Sport Policy-Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDS)

Oral presentation 7-10 minutes to cover concepts, policy and generate questions that need to be answered for an effective policy solution to be generated.

Policy Analysis Presentation (25%)

This presentation asks students to analyze a specific issue in sport policy (Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDS). Students will submit videos of themselves delivering an oral presentation featuring a historical or current case related to one of the sport policy topics covered in the course that interests them the most. This presentation should demonstrate the student’s knowledge of course concepts and readings, but it should go beyond the class concepts in its close scrutiny of the particular issue or policy context on which they focus. Students will be expected to explain the relevance of their case(s), incorporate the class readings, offer their own insight, and generate questions that still need to be answered for an effective policy solution to be generated. Presentations should be 7-10 minutes in length. Students are required to meet the allotted time window as part of the assignment. Ten points will be deducted if the given time window is not met.

Miah, A. (2006). Rethinking enhancement in sport. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1093, 301-320. *Available through Google Scholar **Read: All



For the second half of the course we are now switching from “policies through sport” to “policies for sport”
Yes, we will look at several cases of deliberate doping in sports and its effect on the human body, but that does not mean I want you to become cynical every time you see high performance in sport

Three Considerations for Determining PED Policy

“The current international standard for doping technologies is the World Anti-Doping Code, which indicates that two of three conditions must be met in order for a technology to be considered for prohibition from sport. These consist of the following:
Is the technology harmful to health?
Is it performance enhancing?
Is it against the ‘spirit of sport?’” (Miah, 2006, p. 302-303).

The Early History

High protein diets and hallucinogenic mushrooms were used by Ancient Greeks
Greek runners ate sesame seeds to increase endurance
In 1865 at a swim meet in Amsterdam, several swimmers were charged with using stimulants
Late 19th century cyclists experimented with “speedballs” made up of heroin and cocaine
1886, cyclist dies during a race; first known doping-related death

Yesalis & Bahrke (2000) Table 1

Amino acids/protein powders
Anabolic/androgenic steroids
Human chorionic gonadatropin (HCG)
Human growth hormone (HGH)
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Chromium picolinate
Cyproterone acetate
Oil of evening primrose
Drug testing/masking agents
Thyroid hormone
Erythropoietin (EPO)
Gamma hydroxybuterate (GHB)
Vanadyl sulphate
Glandular extracts

Notice some of things listed on this page are what we would expect; steroids, HGH, etc.. However, others like creatine, protein powders, and vitamins also enhance performance.

The Rise of Testosterone and Its Anabolic Descendents

Testosterone isolated by Fred Koch and his grad student Lemuel McGee at the University of Chicago in 1927
Studies on capons, hens, and cows confirmed that the extract created by Koch and McGee had “masculinizing” properties—especially increased aggression.
In 1935, Yugoslavian chemist Leopold Ruzicka invented synthetic testosterone
In 1945, Paul de Kruif publishes his best selling book: The Male Hormone and speculates on what testosterone could do for the world of sports.

Steroids & Aggression

The Chris Benoit case is only the most publicized of a large number of aggressive acts possibly linked to steroid use
Steroids have been linked to a number of cases of police brutality
Steroids have also been a factor in many cases of spousal abuse, and several famous murder cases—one involving former bodybuilding champion Bertil Fox, who like Benoit killed his spouse in what was apparently a roid rage
Researchers have also observed that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility

Health Effects of Steroid Abuse

For men—shrinkage of the testicles (testicular atrophy), reduced sperm count or infertility, baldness, development of breasts (gynecomastia), increased risk for prostate cancer
For women—growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlargement of the clitoris, deepened voice
For adolescents—stunted growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes, and risk of not reaching expected height if steroid use precedes the typical adolescent growth spurt
Kidney impairment or failure
Damage to the liver
Cardiovascular problems including enlargement of the heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack (even in young people)
Severe acne and fluid retention
Steroid abuse may lead to serious, even irreversible, health problems. So, when people want to just push the limits in sport, consider the serious health effects that result from using steroids. Yes, for some medicinal purposes, steroids can be prescribed to treat hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. However, for the most part when we are taking about steroid use in sport, we are talking about abuse…not what is medically necessary for the athletes. Plus, it is done to get a competitive advantage over others.

