Performance Enhancing Drugs

Iswariya Baskar

What are they?

MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia wrote an article titled "Performance-Enhancing Drugs," posted on its website (accessed Oct. 20, 2008), which stated:

"Performance-Enhancing Drugs [are] various substances, chemical agents, or procedures designed to provide an advantage in athletic performance. Performance-enhancing drugs affect the body in different ways, such as enlarging muscles or increasing the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity. Despite these apparent benefits, the use of such drugs is considered both competitively unethical and medically dangerous. Most performance-enhancing drugs are outlawed by organizations that govern major amateur and professional sports."

Types and Side Effects


  • Acne

  • Male pattern baldness

  • Liver Damage*

  • Premature closure of the growth centers of long bones (in adolescents) which may result in stunted growth*

  • Stunted growth and disruption of puberty in children


  • Increased aggressiveness and sexual appetite, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual and criminal behavior, often referred to as “Roid Rage”

  • Withdrawal from anabolic steroid use can be associated with depression, and in some cases, suicide.

Gender Specific – Males

  • Breast tissue development*

  • Shrinking of the testicles*

  • Impotence

  • Reduction in sperm production

Gender Specific – Females

  • Deepening of the voice*

  • Cessation of breast development

  • Growth of hair on the face, stomach and upper back*

  • Enlarged clitoris*

  • Abnormal menstrual cycles

YES or NO!?!?!?!

Should scientists be free to pursue their investigations regardless of potential risks?

-- Yes. Scientists should be free to pursue the investigation because it gives a sense on what drugs are used for performance. In athletic events, using drugs to enhance your activity is wrong and unfair. With out the knowledge on knowing what drugs are used, athletes would receive medals for which they are not worthy of.

Apart from athletics, regular people use drugs as method of body modification which in turn is detrimental to their life.

Should they publicize every discovery they make?

Definitely. Without doing so, people are unaware of what happens in the body and who has taken these drugs. People should know. By not making this public, people will take these drugs with out knowing the side effect and the personal issues that come with it.