The use of Diuretics in sport.
Diuretics are substances that increase the production of urine and excretion of sodium. As a result this alters both the volume and content of body fluids(Jackson, 2006). This highly desirable quality means that the use of diuretics are abused by athletes for the benefit of both rapid water loss (to meet weight categories) and in order to mask the presence of banned substances. The competitive nature of humans means that since sporting events and competitions began, the desire to gain a competitive advantage has always been a huge factor. Nowadays in this ’commercial’ sporting world, with massive lucrative lifestyles, and the related lust for sporting success, sports men and women have resulted in countless methods to achieve a competitive edge. With an ever-growing development in medicines and chemistry, such attempts include the use of performance-enhancing drugs. This is unfortunately has become the scourge of modern sport, and their use to gain advantages in competition is on the increase. (Barroso et al., 2008).
Although abuse of diuretics occurs in sport, diuretics were initially developed to treat many conditions in medicine. Traditionally their medicinal purposes include the treatment of many disorders and illnesses, for example hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, and renal failure. Diuretics can also be used for the general reduction of the adverse effects that come with salt or water retention (Jackson, 2006). There are numerous categories of diuretics, each with a different function. These include Thiazides, used to treat hypertention and edema (e.g. benzthiazide), Loop Diuretics, which act on the loop of henle in the kidney and are associated with heat and renal failure, (e.g. bumetanide), Postaaium Sparing Diuretics, these reduce the production of potassium in urine, and again are used to treat hypertension (e.g., amiloride), Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors, these reduce the reabsorbing of salts such as NaCl and bicarbonate (e.g., acetazolamide.) ,and Osmotic diuretics, these inhibit the reabsorption of both water and Na, which increase the osmolarity of blood (e.g., manitol) .(Goebel, C. Trout, G J. Kazlauskas, R. (2004)
Doping is a huge problem in the sport of cycling, and the application of diuretics is common among ‘cheating cyclists’. An everyday example of the use of diuretics in sport can be seen in the case of the 2011 Tour de France. Alexandr Kolobnev, a Russian cyclist, tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazideIn in the fourth stage of the competition. He was a pervious champion in the sport, and he had twice won the world road race silver and an Olympic bronze medal in 2008. (BBC 2011) This just one of many examples that proves the existence of doping in sport and this only exercises massive culture of doping in cycling - which after all is an intense sport littered with competitors doing all they can to get the upper hand. Travis Tygart, the...