After recent scandals in cycling involving doping, it has been asserted that top-level cycling is impossible without pharmacological support. An important prerequisite for successfully completing the Tour de France is maintaining energy balance. To compensate for the daily caloric expenditure of 23-25 MJ, conventional food must be supplemented with liquid food. Quick administration of liquid carbohydrates is essential for optimal recovery of glycogen stores in the liver and skeletal muscle. Androgenic anabolic steroids are a frequently used form of doping. In endurance sports, these drugs have not been shown to affect endurance performance, and there is little evidence to suggest that they enhance recovery. Although epoetin use can increase maximal oxygen uptake, its effects on maximal power output are less pronounced than what is generally assumed. A relationship between haemoglobin concentration and sport performance has not been proved. It has been found that growth hormone rather has a negative than a positive influence on the sport performance. The doping problem is due in part to superstition, hearsay and insufficient knowledge among the athlete's support personnel, which frequently leads to medical malpractice in sport. Education and quality control for sport professionals, including sports physicians, may help to control the doping problem.
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|