What Are Performance Enhancing Drugs?
by Michael Madson
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.
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.
There are five main types of performance enhancing drugs: steroids, diuretics, creatine, androstenedione and stimulants.
Performance enhancing drugs produce side effects that range from baldness and aggression to infertility and hallucinations. They can also cause death.
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.