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Top 10 Performance-Boosting Drugs (And Athletes Who Took ‘Em)

Top 10 Performance-Boosting Drugs (And Athletes Who Took 'Em)

It appears you could’t go a day anymore with out information of one other skilled athlete getting busted for performance-enhancing medicine. (Paradoxically, research have proven that lots of them don’t essentially enhance efficiency and may truly detract from general athletic perform in the long term.) Most of those medicine truly serve professional features outdoors of athletics and thus aren’t unlawful, however they’re outlawed by numerous athletic organizations and can be found to the general public solely by prescription — one thing most athletes don’t have. There are plenty of rumors of unlawful utilization by numerous athletes, however for the needs of this record, we’re sticking to those that’ve both admitted utilizing or have examined constructive for utilizing efficiency enhancing medicine.

Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire

10. Androstenedione (“Andro”)

What’s it? A steroid produced within the adrenal glands and the gonads, which is transformed within the physique to testosterone.

Medical Use: To assist within the manufacturing of testosterone for people with hormonal issues.

Athletic Use: To extend muscle power and mass and to shorten muscle restoration time.

Potential Destructive Aspect Results: Pimples, complications, blurred imaginative and prescient, untimely baldness, kidney and liver illness, enlarged prostate, lowered sperm rely, infertility, aggressive conduct.

Is it authorized? Since 2004, authorized solely with a prescription.

Notable Customers:

  • Roy Jones, Jr. (boxer): Andro was out there in over-the-counter dietary supplements when he examined constructive in 2000. He was not disciplined.
  • Mark McGwire (baseball participant): Admitted utilizing it in 1998, at a time when it was authorized not banned by Main League Baseball. He was not disciplined.


Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez

9. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (“HCG”)

What’s it? A hormone produced in pregnant ladies by the placenta.

Medical Use: Utilized in ladies to extend the prospect of being pregnant. In males, HCG helps the manufacturing of testosterone and sperm and can be utilized in male youngsters with testicular start defects. Typically used as a weight reduction product.

Athletic Use: Used at the side of cycles of anabolic steroid consumption to take care of ranges of testosterone after the steroids trigger the physique to close down testosterone manufacturing. Additionally helps restore testicular measurement after steroid cycles.

Attainable Adverse Aspect Results: Soreness, restlessness, pimples, complications, melancholy. Extra critical unwanted side effects in ladies, together with extreme ache and swellling, nausea, diarrhea.

Is it authorized? In most states, it’s obtainable solely by prescription, however some states don’t regulate its use.

Notable Customers:

  • Jose Canseco (baseball participant): Was caught in 2008 making an attempt to smuggle HCG throughout the border from Mexico and not using a prescription, claiming he wanted it to jump-start the testosterone in his physique that had been drained from years of steroid abuse (which he’d detailed in his 2005 autobiography). He was sentenced to probation and was not disciplined by Main Leage Baseball, since he’d been retired since 2002.
  • Manny Ramirez (baseball participant): Examined constructive in 2009, claiming he was given it for a “personal health issue.” Because it was added to Main League Baseball’s banned substances listing in 2008, he was suspended for 50 video games.


Bill Romanowski
Invoice Romanowski

eight. Human Progress Hormone (“HGH,” Somatotropin)

What’s it? A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that promotes physique progress. Whereas anabolic steroids primarily have an effect on muscle tissue, HGH strengthens bones and tendons as nicely.

Medical Use: Used to deal with baby progress issues and grownup progress hormone deficiency. Typically used to fight getting old — particularly decreasing physique fats, growing power, enhancing pores and skin tone and texture and aiding in immune system perform — and physique atrophy from illnesses like AIDS.

Athletic Use: To scale back physique fats (and thus improve lean physique mass), velocity restoration from damage and improve resistence to damage.

Potential Unfavorable Aspect Results: Joint ache, carpal tunnel syndrome, irregular bone thickening, diabetes, hypertension, elevated danger for colon and prostate most cancers.

Is it authorized? Out there solely by prescription; use in anti-aging procedures just isn’t authorized within the US.

