Substance Abuse in Sport and Athletes | Reasons for addiction to sports (2023)

15 minutes

Edited and clinically reviewed byTHE BALANCE TEAM

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What used to be taboo is now a symbol of pride and cover on the coasts. Once used for their medicinal properties and consumed behind closed doors without a prescription, 'drugs' have now taken over the world and people of all ages are not only making them a recreational habit but also incorporating them into their daily lives. It's that attitude 21call upCentury that has led to one of the biggest problems in society today: drug abuse. Drug addiction is common in all age groups and in all occupations. Substance abuse is also very common among athletes.

Because it is so? There is no single answer. There are many reasons for substance abuse, depending on age groups, occupations, and even cultural differences. Many turn to drugs for a variety of reasons, such as coping with loss or grief, peer and peer pressure, or as a simple "feel good" habit. The legality and availability of drugs make it easy for people to become addicted and start abusing drugs.

Substance Abuse in Sport and Athletes | Reasons for addiction to sports (1)

In the United States, the use of opioids as prescription pain relievers increased in the 1990s. Being a relatively new drug on the market, the side effects and highly addictive aspect were left open. This addiction soon led to the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter opioids, which were later found to be highly addictive drugs. A public health emergency was declared in 2017 to combat the problem. In 2019, more than 70,000 people died from substance abuse and 1.6 million developed an opioid use disorder.

Athletes have been in the news from time to time for substance abuse. The pressure placed on athletes and even coaches can be a heavy burden, easily leading them to resort to substance abuse to achieve what they have worked so hard to achieve. Recently, the American SprinterSha'Carri Richardsontested positive onMarihuanaduring the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and was banned for a month. Many other renowned athletes such as Maradona, Sharapova and Michael Phelps have had substance abuse problems.

In this blog we will discuss drug abuse in sports. The reasons for this are examined in detail. We will also highlight the medications most commonly used by athletes along with the symptoms and side effects of substance abuse.

Why are athletes at such a high risk of abuse? Unfortunately, there is a list of factors. This is because the problem can only be effectively addressed when we understand why addiction and abuse are so prevalent in sport. Therefore, in order to comprehensively combat drug abuse in athletes, it is crucial to identify all underlying causes. Let's take a look at each factor that leads to athlete addiction.

pressure to perform

The life of an athlete revolves around the sport they play and the eyes of the spectators are always watching them like a hawk. This puts them under extreme pressure that may be too much to handle. In order to cope with the pressure to perform and to meet expectations, athletes often resort to endurance-enhancing drugs. You want to be stronger than others. You want to run faster or lift more weight. You want to hit harder or hit further. When your body doesn't naturally allow them to cross the line, they begin to force you to do so in unnatural ways. Once this works in their favor, they will do it again for glory. And then again and again. By this point, they've developed an addiction and going back doesn't seem like an option.

Do whatever it takes

When push comes to shove and the pressure becomes overwhelming, athletes tend to develop an “anything it takes to outshine the competition” attitude. This attitude can cloud your ability to logically assess the harmful effects of substance abuse, and at this point all that matters is the will to meet that almost unrealistic standard of performance. Therefore, they turn to medications that improve appearance and performance for help.

To treat mental health problems

The intense pressure of making big or crucial presentations like final exams can affect your mental health. One can face extreme anxiety before these performances, and when it ends in disappointment, pressure from the audience and loss of self-esteem can also affect them mentally. With so much pressure to perform physically, athletes don't have time to deal with mental issues. They cannot risk emotional or mental baggage getting in the way of their performance. To deal with the problem, they turn to drugs to calm their minds.

Analgesics and opioid addiction

Being an athlete means constant injuries and pain that drugs are prescribed to treat. Analgesic abuse in athletes and opioid addiction is one of the most common causes of drug abuse in sports. Athletes don't want to let weaknesses stand in the way of victory. This weakness includes pain and injury. This is common in sports, so it's not surprising that athletes go to great lengths to avoid feeling the pain. Opioids are common prescription drugs, but most people also take them without a prescription. Opiate addiction is therefore widespread and leads to the abuse of drugs such as heroin.

