Protecting the Right to Enjoy Doping-Free Sport

Consequences of Doping

Athletes should be aware that doping can have severe health and social consequences.

Social consequences of committing an ADRV and receiving a sanction may include:​

  • loss of sponsorship deals
  • loss of income
  • removal of previous achievements
  • damaged relationships with friends and family
  • isolation from peers and sport
  • damage to future career prospects
  • effects on emotional and psychological well-being.

Substances and methods used to dope have health consequences. Many can lead to severe health issues or even death.

Taking steroids can produce:

  • acne
  • increased aggression and mood swings
  • libido disorders
  • high blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular and liver disease
  • psychological dependence
  • increased risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV from needle use
  • for males: impotence, infertility, breast enlargement, premature baldness
  • for females: development of male features such as deepening voice, excessive hair growth on the face and body, and fetal damage in pregnancy.

Taking Human Growth Hormone can result i​n:

  • diabetes in prone individuals
  • worsening of cardiovascular diseases
  • muscle, joint and bone pain
  • hypertension and cardiac deficiency
  • abnormal growth of organs
  • accelerated osteoarthritis.

By thickening the blood, EPO abuse can lead to an increased risk of several deadly diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cerebral or pulmonary embolism.

Recreational drugs:

Use of recreational or social drugs is banned in sport. Whilst an athlete can be in a compromising situation with peers outside sport, it’s important for athletes to recognise that social drugs, such as cannabis, can be detrimental to sporting performance and result in a positive test result weeks later.

Some sports such as football and rugby run a comprehensive social drugs testing programme. This is to ensure that players maintain the values and behaviours of clean sport.

For impartial advice on recreational drugs, the FRANK website is a useful resource.