What do you need to consider when prescribing medications to athletes?
The use of drugs to enhance performance has been happening since sport began. The Ancient Greeks used substances to enhance performance and by the 19th century cyclists were known to be using a combination of strychnine and caffeine with fatal consequences. In the 1970s, the use of substances to gain an unfair advantage was taken to a new level with the systemic doping seen in the Eastern Bloc countries.
The International Olympic Committee established its first ‘prohibited list’ of substances in 1967 and drug testing began at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The International Olympic Committee remained the antidoping authority for world sport until 2000 when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in an attempt to harmonise banned lists, testing procedures and sanctioning of positive cases for all Olympic and non-Olympic sports across the world.