Rehabilitation and executive treatment of analgesic dependence

Ato studyA 2009 study of NFL players shows that 52% of players have used opioids during their career. It was also found that non-medical use of prescription opioids was increasing among young athletes.

Even team coaches encourage players to use them. Trainers have invested time and effort, often spending the majority of their time training a potential hero they can one day be proud of. They don't hesitate to push a few boundaries just to see that dream come true. This makes drug use validated by coaches and athletes vulnerable to addiction.

vulnerability in young athletes

Young athletes in particular are at risk if they feel older adults and coaches have relaxed, even encouraging, attitudes towards these drugs. The stigma associated with it is disappearing and young athletes are beginning to use and abuse drugs. Success in sport is a symbol of prestige and honor among high school students. Young athletes turn to drugs to be successful and launch their professional careers or make their mark on the high school team. Let's not ignore the fact that peer pressure on teenagers is extremely high, and just to maintain a certain image or "fit in" it's not surprising that teenagers start abusing drugs.

Even school-age children are likely to be prescribed opioids for sports-related injuries, which can serve as a stepping stone to opioid addiction.

an energy boost

Drugs are also used to increase energy and act as stimulants. Being an athlete means having a good energy reserve. The energy that will help you persevere and be more successful than the average person. Stimulants increase alertness and reduce fatigue. The incredibly high energy and endurance required during intense sports is another reason athletes turn to substance abuse.

The perfect body'

Another reason for addiction to athletes is the constant struggle to live up to the image of a "perfect" athletic body. Athletes use drugs to gain or lose weight to give their bodies a specific look. Athletes have a professional image to protect in sport, but that image is not limited to that. They must also maintain their physical appearance and have a body that conforms to the stereotypes of what body type is required for that particular sport. Athletes may need to drastically lose weight to achieve this physique, it may be necessary to gain significant weight to look strong and enjoy their specific sports. To make the body look good on the outside, they are ready to harm it on the inside.

Availability and Legality

Drugs are readily available and legal. This means that nothing prevents athletes from using them. This joint use also leads to addiction. Athletes find it a quick fix to any performance issue they face and feel like they can easily achieve their goal simply by taking medication. Getting drugs like easily prescription opiates, or even getting them without a prescription, makes it easier to become addicted. The stigma of drug use has diminished and people now readily accept drugs as part of leisure and entertainment. This removes any moral doubts or concerns a person might have and makes it easier for athletes to abuse drugs. Most drugs are now considered legal and therefore easy to use, with a high risk of abuse. Because drugs have become so commonplace, an athlete may choose to only try them once or twice for pleasure or under pressure. What they originally plan to use as a one-off has tremendous potential to result in a long-lasting and life-threatening addiction.

Dealing with loss or emotions

To cope with pain and emotional loss, athletes may start abusing coping drugs and not letting their mental state get in the way of their performance. As mentioned above, in July 2021, an American sprinter was suspended from the Tokyo Olympics for testing positive for marijuana. The athlete took drugs to cope with the loss of her birth mother.

In their early years, they lead such a strict lifestyle that they do not have time to mourn a loss or pay attention to emotions. At the end of the day, they are still human and it can be quite difficult to let go of those feelings. Therefore, they turn to drugs to overcome their feelings and emotions so that they can remain lucid during the performance.

(Video) Athletes, Drug Abuse and Addiction: A Disturbing Trend in Modern Sports.

Now let's take a look at the common types of medications used by athletes and how they can harm the athlete.

opioids and heroin

As previously mentioned, opioids are very common as they act as pain relievers and are not only readily available but also require a prescription. Opioids are highly addictive, and side effects include constipation, nausea, and severe breathing problems. Those who become dependent on painkillers are also likely to start using heroin. FORbaseball playerhe once became addicted to OxyContin and this led him to heroin abuse. Heroin addiction proved fatal when he died of an overdose.

The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reveals that 80% of users turn to heroin after abusing opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.

(Video) How Painkillers Can Turn High School Athletes Into Drug Addicts | TODAY

anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are common performance-enhancing drugs used to look muscular, but they can have devastating side effects. Given what this drug can help athletes, it is very popular in sports. They can lead to hormonal problems such as lack of menstruation in women and breast development in men. many other problems can arise from the use of anabolic steroids. It has some reversible side effects, but some are permanent.

