Faced with the explosion of a media scandal, we sometimes forget that the first victims of doping are athletes.
By the nature of the substances administered or the methods employed, athletes who resort to doping endanger their health.
Most doping protocols hijack molecules whose physiological properties are initially used for therapeutic purposes. We are therefore talking about active drugs with precise indications, consumed without medical reason, and presenting their attendant side effects. The most publicized and spectacular of these products (such as EPO, growth hormone or steroids) rub shoulders on the prohibited list with treatments of more common use, but nevertheless never harmless from a physiological point of view. The occasional or repeated consumption 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 an athlete who does not respect the rules. These consequences are also disastrous on the sporting career, with periods of wide suspension that can go as far as the ad vitam removal from all federal sporting activities, as well as significant financial penalties, and withdrawal from the prize list. Keeping in mind the brevity of the life of a top athlete, a suspension of several years can quickly mean the end of a career.
Finally, the importance of the social rejection of which athletes convicted of doping acts are the object. Media lynching, abandonment of sponsors, the label of "cheater", the difficulties or even the impossibility of retraining in the sporting environment, are all dangers that must be assumed by individuals giving in to the temptation of doping.