Tags: doping | athletic | performance | olympic

Doping May Actually Hurt Athletic Performance: Study

By    |   Monday, 04 May 2015 03:56 PM

Drugs taken by athletes to enhance performance simply don’t. That’s the surprising conclusion of new research that shows doping may actually do more harm than good.

The study, by University of Adelaide researchers, is based on analysis of Olympic and world records in 26 sports between 1886 and 2012.

Comparisons were made between records set by male and female athletes before and after 1932 — when steroids designed to enhance performance became available. The results showed the times, distances, and other results did not improve as expected in the doping era.

In fact, the findings published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise suggested that doping may actually have hurt performance in some cases.

"This research looked at 26 of the most controlled and some of the most popular sports, including various track and field events like 100[-meter] sprints, hurdles, high jump, long jump. and shot-put, as well as some winter sports like speed skating and ski jumping," noted lead researcher Aaron Hermann, M.D.

"The average best life records for 'doped' top athletes did not differ significantly from those considered not to have doped. Even assuming that not all cases of doping were discovered during this time, the practice of doping did not improve sporting results as commonly believed."

Dr. Hermann noted the 2000 Olympics gold medal result for the women's 100-meter sprint was even poorer than the gold medal obtained in the 1968 Olympics, the first year of doping testing in the Olympics.

"This research demonstrates that doping practices are not improving results and in fact, may be harming them — seemingly indicating that 'natural' human abilities would outperform the potentially doping 'enhanced' athletes — and that in some sports, doping may be highly prevalent," he added.

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Doping doesn't enhance athletic performance, new research shows.
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Monday, 04 May 2015 03:56 PM
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