Anabolic steroid addiction and side effects

Here is a list of possible side effects in both men and women:

  • mood swings
  • Mania
  • Depression
  • hallucinations
  • attack
  • Acne
  • High cholesterol
  • nosebleeds
  • hair loss/baldness
  • fertility problems
  • fluid retention and swelling
  • high blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular problems (eg, enlarged heart, heart attack, and blood clotting)
  • liver tumors
  • liver cancer
  • Problems arising from the use of injections (eg, skin infections, transmission of HIV and hepatitis)

Adderall (amphetamine) and other stimulant abuse in athletes

Drugs like cocaine, methylphenidate, D-methamphetamine, etc. are used as stimulants to increase energy. The long-term effects of these drugs include cardiac arrest, tremors, and even death.

Amphetamines like Adderall are a common prescription drug for ADHD and are used by athletes for a variety of reasons, including increased reaction time, increased endurance, and improved strength. On a day when athletes are feeling down, Adderall is often used to bring them back.

High school athletes and young players are likely to use this drug because it gives the user a "high" feeling. It offers a shock of extreme pleasure that addicts want to experience again and again.

Common side effects include trouble sleeping, mood swings, and anxiety. Withdrawal symptoms seem to be more of a concern. Nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps are common when someone tries to abstain from the drug. It also leads to depression, which in turn can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Efedra (mahuang)

This is a Chinese medicine used to treat lung problems. However, when it reached the United States, it was sold as a weight loss and energy boosting drug. At a low dose, side effects include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, seizures, hepatitis, psychosis, stroke, damage to the heart muscle, etc. In extreme cases, death is also a likely result.

Other Recreational Drugs

To increase performance, athletes consume alcohol, cannabinoids, narcotics and nicotine. Alcohol is only banned in very few competitions. In an attempt to relieve anxiety, athletes can use these drugs. There is little evidence that these drugs actually improve performance. Narcotics relieve pain. Nicotine can help with weight loss and improve concentration.

Athletes remain silent on addiction issues because they don't want to ruin their reputation. Because of this, the problems are not usually recognized at an earlier stage, leading to drastic results when the person eventually discovers they have a drug problem. Sometimes it's too late to save their lives. This unfortunate fate can be largely avoided if athletes' friends and family are on the lookout for symptoms that suggest a drug problem.

Becoming an addict causes some physical and behavioral changes in the person. These changes are not easy to hide and are easily identified by loved ones. Catching the problem before it spirals out of control can save lives and careers.

Also read:Executive rehabilitation for inpatients with dual diagnosis

Lying and hiding are usually some of the most common signs. They might lie to you about stopping drug abuse or never doing drugs. Regular drunkenness is another obvious sign. These symptoms can occur along with social distancing and silence.

Their social activities may begin to revolve around drugs and they may begin to engage in unsafe and risky sexual activities. They also start getting bad grades or performing poorly at work. As an athlete, this obviously affects your performance and you stop being as good as you used to be.

Memory loss and fainting spells are also an indication of your drug addiction. Mood swings accompanied by a playful and irritable attitude can also be a sign. Their drug tolerance would increase and they could now consume a greater amount of drugs. Soon their ability to think rationally diminishes and they are unable to control their consumption.

A coach is able to spot when a player starts acting strangely. He/she can confront the athlete immediately before he/she gets out of control.

As seen so far, there are many reasons and temptations to lure athletes into the drug trap. Many notable names have been given.

(Video) Why a sports person takes drug || Effects of drug on athletes || with English subtitle

Lance Armstrong

The famous cyclist was accused of drug abuse for 12 years, during which time he won multiple titles. He and his teammates used PEDs. USMessagegives details of Armstrong's allegations.

Maria Sharapova

A spectacular tennis star has tested positive for Meldoniumfailed a drug test in 2016, a performance-enhancing drug. When this information was released, Sharapova's reputation took a bit of a hit and many big brands and companies like Nike stopped supporting her.

Michael Phelps

The 18-time Olympic champion wasSwimming ban for 6 monthsafter his second DUI arrest. Phelps enrolled in a 6-week rehab program to focus on his alcohol addiction. His photos of him smoking weed on a bong have also been leaked.

