The History of Drug Testing in Sports

The use of drugs and substances in sports has been there since time immemorial. People used drugs intending to enhance their performance once they spring into action. During the Greek civilization, mushrooms were used to enhance the performance of athletes. The good thing with that is that mushrooms did not have side effects.

With time, however, people changed to using different types of drugs because they realized that mushroom was not as effective as they would have wanted. They shifted to substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and opium. Other recent drugs that have been used in sports include amphetamines and anabolic.

It is the increasing use of drugs and the deaths associated with the use of such medications that led to the formation of a medical commission that banned the use of drugs. Small scale drug testing was established in the year 1968 in Mexico. The sportsmen and women who tested positive were disqualified.

Why do Sportsmen and Women Use Drugs?


Despite the knowledge that the use of drugs in sports is a no go zone, athletes still have the guts to use and misuse them. The truth is that several reasons push them to do this. Some of those reasons include.

  1. The pressure to make a breakthrough in sports- Most athletes get pressure from their coaches, nations, family members, and even from within themselves to succeed. Since the competition is always stiff, they resolve to use of drugs to enhance their performance.
  2. Believe that they would not be able to compete effectively. These beliefs are hatched from the presumption that their competitors are taking drugs and the best way to match their strength is also to use drugs.
  3. The huge financial rewards that come as a result of excellent performance is one of the reasons why athletes use drugs.
  4. Lack of training facilities- With access to training facilities, many athletes will realize that there is no need to use drugs because they can still attain their goals by training harder.

Banned Drugs that are Commonly Used By Athletes

  • Caffeine
  • Erythropoietin
  • Anabolic substances
  • Cocaine
  • Diuretics
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Diuretics
  • Amphetamines
  • ACTH
  • Narcotics
  • Ephedra
  • Beta-2-Agonists
  • Gene Doping

The Dangers Of Using Drugs in Sports


When athletes resolve to make use of drugs, they do so because they want to win and make money. The problem is that they do not realize the dangers that they are trying to put themselves in anytime they resolve to use drugs. The fame and money that they are likely to win once they use the drugs are temporal. But the effect of the drugs is permanent.
History records that there are athletes who have died because they misused drugs. A good example is that of Michel Zanoli. The cyclist died after experiencing a deadly heart attack, and the problem was attributed to drug abuse.

If you think that is the only death case that resulted from drug abuse in sports, then you are terribly wrong. If we start listing them one by one, the truth is that the list will be unbearable. The case of Lyle Alzado, a renowned footballer, is enough to make the athletes stop using drugs. He says that he used to take drugs because he believed that they made him better. The bitter truth is that the drug had more side effects than good.

Drug Testing in Athletes


While the relevant organizations are fighting tooth and nail to makes sure that no one cheats, the truth is that the dopers are always clever. They are one step ahead of the testers. This is why it is hard to eliminate drug doping from the world of sports once and for all.

There are a number of drug cheating methods that have been devised to  help dopers avoid being discovered during drug testing. Some of the drug cheating methods include;

Use of Synthetic Urine


Synthetic urine has become a hot cake in the world of doping. Athletes and people at large are willing to do anything at their disposal just to make sure that they do not test positive. One of them is buying synthetic urine and substituting it during the testing process. Many have used this method successfully to cheat the testers.

Diluting Urine Samples


There are several ways that urine samples can be diluted before going for a test. One of the most common means of doing that is drinking plenty of water before going for the test. This meant to diminish the detectable drug levels in the urine. In most cases, the test might reveal and an insignificant amount of drug in a diluted urine sample.

The problem is that when the small level is tested, the lab technician might call for retesting to get more efficient results. This, therefore, means that people going for this technique should never count on negative effects until the process is complete.


With the advancement in the world of technology, you should not be surprised to see supplements that are capable of detoxifying the body within the shortest time possible (we’ve a review of the best detox pills here). While the detoxification process might not be permanent, the truth is that it will go a long way in ensuring that the doper successfully cheats in their drug test.

With all these methods, one realizes that eluding a drug test is simple. However, it is always good to do what is right if you want your existence in this world to be always acknowledged.