Urine testing sample

Some sportspeople try to gain an advantage by using performance-enhancing drugs. This is known as doping. Many performance-enhancing drugs are banned by sports' governing bodies.

There are 5 'doping classes', which are categories of banned drugs:

Doping classEffect on performanceDangerous side-effects
StimulantsMake athletes more alert and mask fatigue (extreme tiredness caused by physical activity)Can cause heart failure, addictive
Anabolic agents - steroidsHelp athletes to train harder and build muscleIncreased aggression and kidney damage
DiureticsRemove fluid from the body. Used to make the weight, eg in boxing and to hide other drug use Causes severe dehydration
Narcotic analgesicsMask pain caused by injury or fatigue which can make the injury worseAddictive
Peptides and hormonesEPO (Erythropoietin) red blood cells - gives more energy and HGH (Human Growth Hormone) - build muscleEPO - risk of stroke or heart problems and HGH - abnormal growth, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis etc
Close-up of hand in archery

Beta blockers are banned in archery and shooting as they keep the heart rate low and reduce tremble in the hands.

Blood doping is injecting blood that has been removed from the body a few days earlier, enabling the blood to carry more oxygen. It is banned as it's a form of cheating. It can cause kidney and heart failure.