• Janeyuth Chaisakul -Department of Pharmacology, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, 10400 Thailand


pharmacology, Athlete , Stimulants , Steroids, Hormone



      Many athletes attempt to improve their sport performance by using drugs or stimulants that act on involving body mechanisms, e.g. musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular and hormonal systems. The performance-enhancing drugs potentially exhibit the advantage during the competition and also cause adverse reactions to the users. In this review article, we aim to show an overview of physiological and pharmacological aspects of the available evidences for these performance enhancing substances. In addition, detail regarding laboratory detection for doping and other techniques to enhance sport performance were also described.

(Journal of Sports Science and Technology 2022; 22(2): 32-45))
(Received: 30 June 2022, Revised: 25 August 2022, Accepted: 30 August 2022)
KEY WORDS: Pharmacology/ Athlete/ Stimulants/ Steroids/ Hormone
*Corresponding author: Janeyuth Chaisakul
Phramongkutklao College of Medicine Ratchawithi Rd, Thung Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi,
Bangkok Thailand Tel.+66-91 064 7473; e-mail: jchaisakul@gmail.com


Download data is not yet available.


Independent Member Federation Sanctions Panel [IMFSP] issues decisions on Thai Amateur Weightlifting Association and Malaysian Weightlifting Federation. Lausanne: International Weightlifting Federation; 2020 [cited 2022 August 18]. Available from: https://iwf.sport/2020/04/04/independent-member-federation-sanctions-panel-imfsp-issues-decisions-thai-amateur-weightlifting-association-malaysian-weightlifting-federation/

WADA, 2021. World Anti-Doping CODE 2021. Quebec, Canada: World Anti-Doping Agency.

WADA, 2022. Prohibited List January 2022. Quebec, Canada: World Anti-Doping Agency.

Heuberger JAAC, Cohen AF. Review of WADA Prohibited Substances: Limited Evidence for Performance-Enhancing Effects. Sports Medicine. 2019 Apr 8;49(4):525–39.

Orr R, Grassmayr M, Macniven R, Grunseit A, Halaki M, Bauman A. Australian athletes’ knowledge of the WADA Prohibited Substances List and performance enhancing substances. Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Jun;56:40–5.

Bhasin S, Storer TW, Berman N, Callegari C, Clevenger B, Phillips J, et al. The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men. N Engl J Med 1996 Jul 4;335(1):1–7.

Sessa F, Salerno M, di Mizio G, Bertozzi G, Messina G, Tomaiuolo B, et al. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: Searching New Molecular Biomarkers. Front pharmacol. 2018 Nov 20;9.

Frati P, Busardo F, Cipolloni L, Dominicis E, Fineschi V. Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) Related Deaths: Autoptic, Histopathological and Toxicological Findings. Curr. Neuropharmacol.. 2015 Apr 13;13(1):146–59.

Rang H, Ritter J, Flower R, Henderson G, Dale M. Rang and Dale's pharmacology. [Edinburgh etc.]: Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone; 2013.

Yoshida T, Delafontaine P. Mechanisms of IGF-1-Mediated Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Atrophy. Cells. 2020;9(9).

Siebert DM, Rao AL. The Use and Abuse of Human Growth Hormone in Sports. Sports health. 2018;10(5):419-26.

Tentori L, Graziani G. Doping with growth hormone/IGF-1, anabolic steroids or erythropoietin: is there a cancer risk? Pharmacol Res. 2007 May;55(5):359–69.

Wilkerson DP, Rittweger J, Berger NJA, Naish PF, Jones AM. Influence of recombinant human erythropoietin treatment on pulmonary O 2 uptake kinetics during exercise in humans. The Journal of Physiology. 2005 Oct;568(2):639–52.

Ninot G, Connes P, Caillaud C. Effects of recombinant human erythropoietin injections on physical self in endurance athletes. J Sports Sci. 2006 Apr;24(4):383–91.

Scott J, Phillips GC. Erythropoietin in sports: a new look at an old problem. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2005 Aug;4(4):224-6.

Gupta N, Wish JB. Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Prolyl Hydroxylase Inhibitors: A Potential New Treatment for Anemia in Patients With CKD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017 Jun;69(6):815–26.

Locatelli F, Fishbane S, Block GA, Macdougall IC. Targeting Hypoxia-Inducible Factors for the Treatment of Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients. Am. J. Nephrol. 2017;45(3):187–99.

Ebeling P, Bourey R, Koranyi L, Tuominen JA, Groop LC, Henriksson J, et al. Mechanism of enhanced insulin sensitivity in athletes. Increased blood flow, muscle glucose transport protein (GLUT-4) concentration, and glycogen synthase activity. J Clin Investig. 1993 Oct 1;92(4):1623–31.

Casuso RA, Melskens L, Bruhn T, Secher NH, Nordsborg NB. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Feb 11;114(2):419–24.

Zorgati H, Prieur F, Vergniaud T, Cottin F, Do MC, Labsy Z, et al. Ergogenic and metabolic effects of oral glucocorticoid intake during repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise. Steroids. 2014 Aug;86:10–5.

Arlettaz A, Portier H, Lecoq AM, Rieth N, de Ceaurriz J, Collomp K. Effects of Short-Term Prednisolone Intake during Submaximal Exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007 Sep;39(9):1672–8.

Ip EJ, Doroudgar S, Lau B, Barnett MJ. Anabolic steroid users' misuse of non-traditional prescription drugs. Res Social Adm Pharm : RSAP. 2019;15(8):949-52.

Armstrong LE, Costill DL, Fink WJ. Influence of diuretic-induced dehydration on competitive running performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985 Aug;17(4):456–61.

Stager JM, Tucker A, Cordain L, Engebretsen BJ, Brechue WF, Matulich CC. Normoxic and acute hypoxic exercise tolerance in man following acetazolamide. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990 Apr;22(2):178-84.

Holgado D, Zandonai T, Zabala M, Hopker J, Perakakis P, Luque-Casado A, et al. Tramadol effects on physical performance and sustained attention during a 20-min indoor cycling time-trial: A randomised controlled trial. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Jul;21(7):654–60.

Amann M, Proctor LT, Sebranek JJ, Pegelow DF, Dempsey JA. Opioid-mediated muscle afferents inhibit central motor drive and limit peripheral muscle fatigue development in humans. The Journal of Physiology. 2009 Jan 1;587(1):271–83.

Holgado D, Hopker J, Sanabria D, Zabala M. Analgesics and Sport Performance: Beyond the Pain-Modulating Effects. PM&R. 2018 Jan;10(1):72–82.

Westmattelmann D, Dreiskamper D, Strauss B, Schewe G, Plass J. Perception of the Current Anti-doping Regime - A Quantitative Study Among German Top-Level Cyclists and Track and Field Athletes. Front Psychol.. 2018;9:1890.

Judak P, Coppieters G, Lapauw B, Van Eenoo P, Deventer K. Urinary detection of rapid-acting insulin analogs in healthy humans. Drug Test Anal. 2020;12(11-12):1629-35.






Review article