Performance Enhancing Drugs

And how they effect the athletic world

Introduction to P.E.Ds

What are P.E.Ds?

Performance Enhancing Drugs are any type of drug or illegal substance used by athletes to improve their performances. Well known PEDs are synthetic steroid hormones made to act as testosterone. Chemicals in this common class of steroids, which include testosterone, androstenediol, androstenedione, nandrolone and stanozolol, increase muscle mass and strength, but tests can detect them easily. Although, Performance Enhancing Drugs can be more than the commonly known steroids. Because of that, In the 1980s and '90s, other doping alternatives started appearing on the shelf. Now there are numerous performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs, that aren't classified as steroids. Some of their types and terms are:

-Erythropoietin (EPO) A blood boosting PED that Increases red blood cell

production without the need for transfusions.

-Human growth hormone (hGH) a lean mass building perscription drug that increases muscle mass and, much like any perscription drug, becomes a PED when over-dosed.

-Bromantan, A stimulant. Athletes take stimulants to improve endurance, reduce fatigue and increase aggressiveness. And someone trying to qualify for a lower weight class may rely on stimulants for their ability to lower appetite.

There are many more types of PEDs. For more types of PEDs, I found this website really helpful:

P.E.Ds also known as doping, (when used as a verb), Vary not only type but term aswell. Some other terms are:

Doping, Boosters, Stimulants, Sedatives, Juicing e.t.c

Why do Elite Athletes take P.E.Ds?

There are a large number of reasons why an athlete may decide to take drugs. A selection are listed here:

  • Pressure to succeed, either from themselves or coaches/family
  • Belief that their competitors are taking drugs
  • Pressure from governments/national authorities (as occurred in the eastern bloc countries in the 60's and 70's)
  • Financial rewards for outstanding performance
  • Lack of access to, or funding for training facilities and additional support (nutrition, psychological support)
  • Community and media attitudes and expectations of success

Fun and Historical Facts

Some history facts about PEDs I found very interesting were:

-"According to anecdotal accounts, the Nazis test anabolic steroids on prisoners, Gestapos and Hitler himself [between 1940 and 1945]. Testosterone and its analogs are used by German soldiers to promote aggressiveness and physical strength. Retrospectively, according to his physician, Hitler's mental state toward the end of his life exhibits characteristics that some scientists associate with heavy steroid use: mania, acute paranoid psychoses, overly aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal ideologies."
-"1660 Danish cyclist, Knut Jensen, dies on Aug. 26, 1960 at the Summer Olympics in Rome during the 100km team time trial race. His collapse, which fractured his skull, is initially thought to be caused by the high temperatures that day. His autopsy, however, reveals traces of an amphetamine called Ronicol. Jensen is the second athlete ever to die during Olympic competition (the first was a marathon runner in 1912 who died from heat exhaustion)."

-"1968 Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a member of the Swedish modern pentathlon team, was stripped of his bronze medal at the Mexico City Olympics when he tested positive for excessive alcohol. Liljenwall said he had two beers to calm his nerves during the pistol shooting part of the pentathlon. He became the first athlete ever disqualified from the Olympic Games for doping, and the whole Swedish team was forced to return their medals as well. At the same Olympics, 14 other athletes tested positive for tranquilizers which were not banned at the time."
-"Athletes are first tested for anabolic steroids during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Out of 786 drug tests performed at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, 11 athletes (1.4%) tested positive"

-"The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. USADA was created as the result of recommendations set forth by the United States Olympic Committee's Select Task Force on Externalization. USADA began operations Oct. 1, 2000, with full authority for testing, education, research and adjudication for U.S. Olympic, Pan Am and Paralympic athletes. It is USADA's responsibility to develop a comprehensive national anti-doping program for the Olympic Movement in the United States."


Ben Jonhson

Who use's P.E.Ds?

Though PEDs are extremly dangerous and many atletes still use them. One of those atletes was Ben Johnson. Ben Johnson was a canadian track and field sprinter who ran in the olympics on Sept. 24, 1988 - that day Ben Johnson became a newly reconzied Canadian hero and an internationally recognized track superstar. Just three days after his win, The International Olympic Committee announced that Johnson's urine tests had been found to contain Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid that could enhance the performance in an athlete. Canadian Ben Johnson was stripped of his 1988 Olympic gold medal and world record in the 100-meter dash. They said he had cheated. They said his medal was being given to his rival, American Carl Lewis. Johnson's world record he set at the 1987 World Championships also was negated, and he was suspended from competing for two years. Even after that he was'nt banned from races and After a short comeback, Johnson once again was found guilty of testosterone doping in 1993 and was banned for life by the International Amateur Athletic Federataion. They gave him another chance but he still made the same mistake. Canada's Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said it was the right decision, but a tragedy for Johnson and a great sadness for all Canadians. But the athlete's sister, Clare Rodney, told reporters she was convinced the drug testers had made a mistake."I can really tell anybody from the depths of my heart that he is not guilty," she said. Britain's Linford Christie - who was awarded the silver medal at the olympics after Johnson's disqualification - said he felt sorry for someone who had been a "great ambassador" for the sport. "I'm also sad for athletics because this has been a bad day for us," he said.

Side Effects

Some of the side effects of the PED Ben Johnson used are:
  • External/ Mood:
  • -Edginess, impatience, paranoid feelings
  • -Severe mood swings including depression
  • -Obsession with body image, having to work out, and food
  • -Angry and violent outbursts known as "roid rage"
  • Internal:
  • -Liver damage
  • -Kidney damage
  • -Increased blood pressure and cholesterol (risk for heart disease)
  • -Depressed immune system (risk for infections)
  • -Headache and stomach ache
  • -Nosebleeds
  • -Severe facial and body acne
  • -Decreased joint flexibility
  • Ben Johnson Drug Scandal Seoul 1988

    On the bright side....

    Thought it did'nt happen to ben johnson, you could also go to jail for using PEDs! So at least he was spared that. You also lose the respect of your contry, sport and world but at least ben would'nt be in the spotlight forever because it happend over 25 year ago and people forget. Another benifit was that no matter what, Ben's sister belived he did'nt take PEDs and having the support of your family at a time when everyone else is turning away from you is very important. The cons heavily out way the pros so overall I still belive doping is a bad idea.

    More pictures


    Graph 1: This graph is based off of the amount of people who searched online about PEDs. It shows people's awareness and interest in learning about PEDs.
    Graph 2: This graph surveys sports fans about the amount of athletes they think use PEDs. This graph says alot about how each sport is percived on screen.

    just in case!

    The awnser to the Goldman dilemma if you can't understand the sound clould because I want to make sure you hear everything I said in it. Just in case.

    Because of the presure of winning any competion, I can understand why some Athlets would consider doping but personally I would never use PEDs, even if it was undetectable. Just like smoking I wouuld never do somthing that would take time off of my life. Espeacily somthing where the cons heavily out-way the pros. My morals also play a role in my awnser because I don't think it's morally right to use PEDs unless for medical use. I quess if it was morally right I would say yes to that question but then anyone would be able to enter and win a athletic competion. Which would'nt be a competion anymore because the people who worked hard would'nt get the recognized and I belive in a competion you should work hard for what you get. Cheating is'nt working hard and I would'nt be able to live with myself knowing that I wrongfully won somthing. After your 15 minutes of fame, you'll die and people would only know you by a fake legacy and no one would know your true potential. I feel that people only use PEDs when they are'nt confident or are unsure of themselves. I feel that if you made it into a competion you have a good chance of winning and I'd rather take that chance then take the chance of using PEDs.

    By: Keisha Guthrie 7AC