Olympic Doping Policy during the 1960s: Defining the Problem

During the Cold War years, the imperatives of political prestige, under which the Olympic movement became a site of intense ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, led to the development of highly sophisticated national sport systems. As part of this transformation, the science of athletic training underwent a paradigm shift from prior notions of “fixed” human performance to new beliefs in terms of an expandable increase in athletic capacity.
Over the following decades, this new environment, aided by chemical experiments during the Second World War, advanced to encompass the application of such substances as barbiturates, amphetamines, testosterone, and anabolic steroids to elite sport. Despite the pervasiveness of such experimentation, Olympic policymakers first seriously considered the subject of doping after suspicions arose that the death of Danish cyclist Knud Jensen at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games was triggered by the use of amphetamines.

Nationalism Strikes: The 1970s

East German government forced some 10,000 athletes to take performance-enhancing substances
Many of the athletes took the PEDs against their will or without their knowledge.
Many continue to pay the health consequences to the present day and some premature deaths have been suspected as being caused by the forced PED usage
Success in elite international sport was seen as an indicator of national vitality

usoc-wreath-1 225px-MFS_01

East German Doping


S. Swimmer Rod Strachan:
“If you look at the East Germans, they don’t look exactly like they’re girls. They’re quite a bit bigger than most of the men on the American team. They could go out for football at USC.”

1976 Quadruple Gold Medalist Kornelia Ender

1980 Moscow Olympics

Described as the “purest” in Olympic history
Unofficial post-Games tests
showed 16 gold medalists
used performance-enhancing drugs
The KGB helped to cover-up instances of doping


1983 Pan American Games

Seventeen positive drug tests
Twelve American athletes left the competitions in
order to avoid the new
drug screens
Sudden departures from the Games for “personal reasons”
Others deliberately performed poorly because only the medalists were tested

Guy Greavette

1984 Los Angeles Games

New IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch was more interested in financial integrity of the Olympic Movement than in doping
Peter Ueberroth, head of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee, was likewise motivated by economic concerns
Destruction of drug test results and overall relaxed doping regulations

Ben Johnson


At the 1987 World Track-and-Field Championships, Ben Johnson tests positive for the steroid masking agent probenecid
Johnson’s trainer explains that the sprinter had gonorrhea
At 1988 Seoul Games, Johnson tests positive for anabolic steroids

The Drive for a Universal System: The 1990s

Positive Factors:
End of the Cold War
Dismantling of East German doping machine
Cooperation and pressure between national governments and Olympic officials in wake of the Ben Johnson scandal
Juan Antonio Samaranch
Richard Pound: “We still have no clearly stated definition of what doping is.”


“For me, everything that does not injure the health of the athlete is not doping.” – July 1989


The East German Dilemma


“We now have a more critical situation than ever with revelations of systematic drug-taking by competitors in Germany over the years. . . This could be seriously damaging financially.”
– Juan Antonio Samaranch

Systematic Doping Remains

Leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended that the IOC ban the entire Russian Olympic team due to investigations that revealed state-backed doping over several years and manipulation of tests results at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia
The IOC elected to leave the decision of banishment to the international sport federations
The IAAF, the international governing body for track and field, banned all Russian athletes for its sport, which was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Hawaii Reeves

Steve Reeves, most popular bodybuilder of the 1950s in pre-steroid era
America and played Hercules in films. Biggest box office star in the world in the late 1950s
Gracefully built, handsome, proportionate, and athletic
Compared to what came later…


Schwarzenegger (1970s)

