Recent reports of Olympic athletes testing positive to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) poses the question of whether PEDs have become part of aspiring athletes everyday lives.
The Court of Arbitration for sport reported weightlifter, Tomasz Zielinksi and steeplechaser, Silvia Danekova were rejected from the Olympic games after testing positive for banned substances as well as swimmer, Chen Xinyi accepting a provisional suspension after testing positive for a diuretic.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) provides an annual updated prohibited list, outlining the substances and methods that are prohibited in sport, reflecting the latest scientific and medical advances.
Anthony, former grade Rugby League and National U20’s youth competitor, was first introduced to PEDs at the age of 15 when he began playing grade local league where the use of the drugs was common among players.
“The idea of PEDs always interested me as I have always had body image issues and always wanted to be bigger, faster and stronger and it did seem normal and standard at the time,” he said.
“Whilst they can be hard to get once someone knows how to get them they become the main supplier for their mates.”
Personal trainer, Ben Lobban commented on the use of PEDs by athletes competing in powerlifting.
“In the untested federation of powerlifting, at the upper end of the leader board, I’d say that it’s pretty common to see some fairly obvious signs of PEDs, generally in the heavier weight categories,” Mr Lobban said.
“If you look at the International Powerlifting Federation [tested federation], you’d see far less cases of it due to the pretty severe penalties if you are caught.”
“People are getting smarter, drugs are getting better and the level of competition is always increasing, the drive to see what the human body is capable of is always pushing competitors to find a way to get ahead.”
Although in many instances severe penalties may apply if the athletes are caught, ways to cheat the test, such as urine replacement, gene doping and blood transfusions continue to exist which increases athletes chances of taking the risks.
Personal trainer, Liam Janse van Rensburg, gave his opinion on the use of PEDs in sports and competitions particularly.
“Although I personally don’t like the idea of PEDs in sports, I believe that until there is a way to be one hundred percent sure that people are not on PEDs they should be allowed in all sports, as it continues to provide an unfair advantage for those who have not been caught over those who are clean,” he said.
“By legalising them it would mean that if you are not on PEDs it is your choice as an athlete but the playing field is fair. ”
Peptides, scientifically used for their anabolic effect on an athletes muscle mass, are often used by athletes combating injuries, as it aids the muscle or soft tissue in the rebuilding process.
Braydin Vit, personal trainer, stated that as peptides are legal and not scientifically proven to have the same result as many PEDs, many choose to experiment with them as they may result in a legal potential PED alternative.
“If the proper drugs became safer, without the side effects, they will definitely become more popular as that’s the only thing stopping most people, or if scientists perfect peptides they will also blow up in use!” he said.