Abuse of Performance Enhancing Drugs/Practices in Sports

Problems/Case Studies

Mitochondria, Metabolism and Athletic Performance: Blood Boosting in SportsPeters, J.S, College of Charleston, Dept. of Biology
In this problem, students to learn about cellular aerobic and anaerobic metabolism along with physiological systems that support metabolic processes (i.e. respiratory and circulatory systems).   Students do this in the context of exploring how blood boosting practices can affect athletic performance by integrating knowledge about biological energetics at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels.

"Next Generation Cheating" Zorpette, Glenn. Current Issues in Biology. Scientific American, Inc. September 2004. 64-75.

This article details the abuse of performance enhancing drugs. It focuses on the newer drugs that are harder to detect. Most of these drugs have yet to be identified, so there is not a test for them yet. The article also explains the use of testosterone as a muscle builder and it details blood doping, what is is and how it is abused. Scientists are concerned that molecular advances are going to make these abuses easier to use and harder to detect. This article is followed by a short quiz and critical thinking questions.

"Inside Cycling's Doping Scandal".  Men's Health.  November 2006. 
The third American ever to win the Tour de France, Floyd Landis, was faced with questions of cheating due to his higher-than-allowed ratio of testosterone to epi-testosterone in a unine analysis.  He will go up against a panel during winter 2006-07 and if found guilty could be banned from top-level competition for four years.  Some assert that the true cheaters do not get caught because they spend more money on more effective methods of cheating.  One doctor is documented in helping a cyclist evade drug tests using blood transfusions. 

"Armstrong surpised, upset by LeMond's comments.".  Sports Illustrated.  August 2, 2001. 
"Lance Armstrong said Thursday he was upset by remarks from fellow American Tour de France champion Greg LeMond regarding Armstrong's association with an Italian doctor linked to drug use in sports."

"Let them take dope and make them tell"  Gifford, Bill. 
The author takes the stance that performance-enhancing drugs should be legalized. However, at the end of the article, the author comes full-circle asserting that the public does not wish to watch a pharmaceutical race, rather natural athletes are much more entertaining.  Without the public's support, the sport would not continue to make money and would not exist.  Therefore, these enhancing drugs should not be legalized.