Sports

Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance-Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

The performance-enhancing drug earning the most amount of attention recently is Adderall. Adderall is typically used by people with ADHD, but college students have long used it to help them pull an all-night study session. Adderall helps people focus, so it only makes sense that athletes would use it to help them gain an edge. We’ve already seen NFL players Joe Haden, Aqib Talib, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and, even baseball players like Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, face suspensions for using Adderall. However, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall mentioned another PED that players use. Viagra.

Yes. That Viagra.

I’ve heard of guys using Viagra, seriously, because the blood, it’s supposed to thin. . I don’t know. Some crazy stuff. It’s kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things, so you have to be careful.”

Marshall also hit the head on the nail when he said “it’s such a competitive league, and guys try anything just to get that edge,” which seems to have always been the case throughout human history. Whether you’re a professional or Olympic athlete, people have always tried to find something to give them an edge. Some you should be well aware or, like anabolic steroids, but others are pretty strange. And, here are seven of the strangest performance enhancing drugs in history.

Raw Animal Testicles

400px Criadillas de Choto  Madrid Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

Competition during the original Olympic Games, between 776 BC – 393 BC, was fierce. If victorious, competitors were awarded cash prizes and olive wreaths. Naturally, these ancient athletes would obviously do anything to win, which included consuming raw animal testicles. If that wasn’t enough, the original Olympians would also partake in animal hearts, wine potions and hallucinogens.

The Coca Leaf

Colcoca01 Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

Not only is the coca leaf used to make cocaine, it’s also been used by athletes to help their performance. Of course, we know that there have been players that have abused cocaine, but back in the 19th Century this was commonplace. There was even a wine and coca leaf mixture called Vin Mariani that was used by French cyclists and a champion lacrosse team.

Alcohol

483px Martell in brandy snifter Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

Yeah. We know that alcohol has been used as a PED, but it’s one of the longest continuing PEDs. We already mentioned that Ancient Greeks drank wine potions during the first Olympic Games, but Roman Gladiators gave their horses hydromel, which is an alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well. Along with drugs like cocaine, alcohol, like brandy, was given to athletes to treat aches, pains and fatigue.

Strychnine

1904 Thomas J Hicks Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

Strychnine is basically a pesticide used to remove rodents, but that didn’t prevent athletes from using it back in the day. Strychnine, with cocaine and alcohol, was also used to treat those pesky aches, pains and fatigue. The most infamous use of this poisonous PED was when Thomas Hicks had injections of Strychnine, shots of brandy and a raw egg on his way to winning the 1904 Olympic marathon .

Frog-Juice

800px Waxy.tree .frog .arp  550x382 Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported on a new drug that has been taking horse racing by storm. This drug was called “frog-juice,” since it literally comes from the backs of frogs. Apparently, the back of the South America waxy monkey tree frog (Phyllomedusa sauvagei) is a potent painkiller called dermorphin. Dermorphin has been shown to block pain, while increasing feelings of excitation and euphoria in racehorses. This so-called “frog-juice” was later recreated in a lab and some 30 horses tested positive. It’s probably only a matter of time before professional athletes begin doping on “frog-juice”.

Deer Antler Extract

448px Red deer stag velvet Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

In 2011, former Cowboys and Bengals Safety Roy Williams admitted that he used deer antler extract “two or three times a day,” and that it made him feel better. So, what exactly is deer antler extract? Well, the antlers are harvested in New Zealand, where it is then freeze-dried and ground it into a powder. After that, it is put into either capsules or liquid extracts and can be bought for $68 a bottle. Also in 2011 five North Korean soccer players were suspended during the World Cup for steroids, that had been accidentally been taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on musk deer glands.

Surgery

Tommy John 2008 bronx Forget Viagra: 7 Strange Performance Enhancing Drugs Throughout History

In 1974, the arm of pitcher Tommy John gave out. It resulted in a revolutionary procedure by orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe. Dr. Jobe extended John’s career by 15 years after he replaced John’s ulnar collateral ligament with a tendon from his arm. Since then, some 11 percent of pitchers, including Chris Carpenter, Tim Hudson, Francisco Liriano, Shin-Soo Choo, Brian Wilson and Stephen Strasburg, have undergone the procedure. Whether this is a “performance-enhancing” operation is a debate on it’s own, what’s interesting it the misconception of the surgery. Some pitchers believe that the surgery will allow them to pitch harder, which has lead to some of them seeking the procedure electively. Of course, we bet any ethical surgeon would deny the request, but there are some shady doctors out there…

Images Via Wikipedia Commons

Leave a Comment

UA-44673178-1