As we have already mentioned repeatedly, doping should be understood and viewed as an unsportsmanlike practice, since it improves performance in a dishonest way and is strictly prohibited in all sports.
Likewise, doping includes other forms of misconduct, such as assisting, encouraging, provoking, inciting or covering up an anti-doping rules violation or any attempted violation either by an athlete or a member of their team, such as their doctor or physical trainer.
There are many types of doping and prohibited substances; however, a very recurrent practice is blood doping (Transfusion or EPO) which consists of increasing the mass of red blood cells or red blood cells (RBC) to improve performance.
What is EPO?
EPO is short for erythropoietin, a hormone made up of sugars and proteins that plays an important role, among other things, in the production of red blood cells. The blood cells that are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body and to return the carbon dioxide from those cells back to the lungs.
What is its purpose?
EPO is produced synthetically and is used as a clinical practice in patients with some types of anemia, especially in those who must undergo dialysis processes, or some types of tumors, it is even used preventively in premature children or with very low birth weight, to prevent them from developing anemia.
However, some athletes have used this practice to gain a greater supply of oxygen to the muscles, greater aerobic endurance and therefore better sports performance. Studies have also found that using it the heart rate is slower and the athlete takes longer to tire.
It is worth mentioning that the interest in blood doping increased after the 1968 Olympic Games and it was between 1970 and 1980 that various athletes – from that time – were accused of blood doping. There is even a suspicion that the use of EPO caused the death of several European cyclists in a period of 4 years. Let`s remember that, at the 1998 Tour de France, one team was disqualified for using EPO and six other teams dropped out of the competition.
How does it affect the body?
The dangers of this unsportsmanlike practice is that, as the hematocrit increases, the blood becomes thicker and more viscous. Added to the decrease in hydration caused by intense physical exercise, it can cause: thrombosis, heart attacks and other cardiovascular catastrophes . Also, in some cases, a red cell aplasia may occur, in which the body develops antibodies that attack EPO and severe anemia may happen that would require frequent blood transfusions.
Please remember that: Your body is your responsibility! and that as an athlete you have the OBLIGATION to know what you give to your body.
Do not forget that if you want to know the list of prohibited substances emitted by VADA, which you can consult in the following link: https://wbcboxing.com/en/voluntary-anti-doping-association-official-prohibited-list/