Sports doping : Winning at any cost?.

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About this work


In this Horizon documentary, Dr Xand van Tulleken investigates how prevalent the use of performance enhancing drugs are in sports and fitness - both amongst professionals and the general population. There are currently more than 300 drugs that are currently banned from sports as giving athletes an unfair advantage. Xand meets Tim Montgomery who was banned from athletics for drug-taking. He talks about the various medications he had been taking and about some of the side effects he is suffering from now. In the general gym-population, the drug of choice would be muscle-building anabolic steroids. Xand meets body-builders and weight-lifters; sports scientist Dr Pete Angell has been studying the effects of anabolic steroids on the heart - he believes there may be hundreds of thousands of people using the drugs on a regular basis. Professor David Cowan from Kings College London runs a laboratory that tests thousands of blood and urine samples for drugs as well as monitoriing the distribution of counterfeit drugs. He describes how the counterfeit drug industry is growing - the black market suppliers are often the same as those supplying heroine and cocaine on the streets. Professor Lee Sweeney has used gene therapy to stop age related muscle loss. He discovered that if you injected young mice, they would develop huge muscles which stayed for life - this has become known as gene doping. Xand and his twin brother Chris experiment with the effects of caffeine on athletic performance and also neurological enhancement through transcranial stimulation; electrical doping. This may be the future of sports doping.



Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, colour ; 12 cm.

Copyright note



Originally broadcast on 19th July 2016 on BBC 2.

Creator/production credits

Produced and directed by Penny Palmer.
Presented by Dr Xand van Tulleken.



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