Blood Doping in Sports to Improve Performance

1057 Words5 Pages
Blood Doping in Sports to Improve Performance A main controversial issue in today’s sports world is ways in which athletes improve their performance. The use of steroids and supplements have been heavily discussed and argued but the method of blood doping is now a major problem. Blood Doping or red blood cell infusion is another example of the ingenious ways in which athletes attempt to improve performance without running into trouble with drug tests. Blood doping has become an integral part of sports and fair play. It enhances your performance by increasing red blood cell mass and thereby delivering more oxygen to the muscles. This manipulation has gained notoriety in the sports world for what it can do for an athlete during endurance events. Blood doping, often called induced erythrocythemia, is the intravenous infusion of blood to produce an increase in the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity.. In order for our muscles to perform, they need a ready supply of oxygen. During high intensity exercise, oxygen becomes depleted and the body cannot get enough oxygen to the muscles in order for them to perform at their optimal potential. This lack of ability to get oxygen to the muscles is called oxygen debt and results in lactic acid being formed. Lactic acid is a waste product of anaerobic cellular respiration within the muscle tissue, which can cause muscle soreness that is usually felt after a hard or long workout. Fatigue usually sets in with the onset of lactic acid production. Blood doping is a procedure that begins with between 1 to 4 units of a person’s blood being withdrawn, usually several weeks before a key competition. The blood is then centrifuged and the plasma components are immediately reinfused while the remaining... ... middle of paper ... ...cement is called Holistic Blood Doping "(Effects of Blood Doping and Gamow’s High Altitude Bed." Blood Doping. http://spot.colorado.edu/~gamow/doping.html) At the present time blood, doping is a controversial issue. With the new advances in science and sports medicine, this will probably be a dilemma for years to come. Many present and future athletes will have to use their best judgment when this procedure becomes an issue in their lives. Blood doping is illegal but is also undetectable. The potential risks of such a procedure seem to outweigh any potential benefits, beyond the ethical issues involved. If a distinct advantage is needed in endurance events, altitude training and the altitude sleep chamber pose far fewer risks and are currently safe and legal. If all these fail there is always the method of hard, work and determination still count for something.
Open Document