With the Lance Armstrong scandal breaking the silence on performance-enhancing drugs in sport, many assumed that doping has led to a super-human generation of souped-up athletes. But research from the University of Adelaide published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise has determined that may not be entirely true. After looking at Olympic records from 26 sports that span more than a century (beginning in 1886 and up until 2012) and by comparing data before 1932, when steroids came into use, to later-day stats, researchers were able to determine that records (including those for distance-based events) weren’t broken with flying colours thanks to the juice. This, of course, doesn’t mean that doping doesn’t give athletes an advantage — it just indicates that perhaps it’s not as high as we once assumed, or results in only a few increases in performance rather than overall improvement. Of course, experts (and probably former users) agree that the negatives far outweigh the positives. If you’re willing to take the risk, then you’re also risking these attractive-sounding side effects, as described by the Mayo Clinic:
- Shrunken testicles
- Heart and liver damage
- Blood clots
Bad skin, uncontrollable rage, and shrunken balls anyone?