Chemical substances used illicitly in sport are many, with different mechanisms of action and different hazard index. Each Sports Federation has set up its own rules and the list of prohibited substances. Generally, are prohibited substances whose use by the athlete is aiming to reduce the perception of fatigue, improve alertness, reflexes increase the strength and/or muscle strength, decrease pain, check your heart rate and/or respiratory system, reduce body weight, reduce anxiety or mask the presence in urine of banned substances. Like all forms of abuse, including doping had its "mode".
In the years ' 50-60 were in vogue, especially among cyclists, amphetamines, stimulants of the central nervous system. In the medical field has yielded the ability of these drugs to inhibit the stimulation of hunger to fight obesity. The serious adverse cardiovascular level, given the modest therapeutic benefits have largely limited its use.
Athletes makes use of amphetamines because they reduce the body's ability to feel fatigue. Reducing this, these drugs are pushing the body beyond its limits. Among sportsmen, the amphetamines caused more deaths (for arrhythmias, sudden increases in pressure, heart attacks) than any other substance. Also significantly increase aggressions. In the years ' 60, their use in American football was so widespread that this sport was described a particular psychiatric syndrome, called "Sunday Syndrome," characterized by behavioural changes such as expletives obscene and angry attitude.
It’s used in medicine to promote the synthesis of cellular proteins in patients debilitated, anabolic hormones viewed progressively their growth and popularity in sports. Dopants, are used to very high doses, to facilitate the increase of muscle mass and strength. These results, however, are found only in some athletes. Readily available in the clandestine market (some gyms sell them directly), have become a real "mass phenomenon" among bodybuilders and weight lifters. Health risks related to the use of these medications are manifold. In addition to defects in the structure of muscle tissue predisposing to breakage of tendons under stress, anabolics can cause numerous other toxic effects, in many cases irreversible. Young people under 20 years determine accelerated skeletal maturation with premature arrest of growth. In men can result in a decrease in the volume of the testes and sperm count resulting in infertility and impotence. In women the use of anabolic steroids is associated with the appearance of typically masculine traits such as overgrowth of hair and lowering of the entry stamp, and menstrual irregularities. The anabolic steroids increase the risk of stroke and heart attack [for elevation of LDL cholesterol (the "dangerous"), decreased HDL cholesterol (the "protective"), increased blood pressure] and may cause serious psychotic symptoms such as manic-depressive states, paranoid psychosis and aggressiveness. There are also reports of cases of cancers (prostate and liver) in athletes who were an indiscriminate users of anabolics.
Other drugs now in great vogue are growth hormone (somatotropin or) and erythropoietin or analogue of newer darbepoetin. The growth hormone is a hormone that stimulates physiological and growth is normally used in children who, lacking (from birth or for any illness) growth difficulties. Its use in sports is based on the assumption, scientifically unfounded, that could enhance muscle strength with an effect similar to that of anabolic drugs. When administered in healthy subjects, the growth hormone can cause the typical signs of a disease called acromegaly, characterized by the appearance of coarse (also of the skull), diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. There is a risk that some products can be found on the black market are infected with the virus "mad cow disease".
Erythropoietin (EPO) is used in medicine to treat some forms of anemia as it stimulates the production of red blood cells. The hormone increases the blood's ability to transport oxygen, which serves as fuel for burning the sugars, and then produce energy.