Sports are meant to encourage life values such as healthy, fair competition, integrity, commitment, and equal chances of participation. However, doping has corrupted these important values and undermined the concept of clean and fair sports worldwide. The anti-doping Control has stepped up to protect the integrity of sports by cabbing this vice that has spread across all types of sports; although athletics have been the most affected sport,
Doping can best be described as harmful and deceiving, not only to the sportsperson themselves but also to those who sponsor the game, the sports management, and the spectators. It doesn’t just apply to human athletes either; in horse racing, doping is a cardinal sin. With how much money is wagered on events like the Preakness Stakes odds every year, punishments for doping are often harsh, but fair.
Everyone in sports can be selected for doping control anywhere, whether you are participating in sports at a national or international level.
Prohibited Substances for Doping
The World Anti-doping Authority updates these prohibited Substances annually to ensure all athletes are aware and warned. These are the most common doping substances that are prohibited;
- Anabolic Steroids
These are the most abused substances in doping. Anabolic Steroids enhance muscle mass, strengthening the body.
Athletes use stimulants to reduce fatigue and exhaustion levels during competition.
Some dietary supplements are also known to contain some prohibited Substances; hence athletes should always be on the lookout.
Reason for doping
Most prohibited substances and methods are known to stimulate your physical or mental performance relative to sports achievements.
Offenders usually aim to increase the competitive levels, ease the healing journey in instances where one had sustained injuries, and increase agility and stamina, among other goals.
Anti-doping Control considers all these as unfair deception to the clean athletes since achievements by the doping offenders are through deception and pretense. These should therefore be clamped down through doping regulations.
Effects of doping
Doping is harmful to your health and can cause irreversible harm to the body. Users ruin their lives in sports and off-sports by becoming hooked on some of these substances and methods.
Most of the abused substances are addictive, and users get addicted so fast that they can’t do without, leading to damage to body organs which can be fatal in most incidents.
Doping is harmful to your health and can destroy your career in sports because once the anti-doping control enables you, you will automatically be sanctioned or even banned from sports forever.
Process for Anti-doping
Anti-doping control can select any athlete at any time or place for doping since that’s what it’s mandated to do.
Doping follows a process that remains constant irrespective of where you are tested from
1. Being Notified
When you are selected for doping, you will be notified by a doping control officer; you are informed of what anti-doping organization you will be tested for and when you should report for the tests.
An athlete should never fail to report, which amounts to breaking anti-doping regulation rules. The anti-doping control officer provides a form where you fill in your data and any other relevant information.
2. Selection of vessels for collecting a sample
You are given vessels to select, normally two – blood sample and urine sample vessel. Select one vessel from the provided vessels.
3. Giving Out Samples
If it’s a urine sample you are providing, the anti-doping control officer will watch the passing of urine to confirm the authenticity.
For blood samples, the blood collection officer draws blood from the athlete.
4. Securing the Samples
Once samples have been collected, it’s the athlete’s responsibility to seal them for security purposes. If it’s a urine sample, the doping control officer will measure specific gravity to check if it meets the standards required by the laboratory.
5. Sample being Taken to the Laboratory
This is the final stage in the anti-doping process. The sealed sample, labeled using bottle number, the gender of the athlete is indicated, and the sport they compete in is sent to the laboratory.
The identity of the athlete is concealed. This protects their privacy and enhances fairness and transparency.
Your body is solely your responsibility and whatever goes in there, whether prohibited, illegal, or harmful, is your choice. You can be selected for doping at any time, and the dire consequences of doping are not worth your career in sports.
However, as a sportsperson, it’s crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities in anti-doping regulations. Choose to stay clean and protect sports values.
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