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Drugs in Sport Monday 16 th March. Learning Objectives What drugs are and why people use them Socially acceptable drugs: the effects of tobacco and alcohol.

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Presentation on theme: "Drugs in Sport Monday 16 th March. Learning Objectives What drugs are and why people use them Socially acceptable drugs: the effects of tobacco and alcohol."— Presentation transcript:

1 Drugs in Sport Monday 16 th March

2 Learning Objectives What drugs are and why people use them Socially acceptable drugs: the effects of tobacco and alcohol Performance-enhancing drugs: the effects of stimulants, narcotic analgesics, diuretics, physical manipulation and anabolic agents. Blood doping and the laws and enforcers

3 Drugs A drug is a chemical substance that affects the way the body works. Sportspeople may take drugs to improve their performance. Some drugs are allowed, some are not. Illegal drug use is known as doping. Generally, drugs are developed for medical use. All drugs are dangerous when misused.


5 Socially acceptable drugs The two most important drugs that are considered to be socially acceptable are: Alcohol Tobacco (nicotine) Nicotine is a legal drug, though it is slowly becoming less socially acceptable. Nicotine raises the heart rate and blood pressure. Alcohol is socially acceptable in most sections of society. However it is banned in many sports for safety reasons – it acts as a sedative, slowing reactions and impairing judgement.

6 Smoking – whats in a cigarette? Nicotine is a mild poison. It makes your blood pressure and heart rate rise – this can make new smokers dizzy. It is highly addictive, which is why it is difficult to give up smoking. Tar is a mixture of chemicals (formaldehyde, arsenic and cyanide to name a few). When cigarette smoke is inhaled, tar is left behind in the lungs. It causes many serious diseases. healthy lungs smokers lungs

7 Smoking – whats in a cigarette? Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas. It bonds with red blood cells in the same way that oxygen does, except that the bond is permanent. Blood cells carrying carbon monoxide can no longer transport oxygen, therefore reducing the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. Up to 15% of a smoker's blood may be carrying carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. This means the heart has to work harder, putting strain on it and causing circulation problems. It also makes smokers tired and breathless, reducing cardiovascular endurance. Smokers tend to be at a disadvantage in sports that require an efficient and healthy cardio-respiratory system.

8 Alcohol All alcoholic drinks contain a chemical called ethanol. This is what makes people drunk. It doesnt do much harm in small quantities, however larger quantities are dangerous. Alcohol puts strain on your body, making you unwell – thats why heavy drinkers may be sick and later suffer from a hangover. However, alcohol also has more serious effects, both short- and long-term.

9 Alcohol – immediate effects Immediate effects: you relax and feel good dizziness and poor balance impaired judgement – you do and say things you normally wouldnt trouble controlling how you move (poor coordination) slow reactions blurred vision impaired speech aggressive behaviour vomiting. How do you think drinking alcohol before sport affects performance? Think about a range of different activities.

10 Alcohol – immediate effects As well as impairing physical and mental abilities, alcohol causes the blood vessels of the skin to dilate, so body heat is lost and blood is diverted from the muscles. Glucose is also excreted, lowering the levels of glycogen in the muscles. Drinking makes people feel tired and lethargic. After drinking, some performers may lose their drive to train and perform. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it causes dehydration. This is why people often get a headache. The extra urination also robs the body of essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. This can cause the heart to beat irregularly.

11 Alcohol – long-term effects Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly over a period of time is likely to cause physical, emotional and social problems: skin problems liver and brain damage damage to reproductive organs memory loss / confusion heart and blood disorders stomach problems frequent infections weight gain depression relationship problems problems with money and work.

12 Performance-enhancing drugs Drugs can be used to improve performance. This could give some performers an unfair advantage and undermine the integrity of sport. Sports governing bodies produce lists of banned substances, so that it is clear to both performers and coaches which substances they must avoid while training and competing. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has identified five classes of banned substances: Stimulants Narcotics / analgesics Anabolic agents Diuretics Peptide, chemical & physical manipulation

13 Stimulants Stimulants excite the central nervous system (CNS) and raise the heart rate. They improve the reactions of a performer. Users usually feel more alert and display increased confidence in their level of ability. Performers using stimulants can work for longer periods without feeling tired. This means that they can both train harder and perform better on the day. Here are some common stimulants: Caffeine (not prohibited) Cocaine Ephedrine Mefenorex Amphetamines Nicotine

14 Stimulants – side effects Heavy usage can lead to high blood pressure, liver and brain damage. They can cause irritability and aggressive behaviour. Insomnia Irregular pulse A performer may feel low or depressed after the initial effects have worn off. Sensory feelings can be suppressed. Stimulants can have some nasty side effects: Do you think that the side effects are worth risking to get the performance benefits of using stimulants?

15 Narcotic analgesics Analgesics are pain killers. Narcotics cause delirium and drowsiness. Narcotic analgesics do both. They are sometimes referred to as opioids because they often contain opium derivatives. These drugs are used by performers to suppress pain and enable them to carry on, even with an injury. The following are types of narcotic analgesics: Morphine Heroin Codeine Methadone Pethidine Fentanyl

16 Narcotic analgesics – side effects Narcotic analgesics can have the following side effects: Narcotic analgesics are highly addictive – they are illegal in many countries unless administered by a doctor. The withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant. Users may find it more difficult to concentrate. They lead to reduced coordination and poor balance. Pain is suppressed, causing performers injuries to worsen without realizing. They can cause mental apathy and lack of motivation. Narcotic analgesics can cause constipation. They can cause low blood pressure.

17 Diuretics Diuretics increase the amount of water passed out of the body as urine. Performers sometimes use them to reduce their body weight very quickly before a competition. Diuretics can also be used as a masking agent – they flush out traces of banned substances in the body so that they dont show up on doping tests. Examples of diuretics include: Frusemide Probenecid Acetazolamide Indapamide Some jockeys use diuretics to keep their weight down.

18 Diuretics – side effects muscle weakness and cramps heart damage rashes loss of sodium and potassium salts dizziness and nausea kidney problems. Diuretics cause the body to rapidly lose water, so many of the side effects are the same as the symptoms of dehydration. They include: Can diuretics really be described as performance-enhancing?

19 Anabolic steroids Anabolic agents (steroids) are the most commonly used performance-enhancing drugs. They are hormones which help build and repair muscle and bone. They mimic the male hormone testosterone. Anabolic agents occur naturally in the body. Nandrolone bodlenone Stanozonol Testosterone. However, they are also made artificially and can be used by performers to illegally improve their performance. Examples include:

20 Anabolic steroids – side effects The side effects of anabolic steroids are serious: heart disease, which can be fatal high blood pressure / anxiety Increased risk of muscle injury severe liver disorders aggressive behaviour facial hair growth and infertility in women. Worst case: Cause DEATH Why do you think that performers still take anabolic steroids despite the side effects?

21 Peptide, chemical & physical manipulation These types of drugs are used to produce similar effects as steroids to increase muscle growth assist in recovery from injury and heavy training sessions increase the number of Red Blood Cells to carry extra O2 Human Growth Hormone (hGH) Fewer side effects than steroids No urine test, unreliable blood test

22 Erythropoietin (EPO) It increases the production of Red Blood Cells Therefore increasing the amount of haemoglobin available to take up O2 increasing aerobic capacity It thickens the blood, making it difficult for blood to pass through small capillaries Thus, there is the risk of heart attack and stroke

23 Blood Doping Is a banned process not a drug Athletes train at high altitude increasing the O2 carrying capacity of their blood They withdraw blood and freeze it Just before a competition they undergo a blood transfusion This is thought to increase their performance by up to 20%

24 The Laws and the enforcers The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have strict rules on prohibited substances – 4000! The IOC take random tests of athletes both in season and out of season Individual sporting associations also do this A urine sample is taken in front of a witness The sample is split into two and a test is conducted on the first sample If any drugs are shown, then the second sample is checked with the athlete present

25 Performance-enhancing drugs

26 For further information on all types of performance enhancing drugs visit: The 100% ME programme encourages athletes to believe that they don't need to use prohibited substances or methods to succeed in sport. For further information visit: WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY 100% ME uk sport

27 Exam-style questions 1.Richard plays doubles at his tennis club. He has noticed that his partner is often short of breath during long rallies despite being fit. a)Richard thinks this is to do with his partners regular smoking. Why might smoking affect performance in this way. b)Richard sometimes drinks alcohol before playing if the game is not important. Describe how the alcohol may affect his performance.

28 Exam-style questions 2.Elite performers in a variety of sports are tempted into taking performance enhancing drugs. Anabolic steroids are a type of banned performance enhancing drug. Narcotic analgesics are also banned. a)What physical advantages would a performer gain from taking anabolic steroids? b)What types of sport would this kind of drug give the greatest advantage in? c)Why might an athlete take this type of drug? d)Why are narcotic analgesics thought to be potentially harmful to athletes?

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