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Forms of doping - A list of frequently used drugs and doping methods to enhance athlete performance

With a surge in doping cases being reported across the world, we take a look at some of the frequently used performance-enhancing doping methods and their effects

Forms of doping - A list of frequently used drugs and doping methods to enhance athlete performance

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 11 May 2022 12:31 PM GMT

WIth doping an ever-present issue in the world of sport, it is crucial to understand what kind of drugs are recognised as a threat to the integrity of sport and subsequently banned. WADA has banned almost 200 performance-enhancing substances as per its official list. Multiple unknown drugs are also being made on a daily basis across the world to aid athletes in their performance on the international stage. We take a look at some forms of doping that are banned as per the WADA.


These drugs directly affect the nervous system of the body and are used to make the person feel alert and alive. The possible reasons for using stimulants would be to reduce tiredness or get a boost right before a particular event. Cocaine, ecstasy and methylphenidate, methylhexanamine, oxilofrine and several other drugs come under this category. However, caffeine and nicotine are not included in the WADA list of banned stimulants.

Anabolic Steroids

Natural testosterone has many uses within an athlete's body with the primary focus being the growth of muscles and size. Anabolic steroids are used to help increase muscle size, reduce body fat percentage as well as help in the early recovery of muscle injuries. The pills or injections often include a certain amount of liquid that caters to the athlete's needs. These drugs have been banned by the WADA for several years and some of them include nandrolone, boldenone, trenbolone and androstenedione.

Blood doping

Although not a frequently known term, this form of doping is associated with an increase in stamina and capacity to perform better. The drugs help in increasing the overall blood flow to the muscles through artificial means. Some common ways of doing this are through synthetic oxygen carriers, erythropoietin (EPO) and blood transfusions.

Human Growth Hormones

Similar to blood doping is the use of HGH which increase the work rate of the heart and build muscle mass, strength and aids in the recovery of the body. it has different effects on the body based on when it is used. The issue with HGH is that it is a legitimately used medicine for individuals with Growth hormone deficiency and other such problems. Hence, it is easily accessible but nevertheless, banned by the WADA.

Erythropoietin (EPO)

The commonly used stimulant enhances the red blood cell concentration in blood. This in turn boosts the endurance of the athlete as there is a surge in Oxygen levels within the body which increases the aerobic capacity during an event.

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