Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal: Performance Boosting Drugs Used
Lance Armstrong’s ignominy regarding his doping drug scandal is now stuff of folklore. United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report, not only was responsible for revealing Lance Armstrong’s extent of compliance regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs, but it also broke the hearts of millions of cancer fighters and sports enthusiasts for whom he was no less than God. He was a source of inspiration, and it was heartbreaking to see his feet of clay being revealed.
Bikepure shares some of the doping drugs which professional cyclists like Lance Armstrong often use..
- EPO (erythropoietin): EPO came into existence in the 1980’s. It is a chemical form of blood doping that allows aerobic potential to increase by increasing blood’s oxygen transfer capacity. How does EPO do that? It does so by boosting red blood cell count, and as we know, red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood across the body and thus enhance performance. EPO could not be easily detected till 2000 (when a test was finally made to detect its presence in the body), and that is one of the reasons why it was a popular choice for professional cycling athletes who competed then. EPO is now banned in professional cycling.
- Blood Doping: In this form of doping, an athlete has his/ her healthy blood removed from the body (post a resting period, since the blood is freshest) and then the same blood is stored. This stored blood is transfused back into the rider when needed. So this fresh blood infused back, boosts red blood cell count, and thus gives an athlete an immense performance enhancement. This is also forbidden for athletes.
- Human Growth Hormone: Here protein, natural or artificial anabolic agents in amalgamation with hyper-protein diet and muscle-building exercise is often used to increase muscle power and strength of an athlete. These growth hormones are used most often before a big sporting event, in order to help in muscle mass building and aid in their recovery process too. Have you noticed how some sporting figures have larger bones, especially the jawbone? Well, growth hormones are known to thicken bones and enlarge organs.
- Steroids: Steroids are a popular doping choice by professional cyclists, since anabolic steroids improve muscle development and also enhance kidney’s ability to produce natural EPO.
Apart from the above-mentioned doping methods, athletes, in order, to compete for a longer time and also assist in weight loss often use stimulants like Cocaine and Ecstasy.
The mind boggles at the thought of how so many non-natural options are available for professional athletes to boost up their sporting performance. And all this while, one believed that sports was all about being ethical and having a sporting spirit!