It is an offense to use performance enhancement drugs while engaging in various competitive sports. This is mainly because performance enhancement drugs give athletes an unfair advantage over their competitors. Sportsmen face the risk of huge penalties should regulatory bodies discover that they use performance enhancement drugs.
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However, this does not deter sportsmen from using performance enhancement drugs. From time to time, various sportsmen fail the test for performance enhancement drugs. Performance enhancement drugs affect the physiology of athletes by increasing their energy and endurance. Nandrolone is one of the most common performance enhancement drugs.
Nandrolone is a steroid whose primary function is building muscles. The drug helps in rebuilding damaged tissues and red blood cells. Nandrolone also increases bone density. Increase in bone density is partially responsible for the increase in red blood cells. This makes nandrolone very effective in treating anaemia. Nandrolone also increases appetite and stimulates muscle growth.
Increase in muscle growth and strength of bones make nandrolone an excellent performance enhancement drug. Increase in strength is due to nandrolone’s ability to increase the body mass and reduce the fat mass (Baechle & Earle, 2009, p. 185). Nandrolone is an efficient performance enhancement drug in sprinting. This is because sprinting requires high amounts of energy.
Nandrolone increases the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Continued use of nandrolone lowers HDL cholesterol and increases LDL cholesterol. Change in the levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol coupled with other risk factors lead to a significant increase in the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
However, nandrolone also increases the activity of post-heparin triglyceride liver. Reduction in post-heparin triglyceride reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases regardless of the levels of LDL cholesterol (Mooney & Vergel, 2000, p. 26).
Nandrolone also affects the respiratory system. The drug increases the respiratory muscle strength. This is highly beneficial to patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Increase in muscle strength is due to the increase in diaphragm muscle mass. This increases aerobic metabolism and endurance levels of athletes (Dekhuijzen et al, 1999, p. 1044).
The kidney is the main organ that purifies chemicals in the blood. Introduction of drugs into the blood places undue pressure on the kidney. Frequent use of high amounts of nandrolone may cause renal failure as one of the side effects. Despite the fact that one of the side effects of nandrolone is renal failure, patients with end stage renal failure use the drug as an adjuvant therapy to parenteral nutrition (Hasso, 2009, p. 19).
Sprinters require vast amounts of energy while competing. Therefore, sprinters go printers go to great lengths to ensure that they accumulate enough energy while competing. This increases their chances of winning their respective races. Nandrolone is one of the major performance enhancing drugs that athletes use. However, it is an offense for athletes’ test samples to test more than 2.0 µg/L of nandrolone. Nandrolone is detectable in urine and hair.
The International Olympic Committee penalises athletes who fail the test for nandrolone. Penalties for failing the drug test range from ban for a few years to lifetime ban. Sprinter Marion Jones is one of the high profile athletes who have failed the test for nandrolone. Marion Jones admitted to using nandrolone. Subsequently, the International Olympic Committee striped her Olympic medals she had won (Zimniuch, 2009, p. 128). Marion Jones’ doping admission led to her fall from grace.
Baechle, TR & Earle, RW. 2009. Ebk essentials strength training and condition, Human Kinetics, Champagne, IL.
Dekhuijzen, PNR, Machiels, HA, Heunks, L MA, van der Heijden, HFM, & van Balkom, RHH. 1999. ‘Athletes and doping: eVects of drugs on the respiratory system’, Thorax, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 1041-1046.
Hasso, RA. 2009. ‘Histological toxic effect of nandrolone decanoate on the kidney of male rabbits: part one’, The Medical Journal of Basrah University, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 19-22.
Mooney, M & Vergel, N. 2000. Built to survive: A comprehensive guide to the medical use of anabolic steroids, nutrition, supplementation and exercise for HIV (+) men and women. Milestones Publishing, Houston, TX.
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Zimniuch, F. 2009. Crooked: a history of cheating in sports, Taylor Trade Publications. Lanham, MD.