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What Are Performance Enhancing Drugs?

by Michael Madson
  • Overview

    Performance-enhancing drugs give athletes some kind of competitive advantage. They are generally taken in start-stop patterns called "cycling" and have been blacklisted by professional athletic organizations.
  • Some professional baseball players have admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs
  • History

    Performance enhancing drugs date back to the ancient Olympics, when athletes would eat sheep testicles or ground horse hooves. The International Olympic Committee published its first list of banned drugs in 1963.
  • Function

    Different drugs have different functions. Some build muscle and boost energy, and others change the body's natural balance of fluids and salts, which helps athletes lose weight.
  • Types

    There are five main types of performance enhancing drugs: steroids, diuretics, creatine, androstenedione and stimulants.
  • Warning

    Performance enhancing drugs produce side effects that range from baldness and aggression to infertility and hallucinations. They can also cause death.
  • Famous Ties

    Baseball players Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Wally Joyner, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez have all admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Dozens more have been implicated.

    References & Resources