In the sporting world, blood doping is a relatively new form of doping that uses natural means to enhance the body’s function. This form of doping is just as prohibited as any other form of body-enhancing drug and yet is not as easy to detect. There are also dangers to using this method of doping which we will discuss at the end of this essay.
The body’s reaction to blood doping
The way blood doping is performed is by injecting the subject with an artificial substance that enhances the red blood cells of the body. These red blood cells, when increased, will pump higher levels of oxygen to the muscles, brain, and organs of the body. This means that endurance will be increased and the subject will be able to be active for longer at an increased level of performance. This type of doping is especially common in runners and cyclists, because increased performance can make a big difference on the track.
Why it is illegal in the eyes of sport
Blood doping is not permitted by WADA (World Anti Doping Agency). They see this method of boosting red blood cells as unnatural. The body creates red blood cells naturally and manipulating this process synthetically may have some dangerous side effects. Besides, doing anything besides hard work and training is seen as unfair to other competitors. There are also some dangers to this form of doping as with any other doping method. The process will severely thicken the blood and can easily cause a stroke or a heart attack in the athlete.
Difficult to detect
One of the reasons this form of doping is used so frequently is because it is relatively easy to hide. Testing must be conducted within 48 hours of administration after which the evidence will be undetectable. Administering low amounts will also make detection almost impossible, so athletes may inject themselves with a small quantity just to get the edge they want.
While it may seem harmless to some to use this method of doping, it is not recommended. Hard work and discipline should be the main focus of athletes and cheating of any kind must be abandoned. Blood doping, even though it enhances natural body functions, is unfair to competitors. As with all illegal doping, the career of the athlete is also put at risk. If found out, it can mean the end of a promising career in sports and shame the individual involved.