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The history and definitions of drug and substances in sport

The use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) dates back as far as 776 BC, where ancient greeks used hallucinogens to boost performance.

The British Air Force were at the forefront of steroid use. In WW2, pilots used amphetamines to counteract fatigue and limit the pain of burns during fuel fires.

The International Olympic Committee were the first organisation to define and ban the use of PEDs. Over the years, the definitions have been altered, now with a greater focus more on the health of the athlete.

Pre-1999 definition led to many appeals about a decision due to the vagueness of the rules. Post-1999 tries to encapsulate the all round health of the athlete as the main priority.

The use of PEDs directly contradicts the ethics of sport and violates rules and regulations put in place by international sports federations. These definitions have been updated by WADA, but nonetheless, still exhibit flaws that can and have been utilised by athletes.


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