Understanding Doping, History, Types and Dangers to the Body

Definition of Doping – In sports, it is not uncommon for athletes to use doping to increase performance in an unreasonable manner. Even though the use of doping has been banned, there are still loopholes that can be used to consume doping before a competition.

Doping is a kind of drug that can make its users addicted. The consequences also vary, ranging from disturbing sanity to resulting in a decreased or even worsening of the body’s performance system.

Then, what exactly is doping? How kind? Why is it prohibited in sports activities? The following will explain the meaning of doping to its prohibition in sports competitions which have been summarized from various sources.

Definition of Doping

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), doping is interpreted as drug withdrawal; products in the form of drugs or blood to improve athlete performance. Meanwhile, in Id.wikipedia.org, doping is a mixture of drugs with narcotics that were originally used for horse racing in England.

Doping refers to the ingestion of drugs or substances orally or parenterally by an athlete in competition. The goal is to increase sports performance in an unnatural way.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the term “doping” probably comes from the Dutch word “dop”, an alcoholic drink made from grape skins that was used by Zulu warriors to make them stronger in battle.

Every year, WADA updates the official list of prohibited substances or prohibited doping methods. At a minimum, the substance or method is prohibited if it meets at least 2 of the following 3 criteria.

  • Substances or methods that can enhance performance
  • Pose a threat to the health of athletes
  • Violating the spirit of sports

Doping itself comes from the word dope which means a mixture of opiates and narcotics that are given to racehorses. Doping is used as a stimulant to enhance performance or increase temporary endurance. However, it is prohibited because it is harmful or damaging to health.

According to Karimuddin, doping is giving to someone who is healthy or using substances foreign to the body or physiology in high quantities with the intention of winning a game by dishonest means.

Then, the IOC limited doping as the use of drugs or administration to an athlete who is competing. The use of doping is the use of prohibited stimulant drugs by athletes with the aim of increasing performance. However, these drugs have side effects that can harm the wearer.

History of Doping

The term dope was first introduced in 1889 in an equestrian competition in England. The word comes from a tribe in Central Africa. At that time, doping was not a problem.

Because the first case of death caused by doping occurred in 1886 (when the term doping was not yet known). The death occurred at a bicycle race from the city of Bordeux in France to Paris with a distance of 600 km. A racing driver died after being given drugs by his coach to improve his ability.

The history of the use of doping in sports began more or less in the 19th century in the sport of swimming. And often found in bicycle racing. At that time, the popular drugs were sugar dissolved in ether, alcoholic beverages, caffeine, cocaine, heroin, and nitroglycerin.

In 1910, the anti-doping movement in sports began to emerge after a person from Russia discovered how to check doping. At that time, doping was rejected by society because of the danger it posed.

The campaign against doping began after learning about the dangers of doping. Then, people began to understand the importance of preventing doping in athletes. Therefore, in 1972 an official doping check was held at the Winter Olympics in Grenoble.

However, even though the method of checking doping or its dangers is known, doping is still used by athletes. Even though it is harmful to health, doping is still used to stimulate or provide strength for athletes.

Types of Doping

In the journal article “Doping in Sports” by Made Budiawan it is stated that doping can be grouped into several categories as follows.

1. Stimulants

The stimulant class consists of caffeine, cocaine, and amphetamine. Here’s an explanation of the three.


Amphetamine in competitive sports to reduce fatigue, increase responsiveness, increase alertness, and aggression. There are four mechanisms by which amphetamine improves performance as follows.

  1. Increases the release of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.
  2. Inhibition of neurotransmitter uptake.
  3. Acts directly on neurotransmitter receptors.
  4. Inhibition (inhibits) the activity of mono-aminoxidase.

Meanwhile, the potential side effects of using amphetamine include tremor dependence, insomnia and increased aggressiveness which tend to be dangerous. Effects on the cardiovascular system can be fatal, an increase in body temperature due to amphetamine can cause a redistribution of blood flow to the skin which inhibits heat dissipation in the body, and in long-term use it can affect the psyche with the emergence of paranoid schizophrenia type.


In sports, caffeine is used to increase alertness, increase reaction time response and in excessive doses can increase the mobilization of fat and muscle glycogen. Caffeine works by inhibiting the phosphodiesterase enzyme that activates cAMP and works directly as an adenosine receptor antagonist.

