Top Illegal Drugs In Team Sports

Illegal drugs have been used in sports for many years, the main reason being to enhance performance. Others also use drugs to relieve the stress that comes with being an athlete and the physical injuries that accompany it.

Athletes across all team sports including the major sports of basketball, baseball, football, and soccer, have been suspended and even banned from playing for having illegal drugs in their system. These drugs take away the ethics and fair play of a sport. Nonetheless, every day we here of more athletes using drugs to become better at their sport.

Doping In Sports

Doping” is the use of illegal substances to enhance performance in sports. It is a common practice and one that some say should even be legalized. Some believe if doping is legalized it will mean less health problems and deaths.

Doping can have serious consequences not only for the player but for the entire team. Let’s take a look at the top doping substances in sports.


Tetrahydrogestrinone, also known as “The Clear” because it can go undetected. This drug has no medical uses, it was designed specifically for athletes wanting to cheat the system. The creator Patrick Arnold made it in a way that the drug could pass normal steroid tests.

Desirable Athlete Effects of Tetrahydrogestrinone

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Speedy muscle and injury recovery

Side Effects of Tetrahydrogestrinone

  • Acne
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hair Loss in Men
  • Facial Hair Growth In Women
  • Irritable Mood


Ephedrine comes from a herb called Ephedra Equisetina. This drug is illegal in weight loss products but can be found in over the counter asthma and nasal decongestion applications. The NBA, NFL, and MLB are amongst the sports that have banned this drug from being used by their athletes.

Steve Belcher, a baseball player took weight loss pills that contained ephedrine in 2003 before a workout and died. This helped lead the way for the FDA to ban ephedrine in weight loss supplements. However, many athletes are still using ephedrine for its increased performance.

Desirable Athlete Effects of Ephedrine

  • Increases energy
  • Increases alertness
  • Provides fast weight loss by speeding up the metabolism

The FDA has recognized over 800 side effects of ephedrine, but here are the most common.

  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Heart Attack


Cocaine is a stimulant abused by millions, although it is usually not thought of as a performance enhancing drug, athletes use it for the boost of self-confidence and energy it provides.

Desirable Athlete Effects of Cocaine

  • Increased self-confidence while playing
  • Increased energy

Side Effects of Cocaine

  • Heart attack
  • Confusion and paranoia
  • Irregular heartbeat


Marijuana is a popular but controversial drug. Probably one of the most used drugs in the world and in sports. In 2014 NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had said he was not opposed to his players using medical marijuana to help with injuries.

Although marijuana is legal in some states, it is not in many and athletes are illegally using it.

Desirable Athlete Effects of Marijuana

  • Managing Pain
  • Reducing anxiety before a big game
  • Reducing negative experiences

It’s hard to talk about side effects of marijuana as there are many controversial studies. Marijuana is on the WADA prohibited list. WADA stands for World Anti-Doping Agency, they have a list which state all prohibited substances in sports.

There are many other illegal drugs used in team sports; if you want to see them check out the WADA prohibited list available online.

Drug Habits: Should All Drugs Be Legal?

It’s a difficult question to answer. We all know people who have been harmed to one degree or another by drugs. But should the state be able to tell you whether or not you should be able to use drugs? Or should it remain a personal choice? First of all, let’s discuss habits and addictions.

Habits & Addictions

Another important topic surrounding drugs is addiction. Addiction is the human reaction to drugs, and is different for everybody. It amounts to very bad habits being compounded by addictive chemical stimulants, but can become very severe. It affects the addicted person in that they are no longer able to function in their lives, and they may also affect those around them in unexpected ways. Though addiction is different from a bad habit, many of the remedies for getting rid of bad habits help in treating addiction. You can find out how to change habits in the book End Bad Habits by Rawlings.

Back to the debate on drug use. f the state legalized all drugs, would drug use go up? Would it go down? Many legislators are scared to promote the legalization of drugs because many constituents are strongly opposed to drugs. They are afraid legalization of drugs amounts to promotion.

There’s no question that drugs are not good for you, but should drugs be illegal? Should the state be responsible for taking drugs out of the hands of it citizens, and is it even capable of doing so? In America, fear has unfortunately outstripped most rational debate on the topic.

Here is a strong point from Ron Paul on the topic: