News By/Courtesy: Nikitha M | 31 Jul 2020 16:12pm IST


  • What is doping?
  • Doping substances
  • Tests for doping

Doping means the use of banned substances in competitive sports to improve their performance. The restrictions about the use of stimulants and strength-building substances in sports were thought necessary during the 1920s. the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) was the first international sports federation to ban doping. Due to the health risk involved in taking them, they are banned by sport’s governing bodies. According to the UK Anti-Doping Agency when two out of the three criteria are met, the substances and methods are banned: they enhance performance, violate the spirit of sports, or pose a threat to the athlete’s health.

The reason as to why doping is such a big deal is because they can be very harmful and cause a long-lasting side effect on the athletes’ body. These banned substances are used to gain an unfair advantage which defames the spirit of competition.

The commonly used substances are androgenic agents such as anabolic steroids. These allow athletes to train harder, build more muscles, and recover more quickly, but they can lead to kidney damage and increased aggression. These steroids are usually taken in tablet form or are injected into the muscles. Some are also applied to the skin as gels and creams. The least common is blood doping, where blood is being removed from the body and injected back later to boost the oxygen levels. This practice is banned because it can lead to heart or kidney failure.

The testing for doping may be performed on urine or blood samples depending on the substance being tested. The type of testing and the frequency varies based on a few factors like history of doping in the sport, substances being taken, duration of the season, and type of sport. Similarly, the penalties for doping violations also vary between sports. The testing for doping substances uses a technique called mass spectrometry. This process involves firing a beam of electrons at the samples to ionize them which turns the atoms into charged particles. Each doping substance present in the sample has a unique fingerprint and that helps the scientists to detect the doping. But some by-products of the doping substance are very small and hence they are not easy to detect using the above technique. The other method used to detect such substances id the biological passport brought in by WADA in 2009.  

The largest anti-doping organization is The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and in sports that follow the WADA code, a single violation can result in a two-year ban from sports competitions and a second violation can result in a lifetime ban.


This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion etcetera. This article is based purely on the author's personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 31 Jul 2020 22:51pm IST

Tags : Doping

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