Doping is a criminal offense, as well as misconduct on a sporting level. That is what it is all about.

What is it

Doping is the administration, intake or distribution of drugs or biologically active substances – or the adoption of medical practices – not justified by pathological conditions, aimed at artificially improving the competitive performance of an athlete.

Anti-doping violations also include refusing to take a blood or urine sample or handling it during a check. Doping is a sporting offence and can pose serious health risks.

Why athletes use doping Athletes take doping substances to improve performance in competition to achieve excellent results in their discipline.

Doping, for example, can increase endurance to effort, concentration or muscle power.

The most used substances

By broad categories, the list of substances prohibited by anti-doping regulations includes:

Categories Examples
Anabolic Testosterone and analogues
Anti-estrogens Raloxifene, tamoxifen, clomiphene
Glucocorticoids Betamethasone, prednisolone
Hormones Growth hormone, gonadotropin, corticotropin, insulin
Beta-2 agonists Formoterol, salbutamol, salmeterol, terbutaline
Diuretics Acetazolamide, amiloride, bumetanide, canrenone, chlorthalidone, ethacrynic acid, furosemide, spironolactone
Beta-blockers Atenolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol
Alpha reductase inhibitors Finasteride
Stimulants Ephedrine, amphetamine, cocaine
Cannabis derivatives Hashish, mariuana
Narcotics Morphine and similar

In addition, erythropoietin (EPO), which stimulates the proliferation and maturation of red blood cells, and plasma derivatives are also prohibited substances.

The complete and updated list is published on the CONI website.

Some of these substances can cause an unintentional violation of anti-doping regulations due to their widespread presence in medicines.

For this reason, the law requires that it be marked with a specific symbol on the packaging.

In athletes, the use of drugs containing prohibited substances must be authorized and limited to a therapeutic purpose (for example in asthma therapy) without leading to any improvement in sports performance.

Medical methods attributable to doping

These are methods that artificially improve the consumption, transport and release of oxygen, such as intravenous transfusions and autotransfusions.

How to find out if an athlete is doped

Those who practice a sporting activity at a competitive level can be subjected to a series of controls to assess the presence in the body of substances prohibited by anti-doping legislation.

The checks are performed on blood and urine samples taken from the athlete and analyzed in laboratories accredited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


Doping can pose serious risks to the health of the athlete both immediately and after some time.

For example, the use of EPO, a substance that increases blood viscosity, can promote stroke, heart attack and thrombosis.

Anabolics, used to increase muscle mass, can damage the liver, stimulate the growth of tumors and interfere with the sexual activity and fertility of the athlete.

Stimulants are responsible for even fatal arrhythmias and transfusions potential vehicles of infectious diseases.


In Italy the health protection of sports activities and the fight against doping is regulated by a law and various regulations (Law 14 December 2000, n. 376, Decree 24 September 2003, Decree 30 April 2004, )

Doping is a criminal offence, punishable by fines and carrying up to three years’ imprisonment.

Following the finding of a positive doping, the athlete is obliged to a temporary or definitive suspension of competitive activity.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *