Performance-enhancing drugs in sports Part I



pills in a glassWhat do retired professional athletes and sportspersons do in their “old age”? They take it easy, they enjoy life, they coach, or they write a book and tell all.

This is what Andrei Agassi just did in his autobiography entitled “Open.” I have never read it and I doubt if I ever will as I am not a big fan of tennis. However, what makes Agassi’s book so controversial is because the title has a double meaning. It is not only about his game or his personal life. It is about his honesty and his admitting to taking the recreational drug crystal meth during his professional years.

About crystal meth

Crystal meth (source: chemistry.about.com) is officially called methamphetamine or metamfetamin. It is usually used in crystalline form, thus the name. So what does crystal meth do? It has some positive and negative effects. On the upside, it can

  • change moods and cause elation
  • enhance energy and performance
  • lead to weight loss
  • increase sexual drive

The downsides are

  • addiction
  • loss of appetite
  • sleeping problems
  • mood swings, even psychosis
  • potential for overdose

Crystal meth is not the only recreational drug used by athletes. The most common performance-enhancing drugs used by professional athletes are:

Why take drugs?

Agassi is not the first professional athlete to use forbidden drugs nor will he be the last. He joins the likes of star sprinter Marion Jones, cyclist Jan Ulrich and fellow tennis pro Martina Hingis. But the big difference is that the aforementioned athletes got caught; Agassi didn’t. According to his autobiography, he tested positive for drugs but lied before the governing body of ATP and got away with it.

So why do athletes take drugs?

Agassi wrote that he started taking the drug when his career was in crisis. Clearly, drugs can enhance performance. According to this Australian report, here are some of the reasons why athletes take performance-enhancing drugs:

Coming up next: the health effects of performance-enhancing drugs.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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Comments

  1. Thats great post! Finally!

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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