I am a keen cyclist. I ride my bike 5-6 days a week and enter the occasional race. I only got into cycling about two years ago, but even as far back as the 80's, I used to watch the Tour de France on Eurosport. I then became more interested about eight years ago and started watching the Tour de France every morning (here in the U.S.) and then a couple of years ago, I became aware of other professional races, some that were on TV and now I watch whatever I can get, even using the second screen of my computer to watch races that are not broadcast on TV.
So what's this got to do with soccer? Doping? Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs)? Professional cycling has been rife with doping and PEDs since the early 90's. It can often be the main topic of conversation before, during or after a race. It's pretty much taken for granted that most professional riders, including those that have won the TDF and other major races, took PEDs up until the last few years when better testing seems to have cleaned it up for a large part. Having said that, there are still riders almost every few weeks who are caught, having failed drug tests and even Alberto Contador who won this years TDF has failed a drug test apparently.
Anyway, enough of cycling and their problems. My question is about soccer. I have often wondered if there is a PED problem in soccer. Do players take drugs to help them get fitter, faster, and be able to run all day? Do they take them to help recover quicker from injuries? Let's face it, PEDs are a problem in all sports. Athletes have been caught in swimming, NFL, Baseball, Golf, track and field, even snooker! So why would they not be prevelent in soccer?
I'll be honest, I haven't done my research on this. I don't know if players from the EPL and other leagues are routinely tested after games and/or what are they tested for. Is there a list of illegal PEDs for soccer players? For instance, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) can be pescribed by your doctor and apparently has some incredible benefits. Athletes of many sports would benefit and improve their performances if they took HGH. But I'm not sure HGH is banned by all sports or tested for by all sports.
As I said, I am a little green on this issue but my main questions are, "Do soccer players take PEDs?" "Are they tested routinely?" "And what are they tested for?"
I would love to hear from you if you have any knowledge on this. Post a comment below.