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Importance of Drug Testing for Athletes Participating in Professional Sports

October 5, 2012

The use of drugs to increase performance levels has been present since the ancient Greek Olympics. Athletes consume drugs in the form of tablets, energy drinks, food or other items to increase their performance levels. Drug testing for athletes is a controversial topic that has cost many athletes their titles, reputations and careers.

Apart from the International Amateur Athletic Federations (IAAF), who sought for a worldwide agreement to stop the use of performance enhancing drugs, there was no other attempt made before the 1960s. Ban on the use of drugs was imposed in 1928, but actual drug testing for athletes started in the late 1960s.

Between 1960 and 1970, there were many sporting associations that started testing for banned performance enhancing substances. FIFA, the international governing body for football, also started its own testing methods during this time. In 1967, the International Olympic Committee or the IOC prepared a list of substances that was considered as drugs and formed its own drug testing rules and regulations. Five years later in 1972, IOC banned athletes from using steroids.

Due to the ban on performance enhancing drugs, the athletes started feeling the heat. 1969 saw the first athlete being banned from participating because he used drugs. Since then, almost every major sporting event has had incidents where athletes were stopped from competing due to the same reason.

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