The news went viral last week; a 16 year old Nigerian athlete was stripped of her gold medal. Which she won in the weightlifting category at the recently concluded 2014 Commonwealth games which took place in Glasgow, Scotland (it ended yesterday). I am not here to cast aspersions on the athlete, her coaching crew or the team clinician. But they do have a lot of explanations. Doping has been around for a while and if you have to use drugs before participating in professional competitions, you have to be double sure to avoid drugs on the banned list. There is a list of prohibited drugs by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency set up by the International Olympic Committee against doping). If you have to take any of these banned drugs for any medical reasons; there are protocols that should be followed strictly. For example a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) needs to be secured amongst other things. It was therefore shocking and deeply embarrassing that Nigeria could get enmeshed in such a scandal. I hope we get to the root of this unfortunate event. As this should not be allowed to repeat itself in the future.
Sorry for the digression, but I had to pen down my thoughts. This week’s article was borne out of the need to educate and remind us of the prohibited list of banned drugs and their side-effects on our body. Folks, if you indulge in using stimulants before engaging in exercise, please put a stop to this unhealthy practice. It’s dangerous to your health.
This may sound alarming and you might say I have shown no statistics to back up my claim. If you are inquisitive, just do your discreet investigations when watching street football in the slums, you will be surprised with what you will find. This habit is so rampant that young people nowadays do not think twice before indulging in it to build up their strength/stamina during non-recreational activities.
As far back as when I was in secondary school, I heard about guys who smoked marijuana before playing football games for the school team. As a matter of fact, while in the University, usage of stimulants before inter-faculty sporting competitions was the rampant. Some guys even cooked beans with the leaves of Cannabis sativa just to add variety to the consumption of this drug. A friend of mine had a room-mate who used anabolic steroids to build up his muscles. He was not into any sports; he only loved to exercise on a daily basis to keep fit. He had the notion that you had to use “drugs” to achieve a six-pack abdominal muscle.
Doping is injurious to your health. So what is doping? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) definition of doping states thus: it is the use of an expedient (substance or method) which is potentially harmful to athlete’s health and/or capable of enhancing their performance, or the presence in the athlete’s body of a prohibited substance or evidence of the use thereof or evidence of the use of a prohibited method.
Below is an example from the prohibited list and its side-effects:

Type of Drug
Diuretics (e.g. frusemide*)
Medical Usage
Effect on performance
Rapid weight loss
Decreased concentration of drugs in urine**
Side Effects
Electrolyte imbalance.
Dehydration etc

• * Implicated drug used by the Nigerian athlete
• ** Effect on performance

The example above is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent and complete list can be gotten from the WADA website:
Therefore folks, kindly refrain from using these banned drugs when you join those jogging sessions or go for gym sessions. Instead, get your sporting equipments from the Truppr store and keep on truppring!
It’s the healthy way to go.
Your Physical Activity Advocate


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