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US, Olympics, and doping: 3 athletes who reversed the odds

For many sportspersons, playing games is all about winning. Every player and athlete steps on the ground with a strong determination to win. And many times, in the zeal of winning laurels, they end up adopting unfair means. Hence, doping scandals and Olympic Games have decades of relationship and co-existence.

Using performance-enhancing drugs, to gain advantage in athletic events is quite prevalent among players and athletes. Many players or athletes also use blood doping, wherein they take injections of erythropoietin (EPO), to increase the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

While there are players who are banned from playing a particular season when found positive in the doping test, many athletes are banned from one season to another, depending upon the severity of doping. While the United States came out clear in the 2016 Olympics, the country had three of its athletes who has earlier faced the ban but won laurels in their own games in this year’s Olympics.

Justin Gatlin

Justin Gatlin, who rose to fame after bagging a gold medal in 100 meters at the 2004 Olympics held in Athens, was found positive for substance twice. He was banned for eight years, from track and field, which reduced to four years considering his cooperation with doping authorities. Justin was first banned from international competition for two years in the year 2001 after he was tested positive for amphetamines. His second ban of four years was announced in 2006, for being positive with testosterone.

Amphetamines are stimulants that affect the central nervous system, thereby increasing energy, alertness, self-confidence, and concentration. Since the drug works to reduce fatigue and increase the stamina, it is a suitable drug for runners.

However, beating all the odds and sustaining all the debates and controversies, Justin made the U.S. proud by winning the silver medal in 100meters at the 2016 Olympics, by reaching the finishing line in just 9.89s.

LaShawn Merritt

With specialization in the 400 meters, LaShawn Merritt is a renowned American athlete known for competing in sprinting events. Merritt became a star after winning gold in the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing and the world title in Berlin in 2009. However, he faced a ban for 21 months after he was found positive in three successive tests held in October and December 2009 and January 2010. Merritt was tested positive for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and pregnenolone. As per the controversy, Merritt professed that he was positive due to consuming an over-the-counter drug that contained the elements.

In the 2016 Olympics, LaShawn Merritt not only proved his recovery from the ban but also created another history by winning a gold in 4X400 m relay and bronze in 400 m.

Sarah Robles

Sarah Robles was banned in January 2014 for taking performance-enhancing drugs. When tested, she was found positive for DHEA, testosterone, pregnanediol. Robles was sentenced a two-year suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation.

However, Sarah made a comeback and ended up creating a history by winning the first ever medal in weight lighting since 2000. Sarah won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics by lifting 160 kg in the clean-and-snatch.

Way to recovery

Besides the players and athletes, the performance-enhancing drugs are also growing common among people such as gymnasts and body builders. These drugs cause unnatural growth or secretion of hormones in the body, which gives a temporary boost that is harmful to the body. Also, long-term and consistent use of such drugs eventually leads to an addiction.

If you or someone you love is delving deep into the performance-enhancement drug addiction, it is important to consult drug addiction treatment centers in the U.S. The substance abuse treatment specialists at 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help you take the first step toward recovery by assisting you in finding the best addiction treatment centers. Connect via online chat or call at 855-441-4405 for more information.

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