Sports and performance enhancing drugs

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Sports and performance enhancing drugs

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:58 pm

Alot of atheletes use them; some get caught. The pattern seems to be redesigning the drugs to avoid detection, and then new tests to find the new drugs. This isn't going to end.

I want to make them legal. Imagine two football teams seething with so much 'roid rage they need muzzles. Exciting spectator sports. After some number of deaths, the usage would likely drop somewhat, and in a sense the problem would solve itself.
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Postby Nicole Marie » Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:15 pm

Many countries have made them legal. Once legal you are under the direction of a doctor who monitors use and can safely regulate the drug. Many who use illegal use "dirty" drugs and risk taking something that is not clean and could lead to larger problems. (Some who have taken dirty drugs find out they have Hepatitis. Many of the dirty drugs come from Mexico and made in underground labs.) I'm with Giant, I really doubt people are going to stop. At least it can be made safer. Plus many of the drugs that get lumped into the steroid category can be safe if given by a doctor. But many of these drugs get lumped with HGH, which folks should really stay away from that.

Then the separate issue is athletics. Does it give someone an unfair advantage? Many sports have already addressed that issues. For example the body-building world has contests for those using enhancers and those who do not. They have developed two separate avenues for an athlete to take. Some sports have said some drugs are OK and others are not. In some football clubs in some countries it's OK for an athlete to use XYZ but can't use ABC. (I'm not talking about FIFA games but in other leagues in certain countries this is allowed.) Same for rugby they have the same rules too.
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Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:27 pm

GCR, how Darwinian of you.

;)
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Postby Marye » Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:56 pm

If you make steroids legal then weed should be legal. :deal: While we are at it why not make prostitution legal? Doctor monitored, safer for everyone... get men off the streets.... :rofl: Works for me.

:wink:
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Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:09 pm

Prostitution is legal in Nevada, but there are still lots of men on the streets, so it doesn't seem to work. :D
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Postby Marye » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:11 pm

Damn! ... not enough prostitutes maybe?
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Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:24 pm

Perhaps, or the price is too high. But then, if there was more supply, the price would drop, so back to your original solution...
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Postby Nicole Marie » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:03 pm

Good to hear from you again Marye!


Many have made the same argument... if it's legal then so should XY and Z.

The steroids that have been made legal (in other countries) are the ones that are naturally occurring hormones in the body. You can't make testosterone illegal... it's something that occurs naturally in the body. Plus test is something you cannot be arrested for in this country. The law nails you not on the possession but on the sale of it. (Even if the person arrested was going to sell it or not, they charge you with sale in the US. If they nailed you on possession every women in the country would be arrested for her birth control pills! Oh the mayhem...) When you look at HGH and some of the other items that are being made in labs, then those hit the illegal list.
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Postby barfle » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:18 pm

I've seen the following argument applied to performance enhancing drugs.

Would you rather have a surgeon who had a cup of coffee, or one who was less than alert?

There are several problems with performance enhancing drugs in sports, and I don't feel that gaining a competitive advantage is necessarily among them. I don't believe they test anyone in any sport for caffiene, and I certainly have enhanced performance if I have caffiene compared to the times I don't.

But the real problem is that there are people who are willing to risk serious health problems in order to win a particular contest. Steroids seem to be the most famous culprit along these lines, but I suppose there are plenty more. The concern is that some athletes want to live a long time and others simply want to excell in their sport and let the costs be damned.

Floyd Landis took several risks when he decided to compete in the tour de France with a rotten hip joint, and may have taken another if he boosted his testosterone levels artificially. I know of many athletes who have risked their future (and lost it) in the pursuit of victory. Plenty of auto racers come immediately to mind, but also think of the baseball players with torn rotator cuffs. I know of football players who feel that all the pads and safety equiment they wear slows them down. Chris Reeve was riding a horse and broke his neck, paralyzing him and ending his life far too soon. These things are part of the game, no matter what the game is.

I believe there is a situation involving performance enhancing drugs, but I'm not all that sure there's a problem.
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Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:38 pm

There's even drug testing in chess! FIDE has banned more than 100 substances, including alcohol, cannabis, and coffee--all known to enhance cognitive function.

Chess players may not now take a well-placed novacaine shot to allow them to sit for hours, and no more intravenous coffee drips!

What's the world coming to?
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:40 pm

Cannabis fractions should indeed be legal, available in the pharmacy, and treated with the same respect as any other prescription drug. The agricultural product that is the source of the chemicals remains of variable strength and cleanliness and should probably be treated with the same respect and legal sanctions as, say, 151 rum. The main problems are political.

Performance enhancing drugs - we're not talking about Cialis and Viagra here, right? That's a different sport? Unless you're agreeing with Mary (a sport and industry on which I have no current opinion)?

I think the prohibitions against the use of various drugs in competitive sport is a reflection of the whole "fair play" philosophy. There are also severe health consequences possible for users, particularly of the anabolic steroids that so enhance muscle mass and strength, and there are elevated connective tissue damage risks for those using pain suppressants.

It's a constant tension between the "fair play" crowd, and the "Winning isn't the main thing, it's the only thing" bunch. Sports are supposed to be, well, sports; but they're also a big business and attract some absolutely fierce competitors.

