Blood Doping: Beneficial or Destructive

Review Article

Austin Emerg Med. 2016; 2(2): 1015.

Blood Doping: Beneficial or Destructive

Zeb S¹, Khanzada S² and Imtiaz F³*

¹NCS University System Peshawar


³Biochemistry, DMC, DUHS

*Corresponding author: Fauzia Imtiaz, Biochemistry, DMC, DUHS

Received: December 08, 2015; Accepted: December 30, 2015; Published: January 13, 2016


Blood boosting/ doping and especially Erythropoietin (EPO) doping has become a fundamental issue in many sports such as cycling, endurance running and cross-country skiing. These sports required strength and persistence power for their performance. Athletes use the drugs to retain their power for the better performance. Erythropoietin or EPO is a naturally occurring peptide hormone, which stimulates packed cell volume production in the body in response to cellular hypoxia and anaemia. However, clinically the drug rHu EPO is used to treat conditions like renal failure, malignant and inflammatory diseases by reducing anaemia with fatigue. Its therapeutic effects are erythropoiesis (increased RBCs formation), elevated Haematocrit (Hct) and haemoglobin. Present study aims to establish whether blood/ rHu EPO doping increase performance or health risk in the competitive endurance athletes?

Keywords: Blood dopping; Athletes; Sports medicine


Doping is defined as ‘the presence of prohibited harmful substances or its metabolites in the specimen of athlete’s body which is used for the purpose of boosting sports performance’ [1]. In other words, it is the artificial way of enhancing physical performance, contrary to the spirit of sports, which is meant to improve the health and wellbeing [2]. The use of ergogenic substances and performanceimproving drugs is not new in sports and has been prevalent since ancient times, when alcohol, stimulants and other potions were believed to be the most effective performance enhancers [3-8]. However, its abuse seems to be predominant in the modern Olympics and other sporting events [9]. The aspirations to succeed at all cost and becoming a national hero is a strong motivation in athletes who want to acquire a competitive edge [9]. Moreover, if a minute gain through drug abuse can improve performance even a second faster can create a huge difference in winning a gold medal and losing a competition [10]. Even some countries have been doping their athletes without their knowledge and consent [11]. Additionally, performance is also maintained by the widespread use of non-prohibited dietary supplements [2,8,9]. Doping boost their confidence and feelings of being superior due to its psychological effect and hence their sporting performance [12]. Unfortunately use of such illegal substances has been one of the most common causes of sudden death other than congenital heart diseases and atherosclerosis in athletes [13-16], this led to the sports professional bodies to consider a sanction over such methods. In 1967, for the first time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made up a list of banned substances, which is regularly updated [13]. Its primary objective is to protect the wellbeing of athletes and restore the dignity and integrity of sports by providing fair and reasonable competition [9].

The world anti- doping agency, WADA was established in 1999 and validated by all sports and government organizations [1]. Some of the following varieties of substances banned are given in the Table 1 [1].

Citation: Zeb S, Khanzada S and Imtiaz F. Blood Doping: Beneficial or Destructive. Austin Emerg Med. 2016; 2(2): 1015. ISSN :2473-0653