Meanwhile, the side effects of using caffeine are divided into two, namely mild effects and severe effects. Mild effects can cause irritability, insomnia, and digestive disorders. More severe effects can cause peptic ulcers, delirium, coma, and superventricular arrhythmias.

In addition, caffeine can also cause dependence. In one study it was said that the combination of caffeine and epedrine can cause nausea, vomiting.


Cocaine in sports is used for recreational purposes that cause sensations beyond reality. Cocaine can distort an athlete’s perception of fatigue, so that the athlete doesn’t feel exhausted during intense competition.

Cocaine works by affecting the brain in a complex way, including by inhibiting the up-take of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, causing a euphoric effect. Meanwhile, the side effects of using cocaine are very complex.

These include negative effects on glycogenolysis, paranoid psychosis, hypertension resulting in ischemia, arrhythmias and sudden death.

2. Narcotics Group

Narcotic-analgesic drugs are often misused for the purpose of reducing pain. These drugs are often used to reduce cough complaints and diarrhea complaints. The way this drug works is by opium alkaloids and their synthetic analogues interacting with receptors in the brain that normally work under the influence of endogenous endorphins.

Narcotics have the capacity to reduce pain and even affect emotions. Long-term use can lead to dependence.

3. Androgenic Anabolic Group

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are used to increase strength and speed by extending training time, speeding up recovery time, increasing aggressiveness, by increasing muscle strength. The combination of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids with GH (growth hormone), HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) can also increase field intensity.

The use of anabolic androgenic steroids has two main effects as follows.

  • Is anabolic or increases muscle size.
  • Is androgenic or the effect of masculinity.

Anabolic androgenic steroids work by exerting an influence on endogenous androgens by enhancing the protein system and anticatabolic effects. Dehydroepiandrosterone is classified as doping because it is a precursor to endogenous androgen production including testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and increases insulin growth-hormone factor-1 (IGF-1).

Meanwhile, the side effects of using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids consist of 6 main effects as follows.

  • Cardiovascular: there is a decrease in HDL cholesterol and an increase in LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of arteriosclerosis.
  • Hepatic: the liver is the target organ of androgens. This is related to the function of metabolism in the liver. This also causes hepatocyte hypertrophy at high doses, cholestasis occurs and what is fatal is liver tumors.
  • Reproductive effects: for men it will have an effect on atrophy of the testes, decreased sperm production and changes in sperm mobility which can lead to infertility. Whereas in women it can cause ammenorhea effects.
  • Infection: this kind of effect is usually caused by the use of unsterile syringes so that it can cause infection with other diseases such as HIV and AIDS.
  • Psychological effects: the effects are mania, hypomania and depression.
  • Cosmetic effect: this effect is experienced more by women than by men. In women it will cause acne, facial hair growth, clitoral enlargement, facial changes marked by widening of the jaw, menstrual disorders, shrinking of the breasts.

4. Diuretic group

Diuretics will have an appearance-enhancing effect. However, it is usually used to increase urine production with the aim of dissolving the drugs used including removing their metabolites.

Diuretics are also used to lose weight in sports that use body weight as an indicator of competition. Meanwhile, how diuretics work, namely working on the kidneys to increase urine production.

Meanwhile, the side effects of using diuretic drugs are dehydration and disturbances in electrolyte balance, in this case changes in potassium levels that actually interfere with appearance and health.

5. Group β Blocker

This group is used to reduce anxiety, especially sports that require concentration and calm, such as archery, shooting, ski jumping, etc. β blockers work in a complex way.

β-blockers are the initial therapy for angina pectoris, hypertension, and some common heart disorders and are often used to treat migraines and tremors. As for the side effects of its use, namely causing bronchospasm or causing insomnia, nightmares and depression.

6. Peptide Hormone Group

The hormone peptide group consists of Human Chorionic Gonodotropin (HCG), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) and insulin. Hormone peptides are used as a stimulant to increase the ability of androgen hormones whose purpose is to influence appearance.

This group works by affecting the level of androgen hormones. Just as testosterone is influenced by HCG and LH, corticosteroid secretion is influenced by ACTH, all of which improve performance. The side effects of this group are headaches, mood changes, and gynecomastia. (breast enlargement)