Doping in sport refers to the use of substances and methods listed on the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods issued annually by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The intended effect of doping is mainly to enhance performance or speed up recovery during training.
Performance-enhancing substances have been around since ancient times (e.g. gladiators used a mixture of honey and alcohol). It has been intensively pursued in top-level sporting competitions since the last quarter of the 20th century and is regularly the cause of many scandals.
Because of possible doping, top athletes are required to submit urine samples for analysis immediately after competitions; a positive test result usually leads to the athlete’s disqualification from competition and the withdrawal of medals and other awards.
Doping substances and methods (International Olympic Committee and Medical Commission)
Administration of substances belonging to prohibited groups:
- anabolic steroids
- substances with anti-estrogenic activity
- peptides and glycoprotein hormones
- the use of other doping methods:
- blood doping
- pharmacological, chemical and physical manipulations
- Substances and groups of substances subject to certain restrictions are also defined (alcohol, cannabinoids, local anaesthetics, corticosteroids and beta-blockers).
It is possible to treat an illness with drugs that contain doping substances, but the athlete may not start training or even enter a competition until the substance has disappeared from the body.
For anabolic steroids, hormones and diuretics, their use can be controlled by the Doping Commissioner throughout the year.