The words of Dino Baggio and the substances that after years are scary: this is when we talk about doping

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The words of Dino Baggio and the substances that after years are scary: this is when we talk about doping

The recent dramatic and premature deaths of Gianluca Vialli and Siniša Mihajlović have reopened the debate on the possible relationship between the use and abuse of drugs, doping and non-doping drugs, supplements and sport. The first to talk about it was, on the sidelines of Siniša Mihajlović's funeral, the patron of Lazio and Senator of the Italian Republic Claudio Lotito. Day after day, other exponents of sport, mostly former footballers, today in the throes of a mixture of concern and fear, begin to tell of the suspected administration of drugsand drips dating back to when they were active.

Last Tuesday, Dino Baggio, a former midfielder of the Italian national team, declared: “I'm scared too, this is happening to too many footballers. We should investigate the substances we took during that time. There has always been doping. We need to understand if certain supplements have bad over time”.

Echoing Dino Baggio's words, those of Walter Sabatiniformer sporting director of Salernitana: “I have been there too when I was 18 or 20 years old. The doctors came by and gave you shots. You didn't know what you were injecting”. Among the most worried also the former Bari, Verona, Brescia and Milan striker, Florin Raducioiu: “I took a lot of medicine, they gave us drips with a pink liquid”.

Simple supplements taken continuously for years, substances then legal but today included in the list of those banned by the Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) or substances that have always been prohibited which escaped the mildest controls of the time. There are many cases, as well as the suspicious and premature deaths of many athletes.

The accused are not only the drugs, but also the methods and therapies of the past such as X-rays for example. Interviewed by Rai, Claudia Beatricedaughter of Bruno, a former Fiorentina player in the 70s who died of leukemia at the age of 39, pointed the finger: “My father underwent very long and dangerous X-ray therapy, which he did for the groin . Each session lasted 30-45 minutes and was done every other day. If you calculate how much exposure there is for a broken finger or leg, or perhaps the dentist (a few seconds), there is no need for luminaries to arrive at the conclusion strong>.

Difficult to talk about it, even more so to prove the cause-effect link between the use and abuse of those drugs and the deaths of the athletes. In primis because, fortunately, it only happens to a reduced percentage and in secundis because the serious illnesses that led to premature deaths have >multiple causes and not only the one, if any, linked to drugs.

That said, with free informationthat exists today thanks to the Internet and technology, which should contribute to greater knowledge of the subject and greater attention from athletes, it is always good to remember which and how many types of doping exist and what the risks are related in taking drugs or using methods banned by the Anti-doping associations.

1. Increased oxygen transport

In blood dopingathletes undergo blood transfusions: homologous if it was taken from the same person, heterologous if it comes from another person. The same result is obtained with the intake of erythropoietin (Epo). The risks of this practice are: heart failure, heart block, asthma, depression, death.

2. Beta-2 Agonists

The typical example is salbutamol. They dilate the bronchi and promote oxygen exchangein the lungs. The risks are heart rhythm and blood pressure alterations, headache, insomnia, nausea and irritability.

3. Beta-Blockers

Reduce anxiety and nervous tension. The risks are heart failure, heart block, asthma, depression, death.

4. Stimulants

Ephedrines and amphetamines. They decrease the perception of fatigueallow you to prolong the effort longer. Increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate with consequent heart disease and cerebral hemorrhage are the risks.

5. Anabolic Steroids

Testosterone and its derivatives that promote muscle development. They can be carcinogenic or cause thrombosis, stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, liver cirrhosis.

6. Diuretics and masking agents

They are taken illicitly for weight lossquickly or hide the presence in the body of other prohibited substances since they increase the production of urine in which the doping substance is thus less concentrated. The risks are hypotension and loss of potassium until death.

7. Growth hormone

Gh in doping is used to increase muscle mass and accelerate the healing of any injured tissue. Skeletal malformations, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and tumors are the most serious risks.

8. Gene doping

It is the last futuristic frontier of doping. It is based on genetic engineering techniques to modify the cellular structure of muscle tissues making them more suitable for sporting effort . It is practically impossible to unmask and can create super-athletes in the laboratory who, however, will be exposed to very high risks such as immunodeficiency, tumors, metabolic dysfunctions and alterations of vital organs.