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奧運VS藥物--醒醒,運動健兒們(4)

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The best-known PEDS are anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), which are close chemical cousins of testosterone, the chief male sex hormone. Athletes take them to increase the size and strength of their muscles, and for their purported ability to enhance recovery after exercise, which allows people to train harder than would otherwise be possible. Though ethical issues make studies tricky to do, steroids' strength-enhancing effects have been confirmed by several research projects.

最著名的興奮劑是雄性甾體激素(AAS),它是主要的雄性激素睪酮的化學表親。運動員服用這種藥物是為了增加肌肉的尺寸和力量,并增強他們在運動后的恢復能力,使得他們能夠比平時更加努力地訓練。盡管倫理問題使研究變得棘手,但類固醇增強力量的效果已經得到了幾個研究項目的證實。

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The most thorough trials on their effects on sport were conducted in East Germany, which ran a state-sponsored doping programme that began in the 1960s. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, data collected by this project became available to independent scientists, and were written up in1997 in a paper published in Clinical Chemistry. One early test subject, a female shot-putter known only as "1/68", improved her best performance from 18 metres to almost 20 metres—close to the world record at the time—within 11 weeks of beginning a cycle of Turinabol, a synthetic AAS developed in 1961. AAS proved particularly potent in women, presumably because they start with lower levels of testosterone than men and therefore have more scope for enhancement. A report delivered in 1977 to the Stasi, East Germany's secret police, reported improvements in female athletes' performances of up to five metres in the shot put, 20 metres in the discus, five seconds in the 400-metre sprint and ten seconds in the 1,500 metres.

關于興奮劑對體育的影響,最全面的試驗是在東德進行的。東德從上世紀60年代開始實施了一個由國家支持的興奮劑項目。在柏林墻倒塌后,這個項目收集到的數據被獨立科學家獲得,并于1997年發表在了《臨床化學》上的一篇論文中。早期的試驗對象是一名女子鉛球運動員,人稱“1/68”,在開始服用特力補(1961年開發的一種合成AAS)一個療程的11周內,她的最好成績從18米提升到了20米,接近當時的世界紀錄。AAS被證明對女性特別有效,大概是因為女性的睪丸素水平比男性低,因此有更大的增強空間。1977年,東德的秘密警察斯塔西收到一份報告,報告稱,女運動員在鉛球5米、鐵餅20米、400米短跑5秒和1500米短跑10秒的成績都有所提高。

After anabolic steroids, the best-known doping drug is probably EPO, a natural substance which stimulates production of red blood cells. An artificial version was developed in the late 1980s to treat anaemia. It (and its chemical cousins) quickly became rampant in endurance sports such as running and cycling. Red blood cells transport oxygen around the body, and the supply of oxygen to an athlete's muscles is an important limiting factor in endurance exercise. So boosting red-blood-cell counts can allow superhuman efforts.

在合成代謝類固醇之后,最著名的興奮劑可能是促紅細胞生成素(EPO),這是一種刺激紅細胞生成的天然物質。20世紀80年代晚期科學家曾發明一種人工促紅細胞生成素用于治療貧血癥。它(以及它的化學兄弟)很快就在跑步和騎自行車等耐力運動中猖獗起來。紅細胞能夠將氧氣輸送到全身各處,而對運動員肌肉的氧氣供應是耐力運動中一個重要的限制因素。因此,提高紅細胞數量可以實現超人般的努力。

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