Lamar Odom

The former NBA basketball player had onestrong dependencycocaine and other substances. He spent 4 days in a coma after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel in 2015.

Diego Maradona

The legendary footballer has tested positive for the banned ephedrine. FIFA also discovered other banned substances such as phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, non-pseudoephedrine and methylephedrine. As a result, Maradona was banned for 15 months. 1991,Cocaine has been found in your systemin Italy and was suspended for another 15 months.

Andre Agassi

The tennis player developed a methamphetamine addiction and even tried to cover it up by lying to tennis authorities and failing a drug test in 1997. Agassi battled addiction and ended a Grand Slam career.

For some athletes, addiction has led to death and the end of the careers they risked their lives for.

The social stigma associated with admitting that you need help can make it difficult for addicts to get the support they need. Athletes in particular want to avoid the headlines about therapies. They fear risking their reputation and career. The shame of being an addict or the struggles of being one can be too much to handle. Therefore, they ignore the problems they face or try to solve them themselves. That does more harm than good. Withdrawal symptoms can often be worse than the side effects and need to be treated professionally. Stopping certain medications suddenly can be harmful and can be fatal or suicidal.

Therefore, it is highly recommended and encouraged that you consult a professional and openly discuss your issues. Once you show readiness, you will be presented with many options to help you deal with the problem. Whether you're confiding in a friend, loved one, coach, or teammate, remember it's important to talk about it. Silence and suffering alone is not the solution. You will not be judged; You will not suffer retribution. In fact, you will see the warmth and support that society has to offer. Privacy is respected and patients are our top priority. Therefore, consult a treatment provider and explore your treatment options. Find what suits you best and start your journey back to life. Let's get addicted to recovery, not drugs!

Frequently Asked Questions (Substance Abuse by Athletes)

What factors promote drug use in athletes?

Many factors can lead to drug use by athletes. To achieve their goals in their chosen field, they turn to performance-enhancing drugs. The main reasons can be divided into three main categories; for the treatment of diseases, for "recreational" and social purposes, for performance enhancement.

What drugs are allowed in sports?

Here is a list of some drugs that are allowed in sports;
• Stimulants
• Anabolic steroids
• Narcotics
• Peptidhormone
• Beta2 agonists
• Diuretics

(Video) Addiction Costs Promising Athlete a Sports Career

How do medications affect athletic performance?

Medications can temporarily give an athlete all the strength, endurance, and energy they need. PEDs can improve your performance. Stimulants can make you more alert and mobile. Medications can also reduce fatigue. They can also help athletes overcome mental health issues and physical pain and injury so they can focus on their performance and perform better.

What are the negative effects of drugs in sports?

Substance abuse can affect a healthy mind and body. Side effects include:
• palpitations.
• cardiac arrhythmias.
• weight loss.
• Tremble.
• Mild high blood pressure
• hallucinations.
• Attack.
• Heart attack and other circulatory problems
• And until death

Dependency and addiction lead to inability to function without drug use and can have devastating consequences in the long run. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be extreme.

How can the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports be stopped?

Strict laws and rules must be enforced by sporting event organizers and strict compliance with these rules must be ensured. All players must undergo regular testing and screening before competitive matches. Coaches must be warned not to allow players to use over-the-counter drugs. Analgesics should only be administered as prescribed and dosage should be closely monitored.

Educational campaigns must be launched to condemn drug use and fight addiction. A sports psychologist must be available to players and athletes.

(Video) Top 10 Athletes with Drug Addiction


  • Drug addiction treatment for athletes
  • Addiction to prescription drugs
  • Treatment of prescription drugs
  • Stage Fright
  • improve sports fitness
  • substance abuse
  • Dependence on muscle relaxants
  • Robaxin addiction
  • FAQs

    What are some of the substances that can lead to issues for athletes? ›

    The main types of banned substance are:
    • anabolic steroids.
    • peptide hormones and growth factors (such as human growth hormone)
    • beta-2 agonists (medicine used for asthma control)
    • hormones.
    • diuretics.
    • illicit drugs.

    What are the effects of substance abuse on physical performance in a sport? ›

    It can decrease concentration, coordination, reaction time, strength, power and endurance.

