Doping and Respiratory System
AbstractHistorically many different drugs have been used to enhance sporting performances. The magic elixir is still elusive and the drugs are still used despite the heavy adverse effects. The respiratory system is regularly involved in this research probably because of its central location in the body with several connections to the cardiovascular system. Moreover people are aware that O2 consumption and its delivery to mitochondria firstly depend on ventilation and on the respiratory exchanges. The second step consists in the tendency to increase Vâ€™O2 max and to prolong its availability with the aim of improving the endurance time and to relieve the fatigue. Many methods and substances had been used in order to gain an artificial success. Additional oxygen, autologous and homologous transfusion and erithropoietin, mainly the synthetic type, have been administered with the aim of increasing the amount of oxygen being delivered to the tissues. Some compounds like stimulants and caffeine are endowed of excitatory activity on the CNS and stimulate pulmonary ventilation. They did not prove to have any real activity in supporting the athletic performances. Beta-adrenergic drugs, particularly clenbuterol, when administered orally or parentherally develop a clear illicit activity on the myosin fibres and on the muscles as a whole. Salbutamol, terbutaline, salmeterol and formoterol are legally admitted when administrated by MDI in the treatment of asthma. The prevalence of asthma and bronchial hyperactivity is higher in athletes than amongst the general population. This implies that clear rules must be provided to set a correct diagnosis of asthma in the athletes and a correct therapy to align with the actual guidelines according to the same rights of the â€œotherâ€ asthmatic patients.
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