Notable Customers:

  • Jason Giambi (baseball participant): In late 2003, admitted to a federal grand jury that he took HGH and steroids from 2001 to 2003. On the time of use, Main League Baseball had no guidelines barring gamers from utilizing steroids or HGH (though these medicine have been unlawful for people to own or use with no prescription). He was not disciplined.
  • Andy Pettitte (baseball participant): In 2007, admitted that he had taken HGH in 2002 to hurry therapeutic from an elbow damage. He was not disciplined.
  • Invoice Romanowski (soccer participant): In 2005, admitted on the TV present 60 Minutes that he’d taken HGH and steroids from 2001 to 2003. Since he’d been retired since 2003, he was not disciplined.


Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds

7. Amphetamines

What’s it? A nervous system stimulant and urge for food suppressant.

Medical Use: To deal with hyperactive youngsters, sleep issues and melancholy.

Athletic Use: To extend power and focus.

Potential Unfavorable Aspect Results: Restlessness, nervousness, complications, insomnia, nerve injury, tremors, impotence, hallucinations, elevated blood strain.

Is it authorized? Restricted to prescription use solely since 1965.

Notable Customers:

  • Barry Bonds (baseball participant): In 2006, examined constructive for amphetamines. Underneath Main League Baseball’s drug testing guidelines, he was subjected to counseling and elevated testing, however was in any other case not disciplined. (A second constructive check earns a 25 recreation suspension, a 3rd constructive check leads to an 80-game suspension and a fourth nets a lifetime ban.)
  • Jason Giambi (baseball participant): In 2007, it was reported that he failed a drug check for amphetamines. He was subjected to counseling and elevated testing.
  • *It must be famous that because the 1960s, widespread, open use of amphetamine tablets (“greenies”) has been reported in skilled baseball. Tales of bowls of tablets in locker rooms and “special” pots of espresso spiked with amphetamines have been widespread, and participant utilization was estimated by some as excessive as 85%. Nevertheless, it wasn’t till 2006 that Main League Baseball started testing for amphetamines.


Marion Jones
Marion Jones

6. Tetrahydrogestrinone (“THG,” “the Clear”)

What’s it? A “designer” anabolic steroid (a steroid that acts because the hormone testosterone), created on the Bay Space Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) to be undetectable by drug exams. Utilized in mixture with a testosterone ointment referred to as “the cream” to keep away from detection.

Medical Use: None.

Athletic Use: To extend muscle strenth and promote muscle progress.

Attainable Damaging Aspect Results: Pimples, infertility, weakened immune system, hypertension, liver injury, elevated aggression.

Is it authorized? No. It’s listed underneath Schedule I of the Managed Substances Act, which means: 1) the drug or different substance has a excessive potential for abuse; 2) the drug or different substance has no presently accepted medical use in remedy in the USA; and three) there’s a lack of accepted security to be used of the drug or different substance beneath medical supervision.

Notable Customers:

  • Barry Bonds (baseball participant): Within the 2003 investigation of BALCO, advised a U.S. grand jury that he was given “the cream” and “the clear” by his coach through the 2003 season however thought that they have been a pain-relieving balm and the dietary complement flaxseed oil. He was not disciplined.
  • Jason Giambi (baseball participant): Within the 2003 investigation of BALCO, informed a U.S. grand jury that he used “the cream” and “the clear” through the 2003 season. He was not disciplined.
  • Marion Jones (monitor athlete): In 2007, admitted to utilizing and “the clear” for 2 years in preparation for the 2000 Olympics, considering that it was flaxseed oil given to her by her coach. In 2008, she was sentenced to 6 months in jail for perjury referring to her preliminary denial of each her steroid use and her involvement in a check-fraud rip-off.
  • Shane Mosley (boxer): Used the BALCO merchandise earlier than his 2003 battle with Oscar De La Hoya however claims that he thought they contained authorized nutritional vitamins. He has not been disciplined.
  • Invoice Romanowski (soccer participant): In 2005, admitted on the TV present 60 Minutes that he’d taken “the cream” and “the clear” and HGH from 2001 to 2003. Since he’d been retired since 2003, he was not disciplined.
  • Gary Sheffield (baseball participant): Just like Bonds, admitted in 2004 that in 2002 he’d utilized a cream to his injured knee, unaware that it contained steroids. He was not disciplined.


Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis

5. Ephedrine (Ephedra, Ma Huang)

What’s it? A chemical compound derived from the herb ephedra.

Medical Use: Used as a decongestant and for momentary aid of bronchial asthma and bronchitis. Additionally used as a stimulant to deal with sleep issues, as a remedy for menstrual issues or urine-control issues, and as a remedy for low blood strain related to anesthesia.

