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The Use Of Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports

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The performance enhancing drugs are not a new thing for the world made for the 21 st century. It dates back to the ancient gladiators and Olympic athletes and Greek gladiators. They have been used to control or alter a person’s physical, and psychological functions. The performance enhancing drugs are used for different functions like quick recovery, enhanced concentration, and boosted muscle endurance. The modern sports industry has biased perspective on the use of these drugs as some are considered legal in practice. While some other drugs are considered as illegal and are considered as doping agents which can cause disqualification from the sports league.

The History of Performance Enhancing Drugs

The first use of performance enhancing drugs in history can be seen in the 3 rd century BC by the Greek Olympians mostly stimulants. The Roman gladiators used to get relief from fatigue and injury after long and deadly fights played in ancient Rome as sports. In the 19 th century , Charles Edouard Brown – Sequard made a stimulant called ‘Elixir of Life’ derived from testosterone of dogs, bulls and other animals. They were famous around that time (Chesanow,2016). The modern red bull can be referred to as modern day alternative for these elixirs. Moving further, the use of commercialized anabolic steroids started in the 1950’s and 60s. Steroids became the most popular thing of the mid 20 th century commonly used by weightlifters, wrestlers etc.

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Main Reason Behind It’s Use by Sportsperson

There are a lot of reasons behind the use of the performance enhancing drugs by the sportsperson. They are usually dissatisfied by the result gained by their workout and dedication. They want instant results with their training visible in their body. They find different ways to improve their muscle buildup, explosive strength, reduction in fatigue, quick recovery and longer endurance. They use several performance enhancing drugs in this case whether it is legal or illegal to use them. For example athletes use marijuana for fatigue reduction, cocaine to increase the practice hours or playing time. The substances like anabolic steroids boosts muscle buildup very quickly. The use of any such substances is labelled illegal in the sports industry and the sportsperson found using such substances can get banned for a certain period or forever from playing the sport (Coquet , R. (2018)).

Regulating the Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Industry

The performance enhancing drugs hold different impetus for the sportsmen if the intake is legal as per the rules set up by WADA. WADA stands for World Anti Doping Agency. It regulates the use of any kind of illicit drugs in the sports. The legal performance enhancing drugs are amino acids, caffeine, co enzymes etc, which are allowed to consume for a sportsperson by WADA. While some of the athletes use substances like marijuana, cocaine, testosterone, anabolic steroids that might alter the original performance of an athlete or a wrestler resulting into an unfair gameplay (WADA, 2019).

Ina nutshell, the performance enhancing drugs have varied impact on a person’s body which can be either beneficial or harmful/addictive. The choice of right supplements must be made to prevent any legal actions against the person and the fair play of the game is maintained .


  1. Coquet , R. (2018) Understanding the Paths to Appearance- and Performance-Enhancing Drug Use in Bodybuilding Retrieved from:
  2. Chesanow, N. (2016) Faster, Higher, Stronger: A History of Doping in Sports Retrieved from:
  3. Neundrof , J. (2015) Top 15 Most Commonly Used Performance Enhancing Drugs Retrieved from:
  4. About WADA (2019)

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The Use Of Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
“The Use Of Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
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