By- Utkarsh
A student of Chartered Accountancy looking to explore new ventures.

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Drug; A termite In The Sportsman's life


A drug is defined as a substance that modifies a person’s physiological and mental processes of the body which is used for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases. Abuse highlights the irrational and imprudent application. One of the major hurdles sports is facing today is the heavy usage of performance-intensifying drugs. Despite enormous efforts put in by the sporting bodies and medical professionals, this problem remains widespread. No player should gain an unfair advantage over the other by using disreputable substances. The use of a drug may earn a person an enhanced performance but it is extremely harmful to the health of that person in the long run. The use of drugs in an irrational way to enhance performance is known as Doping. Doping is against the “spirit of the game”.


The use of drugs in sports began from the time of the original Olympic Games (from 776 to 393 BC). Doping has been derived from the word ‘Doop’, which is a syrupy opium juice, the drug of choice of ancient Greeks.

  • In the 19th century Strychnine, Caffeine, Cocaine, and Alcohol were often taken via cyclists and endurance athletes.
  • The first drug-related death was reported in 1896 with an overdose of “trimethyl” by an English cyclist.
  • Power athletes often used anabolic steroids which became widespread in the late 1960 and 1970.
  • The use of “Amphetamines” was first taken by US troops to help them sleep off at the battle-zone. 
  • The use of drugs in sports took limelight when positive test result for an anabolic steroid at 1988 Seoul Olympics was reported for the 100m winner Ben Johnson which grabbed the world’s attention on the continuation of the narcotic abuse in sports, so the outcome was that many attempts were made to squash the use of drugs for enhancing the performance in sports.


There are a number of possible reasons for athletes to take drugs. Some of which are as follows: -

  1. Having an assumption that their competitors are using drugs too and will gain a competitive edge over them.
  2. A determination to prove themselves the best in the world.
  3. Lack of natural nutrients or supplements to intensify their performance.
  4. Community’s attitude and respect towards their success and performance.
  5. The strong will to get financial rewards.


  • Stimulants
  • Beta-2 Agonists
  • Beta-2 Antagonists
  • Peptide Hormones and Analogues
  • Anabolic-androgenic Agents
  • Narcotics
  • Diuretics
  • Other Substances


The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has been set up and it publishes the World Anti-Doping Code which lays down the anti-doping rules and regulations for many federations including the IOC, International Sports Federation, International Paralympic Committee, national anti-doping organizations etc.

WADA revises and publishes every year a list of controlled drugs that are prohibited at all times for being used because they have the capacity to improve results.


There are many side effects associated with the excessive use of drugs, some of which are as follows: -

a) Insomnia

b) Anxiety

c) Weight Loss

d) Dependence and Addiction

e) Tremors

f) Increased risks of heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrhythmia.


  1. Developing discrepancies between where the athlete wants to go and where he would go due to the continuous use of drugs helps a clarification in the mind of the athlete regarding his interests, values, motives and behaviours.
  2. The athlete's viewpoint should be shifted from whatever it takes to win to a willingness to win. Also, the mental illnesses of the person who is physically addicted to drugs must be checked to get a better solution for such a person.
  3. The medical practitioner should adapt himself to the situation of the person who is in control of drugs. He/she must not be too resistant towards what the person says or asks for. They should not argue with the person as it can exacerbate the situation.


Doping is being widely done in every sport. Besides, defeating the spirit of the game, doping also ruins the after-life of a sportsman. Stopping doping is a dire need of the hour and can be done in many ways like including psychiatrists in the medical team as they can plan the drug prevention policies very efficiently, trainers and coaches should provide safe alternatives like the optimal level of nutrition and psychological approaches to the athletes so as to improve their performance naturally and mental health care professionals should have a regular presence with the athletes whom they are working with in order to build trust.

So, as a conclusion I would just say that one must not rely on drugs for giving their best, rather they should polish their abilities and maintain the spirit of the game.

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