When the lure for glory prompts athletes to...

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Doping has been a biggest menace 'The Games' faced in the last three decades. Doping refers to the use of performance-enhancing drugs - banned by the organisations that regulates the competition. In Oly the regulatory authority is IOC Drug Tribunal under the aegis of Swiss-based WADA-watchdog for doping and drug violations. Doping improves the performances of athletes and gives an athlete unfair advantage over other competitors. The WADA and ICO tribulnal update the list of banned drugs regularly. And the athlete who violate the doping rule will be disqualified from the particular event or slapped with life ban depending on the nature and severity of violation.

The most popular forms of doping is Blood doping. It is the practice of increasing the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) by manifold in order to enhance the performance. It can be done thro' blood transfusion or use of erythropoieten hormone or by anabolic steroid (Tetrahydrogestrinone, simply put THG).

Doping is a very complicated issue. A use of a particular drug may be legal in one sport but need not be so in other. For eg Aspirin is legal in Ice Hockey but not so in many sporting disciplines. Indian badminton star Aparna Popat was once banned for using a cold-relief tablet that contained the banned substances phenylpropanolamine but the drugs with the similar content is valid in Ice Hockey. IOC drug agencies and WADA take lenient view of cases pertaining to athletes who are on medication and the very drug contains some banned substances.

Doping is considered unethical by most international sports organizations and especially the International Olympic Committee for the fact that they (banned drug) pose threat to health. They deny the equality of opportunity of the athletes and the exemplary effect of 'clean' (doping-free) and competitive sports in the public.

The IOC introduced the first doping controls (drug tests) at Mexico Games in 1968. Hans-Gunnar Liljenwell a swidish Modern Pentahlete was the first athlete in modern Oly to suffer the ignonimity of disqualification for drug use. The Swede reportedly had two beers before the pistol shooting event of the Pentathlon. It is needless to say that Sweden eventually had to return bronze medal. Since Mexico Games 84 athletes were disqualified for failing the drug test. Weightlifting and Atletics were the worst hit followed closely by Wrestling and Gymnastics. Here is the list of some Olympians - household names- who hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons...



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