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22. 4. 2012.

Illegal methods in sport

Methods that increase oxygen transfer

Methods that are used to increase oxygen transfer are:
a)      blood doping – blood transfusion
b)     use of products that enable intake, transport or release of oxygen

Blood transfusion

The goal of blood transfusion appliance in sport is to influent on athletes abilities to increase blood capacity for connecting and transporting oxygen to the tissues. This increase in aerobic capacity can be specially useful in sports that are type endurance. For needs of athletes is not done intake of whole blood, but special technique is used to separate erythrocytes and insert them into blood circulation through transfusion.


Autologous transfusion – procedure starts few weeks before important sports competition, through intake of 1-4 blood units(1 unit=450ml of blood). Through reinfusion plasma is returned to the athlete, and separated erythrocytes are depoed on responsible way to the moment where through infusion will be returned to the blood circulation, which is usually happened 1-7 days before competition. Level of haemoglobine and erythrocytes can be increased that way for over 20%.
Homologous transfusion means appliance of blood or blood derivates of other donor.

Harmful effects

Increase in blood viscosity created by transfusion of separated erythrocytes can be the cause of serious complications.
One of them is decrease in heart minute and hitting volume, which causes fall in blood circulation velocity, reduction of oxygen in peripheral tissues, or aerobic capacity. Other possible complications are trombosis and flebitis, heart damage, septicemia, air embolia and death.
Homologous transfusions can also be the cause of transfusion reactions(increased body temperature, urticaria, anaphylactic shock), hepatitis, HIV, malaria.
Today is thought that intake of 900-1300ml of blood through autologous transfusion can be the safe procedure.

Methods that increase flow, transport and oxygen release

Artephicial carriers of oxygen

Artephicial carriers of oxygen are products that increase blood oxygenation.
The most significant representors of these substances are:
  • erythropoetine
  • perfluorochemicals(PFCs)
  • haemoglobin based oxygen carriers(HBOCs)
  • liposome encapsulated haemoglobins(LEHs).
These substances are still in the phase of testing and development, which is placed as the condition for appliance at people in clinical medicine. Their appliance would have excuse, if responsive blood is missing or there is a risk of other donor’s blood appliance.

Appliance in sport

There are some reports of use this rimifons at the athletes in the goal of blood oxygenation increase, but they are not concrete to be able to talk more about these tries.

Harmful effects

It is thought that harmful effects can be very serious, due to difficulties in doses measuring.
Harfmul effects of PFCs are:
  • transitively increase in body temperature
  • reduction of trombocytes number
  • potential load of fagocyte cells.
Harmful effects of HBOCs are:
  • blood pressure increase
  • vasoconstriction
  • kidney damage
  • iron overload.


PFCs can be detected through breath test of through techniques gas chromatography- mass spectrometry.

Pharmacological, chemical and physical manipulations

Pharmacological, chemical and physical manipulations means substances or methods which use has a goal to alter or substitute urine sample, that should be given to doping control.
Examples of illegal methods are:
  • catheterization( procedure where by appliance of catheters is emptied urethra)
  • urine substitution or tampering
  • inhibition of kidney excretory function
  • alteration of testosterone/epitestosterone concentration

Gene doping

Progress of medicine science enabled introduction of structure and functions of human genome. Through recognition of genoms responsible for increase of psychophysical abilities important for various sports and technology progress, that would apply everything more adjustable, presents real danger for the sport. On this way theoretically, it would be possible to increase the power through stimulation of growth hormone, increase blood capacity for oxygen transport, through stimulating synthesis of erythropoetine and similar. Technique that would be used here  looks really simple. Appliance of proper injection of DNA responsible for releasing of substances written in the body of the athlete few days or weeks before competition would give wished result. Today is generally talked about two types of gene intake into the organism. Transduction means giving DNA with assistance of viral vector, while transfection is non-viral intake, where liposome-DNA or DNA-protein complex are used. Non-viral technique is less toxic and less immunogene, but not as effective as viral. In any case, today bioengineering has to resolve problems of effective and safe DNA transduction. Progress of research and techniques in this area of medicine, would lead to successful healing of hard diseases like: haemophilia, anemia, muscle distrophia… That would mark new era in medicine. Opinions of many researchers say that these progress would be used in non-therapeutic way, as a doping in sport. There is fear cause possibility of detection would be really hard to be developed.

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