Athletic Use: To extend power and application and to shed weight by rushing up metabolism.

Attainable Destructive Aspect Results: Nausea, hypertension, dizzyness, shortness of breath, lack of urge for food, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, pimples, cardiac arrhythmia.

Is it authorized? Dietary dietary supplements containing ephedrine are unlawful within the US, however ephedrine continues to be out there over-the-counter in lots of purposes outdoors of dietary dietary supplements. Nevertheless, gross sales are closely monitored and restricted, together with limits on gross sales by retailers. It’s banned by the Worldwide Olympic Committee, the Nationwide Soccer League, Main League Baseball and the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation.

Notable Customers:

  • Steve Belcher (baseball participant): In 2003, took weight loss supplements containing ephedrine earlier than a exercise and ended up dying of problems from heatstroke. The coroner’s stories indicated that ephedrine performed a serious half in his demise. Belcher’s case helped result in the FDA banning ephedrine dietary dietary supplements.
  • Ato Boldon (monitor athlete): In 2001, examined constructive for ephedrine and was given a warning, however he was not suspended. Boldon maintained the drug was in a chilly drugs he’d taken.
  • Carl Lewis (monitor athlete): Examined constructive for ephedrine previous to the 1988 Olympics and was initially banned from the video games, however that call was overturned resulting from his rationalization of inadvertent use in an over-the-counter natural treatment.
  • Diego Maradona (soccer participant): In the course of the 1994 World Cup event, examined constructive for ephedrine and was ejected. He was subsequently banned from soccer for 15 months. He claimed that he unknowingly took the drug in a “power drink.”
  • Korey Stringer (soccer participant): Like Belcher, died of heatstroke in 2001. An ephedrine product was present in his locker, however the drug’s connection to his dying was by no means confirmed.


Rafael Palmeiro
Rafael Palmeiro

four. Stanozolol (Winstrol)

What’s it? A person-made anabolic steroid derived from testosterone.

Medical Use: To advertise bone and tissue progress and to deal with hormonal issues and pores and skin/tissue swelling.

Athletic Use: To extend the power of athletes’ muscle tissue, generate lean physique mass and to enhance endurance.

Attainable Destructive Aspect Results: Liver injury, joint ache, pimples, sexual dysfunction.

Is it authorized? Accredited by the FDA for human use, however it’s unlawful to own and not using a prescription.

Notable Customers:

  • Ben Johnson (monitor athlete): Was stripped of his 1988 Olympic gold medal for the 100 meter sprint when he examined constructive for stanozolol. He was subsequently suspended from racing for 2 years.
  • Rafael Palmeiro (baseball participant): In 2005, lower than 4 months after swearing underneath oath in a Congressional listening to that he’d by no means used steroids, he examined constructive for stanozolol. He claimed that he unknowingly took the drug and was suspended by Main League Baseball for 10 video games.
  • Tim Sylvia (combined martial arts fighter): In 2003, examined constructive and was suspended for six months. He voluntarily relinquished his UFC heavyweight championship title.
  • Fernando Vargas (boxer): After a struggle with Oscar de la Hoya in 2002, examined constructive and was suspended from boxing for 9 months.


Martina Hingis
Martina Hingis

three. Cocaine (“Coke”)

What’s it? A chemical compound stimulant derived from the coca plant.

Medical Use: Used as a topical anesthetic to numb the floor of a physique half — most frequently for eye, ear, nostril, throat, neck and head damage.

Athletic Use: Though cocaine isn’t sometimes regarded as a performance-enhancing drug, the power increase and self-confidence it creates can assist in short-term athletic exercise.

Attainable Destructive Aspect Results: Hypertension, hyperactivity, elevated coronary heart price, hallucinations, paranoia, nasal cartilage decay, irregular heartbeat, lung trauma.

Is it authorized? Could also be prescribed underneath particular restrictions. In any other case, unlawful to own or use.

