The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are finally about to begin, with the opening ceremony on Friday night.
After a lifetime of hard work, some of the world’s best athletes come together in Japan to compete for a chance to win a gold medal.
While a majority of athletes rely solely on hard work and natural talent to perform, some take the unfortunate extra step of cheating and using certain substances to enhance their performance.
dr. Nikolai Nordsborg, professor and head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen, revealed: the drugs some Olympians use, and why athletes in certain areas turn to specific substances.
Steroids are favored by sprinters, weightlifters and other athletes whose sports require a lot of muscle mass
Steroids, for example, are favored among athletes who need more testosterone.
“This is due to the fact that testosterone stimulates our muscles to gain mass, which makes an individual stronger and therefore better able to perform,” Nordsborg said in a statement. press release.
Many track and field participants, such as sprinters and shot putters, are most likely to benefit from the drugs.
Sprinter Tyson Gay, once a superstar of the US track and field team, tested positive for steroid use in 2013.
He was banned for one year and was withdrawn from a silver medal he won at the 2012 London Olympics.
Gay is the fastest man in athletic history who has never officially won an Olympic medal.
Shelby Houlihan, a long-distance runner on the track and field team, has been banned from the 2020 and 2024 competitions after testing positive for steroids earlier this month.
Houlihan denies taking the drugs, but says she ate a lot pork burrito the night before the test, and that the meat produced a positive test.
For sports that don’t require large muscles, but instead more muscular endurance, such as long-distance runners and cyclists, erythropoietin (EPO) is the cheater’s drug of choice.
“EPO promotes the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, giving a runner or runner more energy to move and work hard,” Nordsburg says.
“Several studies also suggest that taking EPO increases endurance.”
Biathlon is a tough endurance sport that requires participants to ski long distances and then make frequent stops at a shooting range to shoot targets from a distance.
In some sports, such as shooting, archery and golf, concentration is the most important quality.
Archers, archers and others in similar sports benefit the most from beta blockers, which lower heart rate and blood pressure, allowing for better focus and concentration
In these sports, cheaters may take drugs that lower blood pressure and heart rate.
“Athletes in these disciplines must absolutely remain calm. For them, beta-blockers are the most commonly used doping agents, which are sometimes used in patients with severe exam anxiety,” Nordsborg says.
“These drugs lower heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces shaking in the hands and can reduce nervousness.”
Kim Jong Su, a North Korean gunman, was banned from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and stripped of two medals he won after testing positive for the use of the beta blocker propranolol.
While performing fortifying drugs is common, these aren’t the only reasons someone could be kicked out of the games.
Sha’Carri Richardson, a sprinter who became known as one of the most recognizable members of the US team, was suspended after testing positive for cannabis earlier this month.