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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.33 - 2013
ARTICLE – abstract

Anabolic androgenic steroids and doping in sport

Filomena Mazzeo, Antonio Ascione
Department of Institutional and Territorial Systems Studies, University Parthenope, Naples, Italy


Anabolic steroids, technically known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, modified to enhance its anabolic actions (promotion of protein synthesis and muscle growth). They are used by athletes (weightlifters, shot, hammer, discus or javelin throwers, rugby and American football players, swimmers and runners) to increase muscular mass and athletic performance and by bodybuilders to improve size and cosmetic appearance. AAS were the first identified doping agents that have ergogenic effects and are on the International Olympic Committee’s list of banned substances.
The most popular AS used as doping substances are: oximetolone, oxandrolone, testosterone undecanoate, nandrolone decanoate, nandrolone undercanoate, methandrostenolone. To reach high dosages and rapid effects, steroid users practice a method known as “staking” which consist in the intake of two or more steroids in high dosages. Another method, called “pyramiding” provides a progressive increase of steroids dosage. The pyramid protocol is alternated with drug-free, process defined as “cycle”. AAS abuse causes significant side effect: infertility, azoospermia, testicular atrophy, and gynecomastia in men and in women may develop excessive body hair growth, menstrual irregularity, hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, acne. Other side effects are: premature cease of growth caused by premature epiphysis closure; Alteration of cardiovascular function; increase of platelet aggregation and plasmatic levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL); liver damage; euphoria, aggressiveness and psychosis. Their action in central neuron system involves the dopaminergic neurotransmission and produces amphetamine-like activity. Therefore, the use of AAS should be banned from the sport, making a work of supervision and accountability of the sports centers and authorities in this field.
Key words:

anabolic androgenic steroid; doping; endocrinology; testosterone.

Full article:

Anabolic androgenic steroids and doping in sport

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