New research suggests, that even after an individual has been caught "doping", the performance benefits of prohibited substances can have prolonged benefits – even after the athlete has served his or her ban.
The research shows, that "dopers", as they’ve come to be called, could be benefitting performance-wise, even years after they have returned to sport.
Scientists at the University of Oslo claimed this week, that the research they’ve compiled, establishes – muscles retain the advantages offered by anabolic steroids – years after an athlete has stopped using them.
This revelation follows a recent article that was published in Athletics Weekly magazine, wherein its editor Jason Henderson, highlighted new research which suggests that athletes using steroids for only a short period of time, could gain an unfair advantage over clean competitors for up to 10 years.
Kristen Gunderson, Professor of Physiology at the University of Oslo, told the media:
“I think it is likely that effects could be lifelong or at least lasting decades in humans.
“Our data indicates the exclusion time of two years is far too short. Even four years is too short.”
Gunderson’s team of researchers formed their opinion, after studies on female mice, revealed the long term effects of steroids in their system. As a result, the team felt assured that a similar effect happens in humans.
He said: “I was excited by the clarity of the findings. It’s very rare, at least in my experience, that the data are so clear cut; there is usually some disturbing factor. But in this case it was extremely clear.
“If you exercise, or take anabolic steroids, you get more nuclei and you get bigger muscles. If you take away the steroids, you lose the muscle mass, but the nuclei remain inside the muscle fibers.
“They are like temporarily closed factories, ready to start producing protein again when you start exercising again.”
While most doping bans are just two years long, many notable athletes have returned to sport, still exhibiting an altered level of performance.
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