Notable Customers:

  • Dwight Gooden (baseball participant): Examined constructive for cocaine in 1987 and entered rehab in an effort to keep away from suspension by Main League Baseball. In 1994, he once more examined postitive and was suspended for 60 days.
  • Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson (soccer participant): In his 1988 autobiography, admitted to snorting cocaine out of a nasal inhaler whereas enjoying in Tremendous Bowl XIII in 1979. He was kicked off of the group two years later partially due to his drug behavior.
  • Martina Hingis (tennis participant): In 2007, in the course of the Wimbledon tennis event, examined constructive for cocaine and was banned from tennis for 2 years. She retired shortly after the outcomes have been introduced.
  • Diego Maradona (soccer participant): Was suspended from soccer for 15 months in 1991 for testing constructive for cocaine.
  • Michael Irvin (soccer participant): Was arrested in 1996 for cocaine possession and sentenced to 4 years’ probation. He was suspended by the Nationwide Soccer League for 5 video games.
  • Darryl Straw

    berry (baseball participant):

    In 1995, examined constructive for cocaine and was suspended by Main League Baseball for 60 days. Arrested in 1999 for cocaine possession, sentenced to 18 months’ probation and acquired a 120-day suspension from baseball. Examined constructive once more for cocaine in 2000 and was suspended for a yr.

  • Lawrence Taylor (soccer participant): Examined constructive in 1988 and was suspended by the Nationwide Soccer League for 30 days. In his 2003 autobiography, admitted to being excessive on cocaine throughout video games and borrowing teammates’ urine to idiot drug exams.


Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez

2. Testosterone

What’s it? A steroid hormone produced primarily within the testes of males and the ovaries of females.

Medical Use: Used to deal with males with poor testosterone manufacturing, in addition to remedy of osteoporosis, cardio-vascular illness, weight problems, melancholy, nervousness.

Athletic Use: Aids in constructing muscle mass and decreasing fats and growing bone density and power.

Attainable Unfavourable Aspect Results: Enlarged prostate, hypertension, liver injury, sexual dysfunction, testicular atrophy, pimples.

Is it authorized? Out there solely by prescription solely.

Notable Customers:

  • Mary Decker (monitor athlete): A 1996 urine check revealed a degree of testosterone over the allowed most. Though she argued that Decker the check is unreliable for older ladies (she was 37) taking contraception tablets, she was stripped of a silver medal she gained on the 1997 World Indoor Championships.
  • Justin Gatlin (monitor athlete): In 2006, examined constructive for a steroid, believed to be testosterone, and acquired a four-year ban from monitor and subject, avoiding a lifetime ban by cooperating with authorities.
  • Jason Giambi (baseball participant): In 2003, admitted to a federal grand jury that he took testosterone, HGH and different steroids from 2001 to 2003. He was not disciplined.
  • Floyd Landis (bike owner): After profitable the Tour de France in 2006, his urine check got here again with an unusually excessive degree of testosterone. After offering numerous excuses and defenses, Landis was stripped of his title and banned from biking for 2 years.
  • Alex Rodriguez (baseball participant): In 2009, confidential info was leaked that he had examined constructive for testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan in 2003. He confessed however was not disciplined, because the 2003 check had been carried out as a part of a penalty-free survey to find out the extent of steroid utilization inside Main League Baseball.


Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit

1. Nandrolone (Deca-durabolin)

What’s it? An anabolic steroid (a steroid that acts because the hormone testosterone) that happens in small quantities within the human physique.
Medical Use: Used to deal with osteoporosis in postmenopausal ladies, to assist within the progress of blood cells in bone marrow, and to assist tissue and muscle progress in individuals affected by degenerative illnesses like AIDS.
Athletic Use: To develop muscle mass and assist in bodily restoration from exercises.
Attainable Unfavourable Aspect Results: Cardiovascular injury, sexual dysfunction, liver injury, pimples, sterility, baldness, enlarged prostate.
Is it authorized? Out there solely by prescription.

Notable Customers:

  • Chris Benoit (skilled wrestler): In June 2007, killed his spouse and son earlier than hanging himself. Though there was no substantial proof to tie the wrester’s drug utilization to the murders, it was later revealed that he’d acquired shipments of nondrolone and the drug anastrozole (used to counter unwanted side effects of steroid use) by way of a hoop of disreputable well being care professionals.
  • Royce Gracie (combined martial arts fighter): After a struggle in 2007, examined constructive for nandrolone and was banned for a yr.
  • Shawne Merriman (soccer participant): In 2006, examined constructive and was supsended for 4 video games. The incident led the Nationwide Soccer League to cross a rule that forbids a participant who exams constructive for steroids from being chosen to the Professional Bowl or profitable any efficiency awards within the yr during which they examined constructive.
  • James Toney (boxer): Examined constructive after profitable the World Boxing Affiliation (WBA) heavyweight championship in 2005. He was stripped of the title and suspended from boxing for 90 days.

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