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Ethical Issues with Improving Performance: Drugs
Transcript of Ethical Issues with Improving Performance: Drugs
Use of Drugs
Doping is the use of a prohibited substance or technique in the quest for improved performance.
An ergogenic aid is any procedure, process or substance that enhances performance (or is perceived to enhance performance).
Ergogenic aids are not only drugs. There are ﬁve classes of performance-enhancing aids. They are:
• mechanical aids (equipment, skill development and biomechanics)
• pharmacological aids (drugs)
• nutritional aids (dietary manipulation)
• psychological aids (mental rehearsal, goal-setting and hypnosis)
• physiological aids (blood-doping, training, recovery procedures and oxygen uptake).
Success and fame have brought rich rewards from a variety of sources, and
competition for a portion of these is intense. The intrinsic desire to win and the lure of millions of dollars in prize money, and more than this again in sponsorships and endorsements, cause some athletes to take any measure to improve their performance.
The dangers of performance enhancing drug use
Drug Use for Strength benefits - Human growth steroid
Human growth hormone
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a powerful anabolic hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. It is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulates the growth of muscle, cartilage and bone.
A sportsperson is likely to take HGH to increase muscle size. Because there is a close relationship between muscle size and strength, competitors in events that require power and short bursts of explosive strength would beneﬁt the most.
It also allows muscles to recover more quickly, therefore allowing the athlete to train harder and more often.
HGH also increases the number of red blood cells, boosts heart function and makes more energy available by stimulating
There are, however, many potential health risks. The major symptoms of this are swelling of the hands and feet and a coarsened facial appearance such as protruding jaw and eyebrow bones.
Organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys will also undergo excessive growth, leading to potentially life-threatening problems.
Hypertension and diabetes may also occur.
Drug Use for Strength benefits - Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are drugs that resemble testosterone, a hormone that is produced in the testes of males and, to a much lesser extent, in the ovaries of females.
Testosterone is partially responsible for the developmental changes that occur during puberty and adolescence and is also involved in controlling the development of all tissues, including muscle.
Because testosterone and related drugs aﬀect muscle growth, raising their levels in the blood can help athletes increase muscle size and strength.
Athletes who use anabolic steroids also claim that they reduce body fat and recovery time after injury. Steroids may also promote increased aggression and competitiveness in athletes.
Anabolic steroids are often taken in cycles during training prior to competition and then stopped for several weeks before a competition to reduce the likelihood of positive testing.
Eﬀects such as increased body hair and a deepening of the voice are not always desirable, particularly in women.
As anabolic steroids mimic naturally occurring hormones they can interfere with normal hormone function. This may result in a wide range of harmful side eﬀects, such as increased risk of liver and cardiovascular diseases (particularly hypertension), acne, male and female infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, shrinking testicles, stunted growth in teenagers as a result of premature closure of the growth plates of the bones, premature baldness, increased aggression and mood swings. They may also produce psychological dependence.
Drug use for aerobic performance: EPO
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a peptide hormone that acts on bone marrow to stimulate the production of red blood cells and regulates the concentration of red blood cells and haemoglobin in the blood
EPO increases oxygen-carrying capacity used in endurance events.
By injecting EPO, athletes aim to gain a beneﬁt by increasing their concentration of red blood cells, which are responsible for supplying oxygen to the cells, including muscle cells, and consequently, increasing their aerobic capacity.
EPO may also increase the body’s capacity to buﬀer lactic acid
Side effects include: thicken blood – can lead to heart attacks, clots or stroke.
Drugs to mask other drugs: Direutics
Diuretics: increases fluid released from the body, meaning the body has less fluid.
Athletes may use these substances to conceal prohibited substances (for example, anabolic steroids) by diluting their urine in an attempt to mask a drug test. However, the detection of a diuretic in a urine drug test constitutes a positive test.
Side effects include: kidney damage and dehydration and electrolyte loss, a drop in blood pressure; loss of coordination and balance; inability of the body to regulate temperature.
Diuretic example - Alcohol
Alcohol: is a diuretic. It encourages the body to lose more water than it takes on by halting the production of the bodies anti-diuretic hormone.
Side effects include:, loss of coordination and balance, and through dehydration the inability of the body to regular temperature.
What to do...
Make sure you have copied the notes into your workbooks
Complete 'Drugs in Sport' worksheet for Wednesday's class