Steroids have become ubiquitous in bodybuilding and in other sports
Take a look at what’s different about Arnold’s body. The size of the muscles themselves is suddenly much larger, the muscle is thicker, and it is no longer possible to think that you might be able to create this body without the use of drugs.
Arnold has admitted to steroid use. He claims that he took them knowing the benefits they would bring, but little was understood about the harmful side effects that would also result.
Ronnie Coleman – Most successful bodybuilder in the post-Arnold era
Winner of eight Consecutive Mr. Olympia Contests: 1998-2005
At many contests, Coleman has weighed nearly 275 pounds in rock-hard shape


Note the muscle size, the overall thickness, and the vascularity…

He weighs 295 pounds in this picture at a height of 5’11’’

Ronnie Coleman

Coleman’s back

The Anabolic
Can this issue of steroids ever be stopped?


Web Availability

Bobybuilder Service

Note the FEDEX delivery offered!
These types of websites led to legal problems for FedEx (the charges were dropped in 2016)
There are also corrupt doctors who write invalid prescriptions (just need to find one) or many people in the U.S. will purchase in Mexico
Full page ad for in a mainstream magazine.
Several years ago, this full page ad was running in every muscle magazine in the country.



Anabolic Steroids

Some have even glamorized and openly talked about steroids! Notice:
“‘Roid Raves: Good News About Steroids”
“Chemical Q & A”

Iron Man

“The Best USA Steroids for Muscle FAST”

Planet Muscle Cover & roid

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Prominent practice in MMA that was recently banned by most state athletic commissions
With a doctor’s approval, athletes could take doses of testosterone to raise their testosterone levels to “normal” levels or on par with their competition
Had to be reported to sport governing body before each competition
Testosterone levels decline with age
The chances of an otherwise healthy male naturally having low testosterone levels is less than .1%
Low testosterone levels can also result from previous steroid abuse
Why do we not see this in other sports?
National Football League officials say testosterone exemptions are “very rare” and only a “handful” have been issued since 1990. Nearly 2,000 players circulate through rosters each season.
The International Olympic Committee did not issue a single testosterone exemption for the 2012 London Olympics, which featured 5,892 male athletes

Factors that have inhibited the IOC and other sport governing bodies from effectively dealing with PED usage

Individual indifference
Particularly seen in the Olympics and Major League Baseball
2) Scientific difficulty of detecting certain substances
in the human body
3) Ethical and scientific ambiguity as to the definition of “doping”
4) Political problems related to the relatively uncoordinated
international sport system

Lessons and the Future

State involvement is essential
I know that we live in a political environment of limited government and some of you may express dismay when Congress holds hearings regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, but there are numerous examples that show that no PED policies would have been put in place if government officials had not placed pressure on sport leaders

Nutritional Supplements

Supplements are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Thus, an abundance of supplement products of dubious value, content, and quality are now available around the world


Nutritional Supplements

Look at product labels and note the difference between who distributes the product versus where it was manufactured.
Many times the site of manufacture is not even listed

Many supplement producers include this statement that acknowledges that their claims have never been verified by the FDA

Nutritional Supplements

A large number of supplements may contain substances that are banned in sport (e.g., stimulants or anabolic steroid precursors)
Many supplements contain substances that are associated with significant health hazards
Athletes consuming such supplement products may jeopardize their sporting status and their health
It is unacceptable for athletes to blame their positive tests on a supplement

Questions to Consider

How quickly has someone’s body or personality changed?
Has an individual’s performance taken off in a short period of time?
Has the person quickly gone from average to elite?

Future Policy Decisions: What Will Be Allowed and Prohibited?

Is the technology harmful to health?
Is it performance enhancing?
Is it against the ‘spirit of sport?’
Between 2008 and 2013, over 62,000 high school athletes in Texas were tested and only 190 tested positive. Does that mean testing served as a deterrent, there was not a problem to start, or the testing protocols were inadequate?