassi, Johan Ackermann, Lyle Alzado, Mikel Astarloza, Nathan Baggaley, Josh Barnett, Marta Bastianelli, Alberto Contador, Dario Frigo, and Philippe Gaumont along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Giambi, Royce Gracie, Christian Henn, Jessica Hardy, Petr Korda, Diego Maradona, Georgi Markov, Mark Nielsen, Andrea Pollack, Upul Tharanga, Shane Warne of Australia and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have been found using PEDs.
Some of the other performance enhancing drugs used by sportsmen include:
Erythropoietin (EPO): It is a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production, and produced by interstitial fibroblasts in the kidney in a close association with peritubular capillary and tubular epithelial cells. It is commonly used by sportsmen participating in boxing, cycling, horseracing, rowing, distance running, race walking, cross country skiing, biathlon, and triathlons.
Some sportsmen even use Continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) that is a generic term for drugs belonging to a new class of third-generation erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Some eminent sportsmen who have been accused of or used EPO are Danilo Di Luca, who had finished second in the 2009 Giro d’Italia, Olympic 1500 m champion Rashid Ramzi, athlete Erik Tysse, and cyclist Riccardo Ricco.
Anabolic steroids can help athletes bulk up and improve muscle mass, stimulants can help sportsmen reduce pain, improve aggression, and increase reaction speed. Diuretics (drugs for masking use of steroids) are used to lose weight quickly) through the effect of increased urination while narcotic analgesics are used for masking pain from an injury or overtraining. Peptide hormones such as EPO (Erythropoetin) have effects similar to anabolic steroids. Some sportsmen even use Beta blockers for reducing heart rate, reducing anxiety, and steadying shaking hands while corticosteroids may be used by some sportsmen for reducing pain and inflammation from injuries and also in inflammatory conditions like asthma.
If that was not all, some sportsmen even indulge in blood doping that helps them remove red blood cells from the athlete and freeze them. After the athlete’s body makes more red blood cells, they are used for replacing those removed and the athlete injects the stored red blood cells back into their body a few days before a competition. This helps in improved capacity of the body to carry more oxygen leading to improved cardiovascular performance.
Some sportsmen even make use of stimulants for Amphetamines such as Benzedrine, Adderall, and Dexedrine to improve alertness, self-confidence, and concentration besides reducing appetite while creating a feeling of increased energy. These drugs have the potential of increasing heart and respiration rates, increasing blood pressure, reducing appetite and cravings for food, and dilating the pupils of the eyes besides increasing the self confidence of an athlete during competition.
Other commonly used stimulants include caffeine, ephedrine/Ma Huang, methamphetamine, and cocaine for increasing physical strength and endurance besides allowing the body to get resisted to pain. Since stimulants have the potential of increasing subjective strength and endurance by increasing levels of dopamine and adrenaline/noradrenaline, sportsmen do not feel like exerting as much effort despite higher performance, leading to dramatically improved performance and results.
Despite tall claims made by anti-doping agencies, the use of performance enhancing drugs is on the rise and there seems to be no stopping such usage.