• July 6th, 2020

My weekly take away - Dangers of doping: What is the big deal?

Most medications on the prohibited list can be bought at a pharmacy, so they must be safe to use, right? The answer is ‘No’. Medications are for people with specific health issues – not for healthy athletes. These medications are not approved to be used in higher doses by healthy people and in combination with other substances.

What about dietary or nutritional supplements? Beware! Supplement companies are not highly regulated, meaning you never know what you are taking. There could be a banned substance in your “all-natural” supplement. Use at your own risk.

What’s at risk? All medications have side effects but taking them when your body doesn’t need them can cause serious damage to your body and destroy your athletic career.
What happens to an athlete who uses doping agents? Steroids may make your muscles big and strong. But you may become dependent on it, and it may give you acne and make you bald; increase your risk of liver and cardiovascular disease; give you mood swings and make you more aggressive or suicidal.
Gentlemen, you may also look forward to shrinking testicles, reduced sex drive and even impotence, as well as a decrease in sperm production. Meanwhile, ladies may experience deeper voice, excessive facial and body hair, abnormal menstrual cycles and an enlarged clitoris.

Stimulants are used to heighten the competitive edge. But how edgy would you feel if you can’t sleep (insomnia), feeling anxious and aggressive; have involuntary shaking or trembling, and problems with your coordination and balance, as well as developing an increased and irregular heart rate that can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

HGH (human growth hormone) may make muscles and bones stronger and recover faster. But it’s not only your muscles that get bigger. Using HGH may lead to protruding forehead, brow, skull and jaw – which can’t be reversed. It may also lead to an enlarged heart that can result in high blood pressure and even heart failure and damage to your liver, thyroid and vision.

Masking agents: some athletes try to cheat the system by using diuretics and other substances to cover-up the signs of using banned substances. The side effects can definitely affect your ability to compete and train. An athlete may become dizzy or even faint; become dehydrated or get muscle cramps; have a drop in blood pressure; loose coordination and balance, as well as develop cardiac disorders.

Marijuana, whether you are a pothead or a casual user, marijuana may have a negative effect on your athletic performance or your health. Using marijuana may reduce your memory, attention and motivation – even resulting in learning disabilities; weaken your immune system and lead to psychological and physical dependence and affect your lungs (chronic bronchitis and other respiratory diseases – even throat cancer).
Narcotics, just like heroin and morphine, may help you forget about the pain but how competitive do you think you’d be with a weakened immune system; decreased heart rate and suppressed respiratory system; lessened abilities in balance, coordination and concentration – and gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and constipation. Narcotics are highly addictive; your body and mind quickly become dependent on them. Stamp out doping – be part of the Play-True generation!

* Stefan Ngolo can be reached at ngoloset@gmail.com.

Staff Reporter
2020-03-04 08:02:22 | 4 months ago

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