Doping Products -- February 5, 1999
A quick look at the major doping products in sports:
AMPHETAMINES: The major group of illegal stimulants. They are aimed at improving alertness and competitive aggression and masking fatigue during competition. The use of stimulants was blamed for British cyclist Tom Simpson's death during the Tour de France in 1967.
ANABOLIC STEROIDS: Help develop muscle strength and mass and promote a swift recovery during training periods. Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
ANDROSTENEDIONE: This product is banned by the IOC as a steroid-related drug. It is not banned by Major League Baseball. Olympic officials say ''andro'' is converted to testosterone in the body, helping build muscle mass and speed recovery from workouts.
DIURETICS: Medicine used to help lose weight quickly, allowing a competitor to compete in lower weight categories. Diuretics can also be used to mask the use of other drugs.
EPO: Erythropoietin, a synthetic hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. EPO boosts oxygen absorption in the bloodstream and, as a result, endurance. It was at the heart of the Tour de France scandal last summer. There is no reliable test for EPO.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONES: Originally, hGH was taken mainly for developmental disorders such as dwarfism. Long rumored to have entered the sports scene, a Chinese swimmer, Yuan Yuan was caught with vials of the banned substance while entering Australia for the World Championships last year. No reliable test exists for hGH.
NARCOTICS: So-called recreational drugs are increasingly banned by international federations. They soothe pain and can reduce fear during competition. Marijuana was at the center of a scandal at the Nagano Winter Games. Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was temporarily stripped of gold after testing positive for cannabis. He was later reinstated.