    What are the 4 main motivations that cause athletes to use banned performance enhancing substances in sports? ›

    There are many reasons why athletes may take drugs, ranging from routine social behaviour through to illegal performance enhancement.
    • Achievement of athletic success by improved performance.
    • Financial gain.
    • Improving recovery.
    • Prevention of nutritional deficiencies.
    • The idea that others use them.

    What are the 2 main enhancing drugs banned substances used by professional athletes? ›

    The following substances, and other substances with similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s), are prohibited:
    Jun 1, 2019

    What are examples of drug use in sport? ›

    Commonly abused agents in sports include anabolic–androgenic steroids and its analogs, blood, erythropoietin, growth hormone and its derivatives, nutritional supplements, creatine, amphetamines, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), stimulants, and analgesics.

    Which drug is being excessively taken by some sports persons nowadays? ›

    Thus, cannabinoids are being excessively taken by some sports persons nowadays.

    What are the disadvantages of using drugs in sports? ›

    Two big reasons are that drugs can damage your health and it's cheating if athletes use drugs to assist their performance. Olympic athletes know that taking drugs violates the competitive spirit of the Games,is irresponsible toward your own health, and is not fairplay.

    What are the disadvantages of drugs in exercise and sports? ›

    All people who use anabolic steroids might start to get:
    • Severe acne.
    • A higher risk of swollen or torn cords in the body called tendons, which attach muscle to bone.
    • Liver tumors, or other changes to the liver.
    • Higher levels of the "bad" cholesterol, called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
    Dec 10, 2022

    How does substance abuse affect performance? ›

    For instance, substance use could divert time and energy away from studying. It is also possible that substance use is causally related to these outcomes through its effects on cognitive functioning, attention span, short-term memory, or even self-esteem.

    What are the main illegal substances athletes use? ›

    Drugs Banned in Sport
    • Erythropoietin (EPO or epoetin alfa)
    • Anabolic steroids.
    • Stimulants.
    • Human Growth Hormone.
    • Diuretics.
    Nov 21, 2022

    What are the pros and cons of performance-enhancing drugs? ›

    Athletes use the drugs illicitly to increase alertness, competitiveness, responsiveness, and weight loss. However, side-effects of the drugs include addiction, aggression, anxiety, hypertension, brain hemorrhage, coma, convulsions, dehydration, heart attacks, insomnia, stroke, tremors, and even death.

    What is drug abuse in sports? ›

    The use of drugs to gain an. advantage over others in competition is called doping, which. remains a serious issue, putting an athlete's health at risk. and also threatening the integrity and reputation of sport.1,2. Doping is defined by the International Olympic Committee.

    What are the most common drugs used in sports? ›

    Commonly abused agents in sports include anabolic–androgenic steroids and its analogs, blood, erythropoietin, growth hormone and its derivatives, nutritional supplements, creatine, amphetamines, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), stimulants, and analgesics.

    What is the drug called that athletes use? ›

    Anabolic steroids, commonly called "roids," juice, hype or pump, are powerful prescription drugs. They are controlled substances that people abuse in high doses to boost their athletic performance.

    What sports are stimulants most commonly used in? ›

    Stimulants are used in team contact sports such as ice hockey and American football and sports which require quick reaction times such as baseball.

    What are the reasons for drug use in sport? ›

    Why Do Athletes Use Drugs?
    • Many athletes use drugs to cope with stress and mental illness. ...
    • Athletes may begin using prescription painkillers to reduce pain from competition-related injuries.
    • Athletes may begin using drugs or alcohol to cope with the loneliness or anxiety of retirement.
    Aug 27, 2021

    What is the most popular performance enhancing drug? ›

    The most commonly used PEDs are anabolic androgenic steroids, which are known for their ability to build and strengthen muscle as well as reduce body fat. Other common PEDs include: Human growth hormone (HGH). Athletes and other young adults may use this drug to improve performance and increase muscle.

    How do you detect drug abuse in sports? ›

    Urine and blood tests can be conducted in- and out-of-competition at anytime and at any place if an athlete competes at the international and/or national level. An athlete's International Federation (IF), National Anti-Doping Agency (NADO), or a Major Event Organizing Committee can perform the tests.