Tell you what: change football to use a frisbee, hand out brownies and hand-rolled happyweed at the stadium entrances, and make a fortune off the munchies that will ensue. Happy crowd, healthy players, and I'll bet it would be just as entertaining on TV.
>^..^<
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Postby piqaboo » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:50 pm

[quote = "barfle"]I don't believe they test anyone in any sport for caffiene, [/quote]

endurance olympic sports at least discussed testing for caffeine levels several years ago and I believe it was implemented (cross country skiing etc). I could google and check, but where's the fun in that>?
Caffeine frees up triglycerides or somesuch, making them easier and more accessible for use as fuel by the muscles.
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Postby bignaf » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:08 pm

The steroids that have been made legal (in other countries) are the ones that are naturally occurring hormones in the body.

When you look at HGH and some of the other items that are being made in labs, then those hit the illegal list.

HGH is a naturally occurring hormone.
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Postby jamiebk » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:34 pm

piqaboo wrote:[quote = "barfle"]I don't believe they test anyone in any sport for caffiene,

endurance olympic sports at least discussed testing for caffeine levels several years ago and I believe it was implemented (cross country skiing etc). I could google and check, but where's the fun in that>?
Caffeine frees up triglycerides or somesuch, making them easier and more accessible for use as fuel by the muscles.


The International Olympic Committee currently lists caffeine as a restricted drug. Urinary levels up to a concentration of12 mg/liter are acceptable, representing casual use. Levels above this are viewed as achieved through a deliberate attempt at doping by the athlete. Approximately 1000mg of caffeine (about 8 cups of coffee) would be required to exceed the current IOC limit, but it is very important to note that people can metabolize caffeine at very different rates. Differences in metabolism, medications, and certain diseases may significantly alter the rate in which caffeine is cleared from the body. Some athletes have come close to flunking the drug test after ingesting only 350mg.

Sidebar information from a reliable website: (Piqaboo...you are correct about caffiene's effect on the body's ability to burn fat):

Despite considerable research in this area, the role of caffeine as a performance enhancing drug is still controversial. Some of the data are conflicting, which is in part due to how the experimental studies were designed and what methods were used. However, there is general agreement in a few areas:

Caffeine does not appear to benefit short term, high intensity exercise (eg. sprinting)
Caffeine can enhance performance in endurance sports.

Glycogen is the principal fuel for muscles and exhaustion occurs when it is depleted. A secondary fuel, which is much more abundant, is fat. As long as there is still glycogen available, working muscles can utilize fat. Caffeine mobilizes fat stores and encourages working muscles to use fat as a fuel. This delays the depletion of muscle glycogen and allows for a prolongation of exercise. The critical time period in glycogen sparing appears to occur during the first 15 minutes of exercise, where caffeine has been shown to decrease glycogen utilization by as much as 50%. Glycogen saved at the beginning is thus available during the later stages of exercise. Although the exact method by which caffeine does this is still unclear, caffeine caused sparing in all of the human studies where muscle glycogen levels were measured. The effect on performance, which was observed in most experimental studies, was that subjects were able to exercise longer until exhaustion occurred.

In addition to the beneficial effects on muscle, caffeine may alter the perception of how hard you are working. During testing, athletes are asked to judge their effort, which is referred to as the rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Some studies have yielded significantly lower RPE's -- less fatigue -- when the athlete used caffeine. Other studies have not found this effect. Obviously, the RPE is very subjective, and there are many things that may influence it.
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Postby Shapley » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:54 pm

Approximately 1000mg of caffeine (about 8 cups of coffee) would be required to exceed the current IOC limit,


Or one double shot of espresso, properly made! :D
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Postby BigJon@Work » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:17 pm

When I used to play all-day volleyball tournaments, I always had Excedrin in my gear bag. Beyond the pain relief, I always felt that the caffeine allowed me to go full steam in the later games, even though I was fatigued.

I gave up Excedrin when I learned how bad it can be for the liver.
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Postby dai bread » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:34 pm

I came across an ex-sportswoman once who, at the age of 36, was having both hips replaced. She'd used steroids
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Postby barfle » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:51 am

Well, testing for caffiene. Next thing you know, they'll be talking over wires.

If it werent for the performance enhancement I derive from 24 oz of coffee each morning, I wouldn't have any performance at all. I guess it's a good thing I'm not a chess player.
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Postby piqaboo » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:15 am

In addition to caffeine, that early morning cup o joe commonly has another performance enhancing effect. The less weight one has to carry in an endurance event, the better!
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Postby jamiebk » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:13 pm

piqaboo wrote:In addition to caffeine, that early morning cup o joe commonly has another performance enhancing effect. The less weight one has to carry in an endurance event, the better!


It does seem to work that way doesn't it?

However, due to my horrible reflux I switched to tea over 2 years ago. I find that I cannot make it srong enough and usually use 2-3 bags per cup. Perhaps I am just trying to get the caffeine out of it. I must admit to dosing with an occassional caffeine tablet now and again (200mg). I do find that I miss the coffee buzz :shock:
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