Doping and Pharmacology in Sports and Society

Doc. Dr. Lovro Žiberna

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenian Anti-Doping Organization


Doping is not only a problem of sports but a broad social phenomenon. Drug discovery makes our lives different. We can live longer and healthier lives. The role of scientists is to identify new molecular targets for the existing pathologies, and to provide novel pharmacological solutions. However, such noble work can be easily misused for cheating purposes since the same drug therapy can also have a performance-enhancing effect when (ab)used by healthy individuals. Sports authorities are fighting this misuse by setting antidoping rules. In this lecture, we will explain the background of the anti-doping movement and the role of anti-doping procedures as an effective way to fight against doping. There will be an overview of the List of prohibited substances, and for some of them also their adverse effects. As pharmacology is essential in modern doping, it must be emphasized that drug discovery should be used to treat patients, and not to transform athletic competition into a competition between research teams or even medical doctors. This lecture wants to familiarize audience with a clean sports message – the fight against doping is the fight for the clean athlete.