    Which athletes have taken drugs? ›

    30 Famous Athletes Who Have Battled Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
    • Michael Phelps. Eight-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps has not only plunged into the water, but into drugs. ...
    • Dock Ellis. ...
    • Darryl Strawberry. ...
    • Derek Boogaard. ...
    • Diego Maradona. ...
    • Andre Agassi. ...
    • Josh Hamilton. ...
    • Ricky Williams.
    Jan 19, 2023

    How many athletes have been banned for taking drugs? ›

    According to Olympics historian Bill Mallon, more than 140 athletes were banned or disqualified, including 42 medallists (13 of which were gold). Nearly half were caught using retrospective testing.

    Who uses stimulants in sport? ›

    • Maria Sharapova. Maria Sharapova and Meldonium at the Australian Open. ...
    • Tyson Gay. In July 2013, Tyson Gay was meant to make Usain Bolt sweat in the 100-metre dash at the Moscow World Championships. ...
    • Diego Maradona. ...
    • Anderson Silva. ...
    • Roy Jones Jr. ...
    • Ben Johnson. ...
    • Lance Armstrong. ...
    • Shane Warne.
    Aug 30, 2018

    Why is drug testing important for athletes? ›

    The purpose of the drug-testing program is to deter student-athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs, and it impacts the eligibility of student-athletes who try to cheat by using banned substances.

    Why drugs should not be allowed in sports essay? ›

    The use of performance-enhancing drugs creates a disadvantage for the athletes that don't use PEDs since they will not perform as well as the athletes that used the drugs during the game or competition. Also, when drugs are used it takes the human effort away from sports where athletes have trained hard.

    How does physical activity affect drug action? ›

    Exercise reduces the blood flow in the liver and deactivation of drugs with flow-limited (high clearance) hepatic metabolism such as nitrates and lidocaine. Metabolism of capacity-limited (low clearance) drugs, e.g. antipyrine, diazepam and amobarbital, is not influenced by exercise.

    What are the effects of exercise and drug absorption? ›

    Exercise in general decreases the absorption after oral administration and increases absorption after intramuscular and subcutaneous administration. Exercise de- creases the distribution and excretion of flow-limited drugs and increases the distribution and excretion for capacity-limited drugs.

    What are the major factors that cause involvement in substance abuse? ›

    Risk factors
    • Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves an increased risk based on genes. ...
    • Mental health disorder. ...
    • Peer pressure. ...
    • Lack of family involvement. ...
    • Early use. ...
    • Taking a highly addictive drug.
    Oct 4, 2022

    How does substance misuse affect development? ›

    The main impact of parental substance misuse (PSM) on child development can be summarised as follows: In utero exposure to drugs and alcohol may affect bonding, health and development (short and long term). PSM adversely affects attachment, family dynamics and relationships.

    Does substance abuse increases risk of injury? ›

    The combination of alcohol and drugs multiplies their effects and increases the risk of injury and death. Drug and alcohol use increases the possibility of an on-the-job accident.

    What drugs are typically used illegally in sports to obtain an advantage? ›

    • Anabolic androgenic steroids. Anabolic androgenic steroids are naturally occurring male hormones involved in a wide range of physiological functions. ...
    • Human growth hormone (hGH and rhGH) ...
    • Erythropoietin (EPO)

    Is caffeine a banned substance for athletes? ›

    No, caffeine is permitted in sports governed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It is currently on WADA's monitoring list which means it is not prohibited but WADA is monitoring it in case it becomes an anti-doping issue in the future.

    What drugs are banned in football? ›

    Social drugs are banned at all times by The FA. The term 'social drug' means any of the following: amphetamine, cannabinoids, cocaine, diamorphine (aka heroin), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mephedrone, methadone, methylamphetamine, methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) and methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA).

    Are performance enhancing drugs unethical? ›

    Drugs, notably those that are performance enhancing are considered to be unethical by most international sports organizations as well as the International Olympic Committee.

    Should athletes be drug tested? ›

    One of the biggest risks of drug use is addiction, which is a harsh price to pay for improved performance. If student athletes know the consequences of using drugs, then they'll be less tempted to resort to them. Drug testing student athletes is a useful preventative measure even after their season is over.

