The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and all major sports-governing organizations throughout the world have banned the use of substances taken for the purpose of artificially improving performance in competition. Included on the banned substance list are varieties of anabolic steroids and similar agents.
In an attempt to deter use by athletes, it is typical for major sporting events (Olympics and international and national championship competitions) to have drug-testing programs (doping control) to determine if any banned substance has been used to enhance performance. Furthermore, sports-governing organizations perform randomized testing of national-level athletes annually. Unfortunately, the logistical and financial considerations of such banned substance testing make frequent, large scale examination of all athletic competitions impossible. Therefore, many violators go undetected. Furthermore, the allure of sports fame and fortune are so strong in many societies that athletes are willing to risk being detected to gain a competitive edge. For example, anabolic steroids have been on the IOC list of banned substances since 1975 (120). Since that time, 15 total winter and summer Olympic Games have occurred. Every one of these Olympic Games has involved a doping scandal of some type, in which athletes were caught using banned substances. Many of these cases involved anabolic steroid use.
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