Chemical compounds prohibited in sport

Chemical compounds prohibited in sport

Aggressive sport means each competitors and equal probabilities. It means a scarcity of pharmacological and technical assist. Thus, completely different medicine, medicine, and even coaching strategies usually are not allowed. However, these restrictions are legitimate solely on the planet {of professional} sports activities. In response to the newbie competitions, their strategy to this matter is much less orthodox. Let’s attempt to discover out which chemical substances must be prevented after we take sports activities critically.

Picture credit score: Magdalena Osial


All substances prohibited in skilled sports activities are marked within the worldwide doc referred to as the World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited Listing [1]. It covers substances in addition to strategies, that are forbidden in sport and competitions. All these restrictions might be thought of in two points: the moral problem (fair-play) and the medical facet (quick or long-term physique harm).

Rivals are subjected to Athletic Drug Testing assessments to find out whether or not the substances on the checklist usually are not current of their our bodies. Penalties of discovering a few of them can vary from disqualification, sanction, and even stripping of titles and medals.


Doping is broadly believed to be a contemporary invention. Nonetheless, there may be proof that varied substances of plant, animal, and even human origin have been utilized in historical instances. One of many first performance-enhancing substances to be tried was testosterone. In historical instances, the testicles of animals and even people have been generally eaten to boost their efficiency [2]. Different sources say the fig weight-reduction plan is predicted to enhance efficiency in sports activities [2].

The traditional Greeks made mixtures of brandy and wine for this goal [3]. Roman gladiators additionally used plant-derived stimulants to beat fatigue and accidents [3]. Doping substances have developed significantly since historical instances. Their lengthy checklist is spectacular [1]. Let’s take an in depth have a look at the preferred substances positioned on it.


There are a couple of courses of drugs that we should always not take when taking part in skilled sports activities competitions and through our coaching. It doesn’t must be elements of medicine; they may very well be compounds of medicines.

First, there are anabolic brokers or extra generally referred to as steroids; this can be a class of drugs that construct muscle [4]. These compounds work like natural-produced hormones in our physique and tissues e. g. taking testosterone-like substances provides not equal probabilities in efficiency. The checklist of drugs that fall below the identify of anabolic brokers is intensive, and typically, even when one thing isn’t listed, it may well nonetheless be prohibited when it has comparable results on the physique or a chemical construction.

Picture credit score: Match stezky through Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Furthermore, anabolic brokers’ long-term supplementation might present hypogonadism, cardiac impairment, neurodegeneration, coronary artery illness, and sudden cardiac loss of life. The identical impact as anabolics brokers might be achieved with pure male hormones (testosterone). The rise of testosterone degree offers an anabolic impression [5].

One other subgroup is the precursor hormones, which elevated the testosterone degree. Different forbidden substances are protein hormones and growth hormones. Probably the most well-known substance on this class is Erythropoietin (EPO). It’s a protein that happens naturally within the physique and is accountable for producing new crimson blood cells referred to as erythrocytes and the crimson pigment referred to as hemoglobin degree.

Erythrocytes transport oxygen to cells, so a better degree of hemoglobin improves the physique’s effectivity. For that motive, EPO has been utilized by athletes coaching endurance sports activities comparable to biking. Sadly, too excessive a hemoglobin degree thickens the blood, resulting in an elevated danger of coronary heart assault, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. For that motive, the EPO was banned by the World Anti-Doping Company [6].

The β2-agonists are the subsequent group of prohibited substances [7]. They’re utilized in medication to deal with bronchial asthma or Continual Obstructive Pulmonary Illness (COPD). Their process is to broaden the bronchi and facilitate respiration, which will increase the physique’s effectivity. The most typical side- results of taking them are nervousness, coronary heart palpitations, and muscle cramps.

The Hormone and metabolic modulators are additionally forbidden [8]. They’ve been utilized by athletes in each power and endurance sports activities to stop the adverse results attributable to taking anabolics. Their motion is assorted, a few of them are designed to boost enzymes’ motion, others decelerate the response.

Anti-estrogens, which embrace, for instance, Aromatase inhibitors or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs), are designed to scale back the exercise of estrogen within the physique. Aromatase inhibitors block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. SERMs bind to estrogen receptors and thus block the consequences of the hormone. As a result of many side-effects, they’re included in WADA’s checklist.


Medicine and different substances might result in improved efficiency in sport, offering a ban, sanction, and even shedding the medals. After we take into consideration sports activities critically, we must be conscious that different substances exist, together with some medicines and dietary supplements forbidden within the sports activities area. We could also be taking such substances unknowingly.

This text is a joint work of Aleksandra Wójcik (College of Chemistry, College of Warsaw), Magdalena Abramowicz (College of Chemistry, College of Warsaw), and Agnieszka Pregowska (Institute of Elementary Technological Analysis, Polish Academy of Sciences) as part of the Science Embassy Undertaking. Picture Credit score – Magdalena Osial.


[1] (accessible on 13.03.2021)

[2] Yesalis, C. E.; Bahrke, M. S. Historical past of doping in sport, in: M.S. Bahrke, C.E. Yesalis(Eds.), Efficiency-Enhancing Substances in Sport and Train, first ed.,Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2002, 1–20.

[3] Voy, R. O.; Deeter Ok. D., Medicine, Sport, and Politics, Leisure Press, Champaign, IL,1991, 227.

[4] Albano, G.D.; Amico, F.; Cocimano, G.; Liberto, A.; Maglietta, F.; Esposito, M.; Rosi, G.L.; Di Nunno, N.; Salerno, M.; Montana, A. Hostile Results of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids: A Literature Evaluate. Healthcare 2021, 9, 97. DOI: 10.3390/healthcare9010097

[5] City; R. J. Progress hormone and testosterone: anabolic results on muscle. Horm Res Paediatr. 2011,76 Suppl., 1, 81–3. DOI: 10.1159/000329184.

[6] Hemani, S.; Lane, O.; Agarwal, S.; Ping, S.; Woodbury, A. Systematic Evaluate of Erythropoietin (EPO) for Neuroprotection in Human Research. Neurochem. Res. 2021. DOO: 10.1007/s11064-021-03242-z

[7] Thevis, M.; Kuuranne, T.; Geyer, H. Annual banned‐substance assessment: Analytical approaches in human sports activities drug testing 2019/2020. Drug Check Anal. 2021, 13,: 8–35. DOI: 10.1002/dta.2969

[8] Mottram, D. R.; Chester, N. Medicine in Sport, Routledge 2018.

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