Glucocorticoids: a doping agent?

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2010 Mar;39(1):107-26, ix-x. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2009.10.001.


Certain international sports federations are requesting that glucocorticoids (GCs) be removed from the World Antidoping Agency's list of banned products. Their arguments are based on the fact that GCs are in widespread use in sports medicine and have no demonstrated ergogenic activity. This article shows that there is scientific evidence that GCs mediate ergogenic effects in animals and humans. Moreover, the health risks of using GCs are well characterized. GCs are doping agents and should remain on the World Antidoping Agency's list of banned products.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Athletic Performance* / physiology
  • Doping in Sports* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids* / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids* / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Prednisolone