Athletes are on the edge of health risk over performance, say ExpertsExperts say athletes are risking their health as they seek more such performance enhancing drugs that can not be picked up in doping tests. According to a new research report, more and more professional sportsmen are preferring substances, such as growth hormones over easily-traceable anabolic steroids.

Experts in Turin declared that many winter Olympic competitors used illegal drugs at some point in their careers. Even athletics chiefs confirmed the presence and usage of undetectable drugs.

“It’s clear to everyone that athletes are willing to go that extra step, “says Chris Butler of the International Athletics Federation. He also said, “I wouldn’t be surprised at anything they are taking – they’ve shown they are willing to take the risk.”

The most difficult drug to catch for anti-doping authorities is growth hormones (GH), which is preferred more than other anabolic steroids and also causes enormous side effects. Though GH is produced in the body in a natural way and it promotes growth of new muscle cells and production of an insulin-type growth factor, but athletes often take GH in high quantities to boost up the natural level five to 10 times more.

Russ Langley, a spokesman for the anti-doping department of UK Sport, said that the health effects of banned drugs were often forgotten in the aim of performance enhancement. He further added, “For a drug to be banned it has to fail two of three criteria – one of which is the impact on the health of the athlete. There have also been an increasing number of stories about the long-term effects of the use of anabolic steroids.”

Russ Langley also pointed out that synthetic GH was mainly used for medical purpose to treat someone with a health problem and not to boost physical performance of the user. In addition, he said that though the processes and equipment that labortaries are improving day-by-day but along with them the drugs are also changing.

But, Martin Bidlingmaier, University of Munich Hospital anti-doping expert and inventer of a test to detect presence of synthetic GH, said the race between the cheats and testers was always towards one doping athletes.