On top of the game
During the past year, newspapers have been full of stories about the misuse of banned substances in sport. Karen Hebert and Michele Verroken take a look at doping in sport
The British 4×100 metres sprint team was stripped of its World Championship silver medal earlier this year when Dwain Chambers tested positive for banned substances. This year, sports news has been filled with the scandals of élite players who have tested positive for a banned drug or ergogenic aid (a nutritional, physical, mechanical, psychological, or pharmacological procedure or aid to improve physical work capacity or athletic performance1). But chasing drug cheats has been difficult--increasing scientific expertise and technology have made it easier to keep a step ahead of drug tests. Sports agencies have to battle to implement rules and regulations to keep a fair and level playing field for all.
The word doping is thought to be derived from the Dutch “dop”--an alcoholic drink made from grape skins--which Zulu warriors drank to increase their prowess in battle. Doping was first used to describe the illegal drugging of racehorses and now