How will anti-doping regulations protect athletes against the long-term effects of steroid use?

Published 26 February 2014 By: Andrew MacDonald

Body builder

New research published in the Journal of Physiology, suggests athletes using steroids for only a short period could gain an unfair advantage over ‘clean’ competitors for up to 10 years.

This brings sharply into focus the issue of doping in sport and the sanctions to be applied in circumstances where sports-people cheat the system.

It also demonstrates the difficulty in truly understanding the long term physiological benefits that doping athletes gain when compared with their clean counterparts.

The research explored the impact of a brief exposure to testosterone on mice. Testing revealed that three months after the drug was withdrawn, muscle grew by 30% after six days of exercise. That contrasted greatly with a control group of mice, whose muscle growth was only 6% over the same period.


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Andrew MacDonald

Andrew MacDonald

Andrew is a Senior Solicitor in the Employment Team at Mills & Reeve LLP. Much of Andrew’s work focuses on the sports sector. He advises professional football clubs, players and agents on contractual and employment matters, including players’ contracts and disciplinary proceedings.

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