    What are the cons of using steroids in sports? ›

    Anabolic steroids can lead to early heart attacks, strokes, liver tumors, kidney failure, and serious psychiatric problems.

    Is Adderall a performance enhancer? ›

    Performing-enhancing drugs, particularly stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, have become widely abused by college students and working adults.

    What is a negative effect of taking stimulants in sport? ›

    At low doses, stimulants can lead to increased perspiration, shaking, inability to focus, and sleep loss, as well as low appetite and dehydration. In higher doses, stimulants can also lead to more severe health effects, such as rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.

    What drug do they give to NFL players? ›

    All 50 players agree it's most effective to take Toradol on game day, typically an hour or so before warm-ups. ("It zaps that inflammation," says an AFC offensive lineman.

    Why would an athlete use stimulants? ›

    CNS stimulants are used in sport to reduce tiredness and to increase alertness, competitiveness, and aggression. Stimulants are more likely to be used on the day of a competition; however, they may be used in training, to allow the intensity of the training session to be increased.

    Why are stimulants banned in sports? ›

    The reasons for the ban are mainly the health risks of performance-enhancing drugs, the equality of opportunity for athletes, and the exemplary effect of drug-free sport for the public. Anti-doping authorities state that using performance-enhancing drugs goes against the "spirit of sport".

    Which substance is banned for use by athletes? ›

    The NCAA bans the following drug classes.

    Diuretics and masking agents. Narcotics. Cannabinoids. Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances and mimetics.

    What are five 5 environmental factors that can affect an athlete's performance? ›

    Climatic conditions, including temperature, wind, rain, humidity, altitude and pollution, can have an impact on the performance and health of an athlete. Changing conditions can have a negative and harmful effect on an athlete.

    What are 2 things that make athletes stressed? ›

    Besides competing, other things can make athletes feel stressed out, such as:
    • too much pressure from parents or coaches to win.
    • having too much on the schedule.
    • not wanting to play the sport.

    Why is it unfair for athletes to use drugs? ›

    Two big reasons are that drugs can damage your health and it's cheating if athletes use drugs to assist their performance. Olympic athletes know that taking drugs violates the competitive spirit of the Games,is irresponsible toward your own health, and is not fairplay.

    Which three of the following are banned substances in sport? ›

    Substances and techniques that are prohibited by WADA fall into the following categories: androgens, blood doping, peptide hormones, stimulants, diuretics, narcotics, and cannabinoids.

    What are the side effects of prohibited substances in sports? ›

    • Insomnia.
    • Anxiety.
    • Weight Loss.
    • Dependence and addiction.
    • Dehydration.
    • Tremors.
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
    • Increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrhythmia.

    Are performance enhancing drugs allowed in sports? ›

    Using steroids to improve athletic performance is considered cheating, and can lead to athletes being penalized or banned from participating in sports. More importantly, using performance-enhancing steroids can have serious, long-term health consequences.

    What do athletes struggle with the most? ›

    Exercise is well-known for its positive effects on mental health. But that doesn't mean athletes are immune to depression and anxiety. Data from the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that 35% of elite athletes struggle with eating disorders, burnout, depression, or anxiety.

    What is the biggest factor affecting sports performance? ›

    Lifestyle factors that affect sports training and performance
    • Sleep.
    • Stress.
    • Nutrition.
    • Health & Energy.
    • Motivation.
    • Relaxation.
    Jan 18, 2022

    What affects athletes mental health? ›

    Psychological risk factors to injury Anxiety/worry Hypervigilance Poor body image Low self-esteem Perfectionism Limited coping skills Life event stresses Risk-taking behaviour Low mood state Sociocultural risk factors to injury Limited social resources Lifetime history of abuse Social pressures Organisational stress ...

    What are the 3 types of psychological stress affecting athletes in season? ›

    categorized these types of stress as; Competitive, Organizational and Personal. Understanding this can help both coach and player build a big picture view of what is holding back, or helping, performance.

    What are the main causes of stress in sport? ›

    As for the sport environment, difficult relationships with teammates or coaches, unrealistic or unclear performance expectations, time demands, lack of clarity regarding role definition within the team, consistent critical feedback coupled with little to no communication of support or encouragement, intolerance for ...


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