It always saddens me whenever there is news of someone who has taken performance enhancing drugs to improve their performance. Not only is it incredibly short-sighted (if you get caught you will be banned) but also you have absolutely no idea what you are putting into your body. As an athlete, that should be at the forefront of your mind, surely?

Today, UK Anti Doping have announced that a rider has been banned for four years after testing positive for a banned substance. Another rider has also admitted that he has used EPO at the age of just 18 after admitting that he had been curious and wanted to regain his national title. I’m not going to mention his name because he doesn’t deserve recognition.

It might seem like an easy fix but taking drugs is not the answer. For a start, they’re banned for a reason, mainly because there are potential long term side effects which will be unknown because it doesn’t say on the packet what’s in it. I have no option but to take medication twice a day as I am epileptic. The drugs I take have random, awful side effects and I don’t know what long term effect they will have on my body.  And those drugs go through millions of medical trials before going to market. Is it really worth it if you could die prematurely?

By the way, the answer is “no”.

If you feel that you are being pressurised into getting results which you can’t achieve, tell someone. Never ever think that drugs are the answer, because they’re not. If you are getting pressure to improve your performance in a way that you don’t think is right, talk to someone.

And if someone tells you something is legal, that doesn’t give you the green light either. Trust me, you don’t want to take anything if you don’t have to.

Oh, and by the way, it isn’t a “thing” to be someone who admitted to doping. It’s cheating. It’s not big and it’s not clever.

You can find out about UKAD here. British Cycling also have some useful information here.