The will to win. The desire to be the best. The need to lift heavier or run faster than anybody has done before. These are all important motivators for success in sports. But they also contribute to the incredible pressure on athletes to do whatever it takes to improve their performance. The practice of ‘doping’ in sports has been around for over a century. And yet it is only quite recently that there has been widespread disapproval of it.
The word ‘doping’ comes from the name of a stimulant drink used in tribal ceremonies in South Africa in the 1700s. ‘Dop’ first appeared in the English language in the late nineteenth century when it was used to describe a potion used to reduce the performance of racehorses. Today, ‘doping’ commonly refers to the practice of using non-natural means to improve a person’s performance.