Performance enhancing drugs

Performance enhancing drugs

Effects of certain drugs

Side effects of certain drugs

Ethics of using drugs

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  • Performance enhancing drugs
    • Banned substances
      • Anabolic steroids: Used for building muscle mass and performance
      • Beta-2 agonists: Dilate the airways, allowing more air into the lungs
      • Hormone agonists: Chemicals which mask the action of another hormone
      • Diuretics: Stimulates excess urination
      • Blood doping: Blood transfusions, donated blood or artificial oxygen-carrying compounds which increases the amount of oxygen in your blood
      • Gene doping: Changing the genetic makeup of cells to enhance performance
      • Stimulants: Increases heart rate and alertness
      • Narcotics: Powerful painkillers, causes drowsiness
      • Beta blockers: Reduces the heart rate and any responses to adrenaline
    • Anabolic steroids
      • They stimulate protein synthesis and build bigger and stronger muscles as a result
      • 1. Natural testosterone can pass through the cell surface membrane
      • 2. They bind to receptor molecules and modify the gene expression in the nucleus
      • 3. The hormone receptor complex acts as a transcription factor, binding to the DNA and switching on certain genes
      • 4. This changes the RNA produced, which effects the type and numbers of protein and enzymes produced
    • Erythropoietin (EPO)
      • A type of peptide hormone. it is made in the kidneys and is useful for treating anaemia
      • 1. They bind to the receptor on the cell surface membranne
      • 2. The complex activates a second messenger in the cytoplasm and triggers a protein kinase cascade
      • 3. This messenger acts as a transcription factor, switching on genes linked to protein synthesis of the enzymes needed for the production of more red blood cells
      • Side effects
        • Excess of blood cells can cause strokes and heart attacks
        • If EPO levels are too high, the body will produce too many red blood cells which can increase the risk of thrombosis
        • An overdose of the drug can lead to death
    • Ethics
      • Some believe that it is ethically acceptable as athletes have the right to decide whether they take drugs or not
      • There are some serious health risks
      • Some believe that drug use is acceptable on the grounds that there is already an inequality of competition
      • It is simply unfair- people should get better at sport through hard work and training
    • Beta blockers
      • Reduces heart rate and effects of adrenaline
      • Archery: Slow down the heart rate so hands aren't shaking as much giving them better control of the bow and arrow
      • Gymnastics: it can be used to reduce muscle tremors and anxiety therefore giving them a stronger performance


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