Doping in Sports – Parents Beware!

   by David Dalton

     Doping in sports represents the dark underbelly of the fitness and sporting world. Unfortunately prevalent and accessible, it is vital to monitor your loved ones physical and mental prowess and attitude in relation to their fitness endeavours – especially the oft impressionable teenagers. Gaining a basic knowledge of sporting supplements in conjunction with advice and discussion from your GP can be a great help in spotting both the healthy and unhealthy side effects of supplements in sport that may affect those around you.

     I write this from over twenty years experience in working with patients young and old, as well as quite an extensive personal sporting history. Doping in sport is real and a real problem. Contrary to popular belief, it is not confined to elite athletes and is prevalent in all facets of sport from amateur, recreational and professional levels. In my years of experience I have had more than a few patients of varying ages who were doping in the likes of schoolboy rugby and athletics.

     With this in mind, it is important to remember that this can also seep into the lives of your teenage children perhaps as a form of peer pressure or the sheer want to fleetingly do better through competition. Mind, respect and protect your teenage children. If in doubt, discuss with your GP/physiotherapist – a simple blood test can reveal a lot.

     Yet despite this knowledge of doping in sports, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) have been accused of blocking reports which uncover just how widespread this doping is worldwide. As an example of this, click here to see this article in relation to the IAAF.   

     Please be vigilant and take an active interest in your children’s sporting activities especially as they return to school leagues and teams. Natural ability and improvement will be seen through training and discipline over time, but any rapid and/or drastic physical or fitness changes/improvements should raise concern.

     The sporting and fitness world is massive in scale and reach and with this it is important to note that there are legal and beneficial supplements that can be used to benefit performance. Click here to be taken to an online article that explains this in more detail. It is always advised to consult your GP when altering or changing your dietary and fitness lifestyle.

The Journal. (2015). ‘
The IAAF accused of blocking report that shows widespread doping.’ (online) Available at: [Accessed 28/08/15]