Drug abuse (‘doping’) by an athlete is defined as the use of a substance ‘which could have the effect of improving artificially the athlete’s physical and/or mental condition and so augmenting his athletic performance.1 The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lists prohibited drugs (see table) and, in Olympic events, a competitor may be penalised if a banned drug or its metabolite is detected in the urine. The Sports Council funds doping control in the U.K. and issues guidelines to governing bodies of sports based on IOC recommendations. 1,2 This article aims to help doctors and pharmacists advise patients involved in competitive sport and notes potential problems.
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