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Drugs and banned substances

In order to examine the effects of drugs in sport it is important to understand the different terms associated with the subject.

Performance enhancing drugs

Performance enhancing drugs are those banned substances which are taken to specifically enhance sporting performance.


These are artificial male hormones that allow the performer to train harder and longer.

Blood doping

Blood doping involves removing blood after training at high altitude. The blood is stored and then reinfused shortly before competition in order to improve the aerobic capacity by increasing the number of erythrocytes. Blood doping is very difficult to detect.

Recreational drugs

These are illegal substances that are banned but are not beneficial in improving sports performance.

As the rewards for excellence in sport increase more risks are taken by athletes' to acquire the 'edge' to become the very best. This section will address the following areas:

  • Why people take drugs
  • Banned performance enhancers and their effects
  • Brief history of drugs in sport.

Cheating and drugs in sport.[D]