Introduction. The use of substances (including drugs) to improve performance in sport activities (either amateur or professional=doping) or to increase muscle size, is widespread. Such practice is not only illegal (in the case of doping), but is also dangerous and harmful. Almost in all cases, the users are not aware of the mechanism (s) of action, effects, and toxicity of the substances they take. Moreover, the availability via internet of any kind of substances recommended for better performance in sport competitions or for body building is dramatically increasing, and is supported by deceptive advertising. With the support and sponsorship of the European Community and of the Health and Sport aldermanships of the province and town of Modena, we set up three years ago an information service on doping agents and substances used in sport practice. Material and Method. The service is provided with a free phone help line, a website, and the most comprehensive and up to date databases (including Micromedex); it is operated by the physicians of our post-graduate Schools of Medical Toxicology and of Pharmacology. The calling persons are not requested to give their personal data, and answers are given immediately, or within 24 h by fax or e-mail. Results. A total of 2980 calls had been made at the end of 2004. Typology of users: amateur athletes 78%, professional athletes 6% , people not involved in sport activity (usually parents or relatives of athletes) 16%. Sport practiced: cycling 62%, running 20%, soccer 5%, self-defence arts 1% (the remaining 12% practices body building). Drugs and substances concerned: dietary supplements and integrators (creatine, amino acids, etc.) 61%, anabolic agents 16%, THG 10%, eritropoietins 6%, thermogenic agents 4%, diuretics 3%. Gender: 82% males, 18% females. Conclusions. Doping is a serious problem of increasing concern that - apart from the aspect of disloyalty in sport competition - often produces severe (even fatal) consequences for health. People exposed to the risk of being involved in doping have no specifically skilled reference organization to which apply for unbiased, impartial, updated informations by qualified specialists. We are of the opinion that our free information service on doping (the only one in Italy; one of the two in the European Community) may fill in a gap, and that similar services should be activated in other Regions.

Analysis of three-year activity of an information service on doping.

LEONE, Sheila;
2005-01-01

Abstract

Introduction. The use of substances (including drugs) to improve performance in sport activities (either amateur or professional=doping) or to increase muscle size, is widespread. Such practice is not only illegal (in the case of doping), but is also dangerous and harmful. Almost in all cases, the users are not aware of the mechanism (s) of action, effects, and toxicity of the substances they take. Moreover, the availability via internet of any kind of substances recommended for better performance in sport competitions or for body building is dramatically increasing, and is supported by deceptive advertising. With the support and sponsorship of the European Community and of the Health and Sport aldermanships of the province and town of Modena, we set up three years ago an information service on doping agents and substances used in sport practice. Material and Method. The service is provided with a free phone help line, a website, and the most comprehensive and up to date databases (including Micromedex); it is operated by the physicians of our post-graduate Schools of Medical Toxicology and of Pharmacology. The calling persons are not requested to give their personal data, and answers are given immediately, or within 24 h by fax or e-mail. Results. A total of 2980 calls had been made at the end of 2004. Typology of users: amateur athletes 78%, professional athletes 6% , people not involved in sport activity (usually parents or relatives of athletes) 16%. Sport practiced: cycling 62%, running 20%, soccer 5%, self-defence arts 1% (the remaining 12% practices body building). Drugs and substances concerned: dietary supplements and integrators (creatine, amino acids, etc.) 61%, anabolic agents 16%, THG 10%, eritropoietins 6%, thermogenic agents 4%, diuretics 3%. Gender: 82% males, 18% females. Conclusions. Doping is a serious problem of increasing concern that - apart from the aspect of disloyalty in sport competition - often produces severe (even fatal) consequences for health. People exposed to the risk of being involved in doping have no specifically skilled reference organization to which apply for unbiased, impartial, updated informations by qualified specialists. We are of the opinion that our free information service on doping (the only one in Italy; one of the two in the European Community) may fill in a gap, and that similar services should be activated in other Regions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/251841
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