The health risks of doping

It sometimes happens, in the face of a media scandal explosion, to forget that the first victims of doping are the athletes.


By the nature of the substances administered or the methods used, athletes using performance enhancing drugs endanger their health.

Most doping protocols may result in distortion of the nature of molecules whose physiological properties are initially used for therapeutic purposes. We are talking about active drugs with specific indications, consumed without medical reason, and with their attendant side effects. The most publicized and spectacular of these products (such as EPO, growth hormone or steroids) are included in the prohibited list with treatments of more common use, but always with significant physiological effects. The consumption, punctually or repeatedly, of some of these products exposes the athlete to risks ranging from mild allergy to sudden death, including drug addiction.

The disciplinary sanction itself, and its consequences, are part of the risks incurred by the athlete who does not respect the rules. These consequences are also disastrous on the sporting career, with large periods of suspension leading the athlete to withdraw ad vitam from any federal sports activity, with significant financial penalties and with the withdrawal of the list of hits. Keeping in mind the brevity of a professional sports athlete career, a suspension of several years can quickly be synonymous with the end of sports career.

Finally, the importance of the social rejection of athletes condemned for doping offenses should be emphasized. The media lynching, the abandonment of sponsors, the label of “cheater”, the difficulties or even the impossibility of changing career in the sports environment are all dangers to be assumed by individuals giving in to the temptation of doping.

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