The use of certain banned and illegal substances either to improve one’s cognitive skills or to enhance their performance by athletes has become widely prevalent. These substances are commonly referred as performance enhancing drugs or PED’s and are used without any therapeutic intent. They belong to a wide variety of classes, some of which include the anabolic steroids, hormonal agents, diuretics and the CNS stimulants. The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), a collaborated network between the sports authorities and the global governments was established to fight against doping so as to have a fair competition among the athletes. Although, the regulatory bodies have put forth stringent legislations that can prevent their misuse and safeguards the athletes against the adverse effects of such drugs, it has become rather difficult to keep doping under check as the recent developments have resulted in the emergence of so called designer drugs that are difficult to detect with the available analytical techniques. Subsequently, WADA came up with the concept of ABP (Athlete Biological Passport) which helped resolve some of these issues. This review tries to look into PED’s, the way they act, their ill-effects and also in brief about the designer drugs. It also highlights the role of WADA, ABP and the prohibited list of substances and methods for the year 2019.
Key words: Anabolic steroids, Erythropoietin, World Anti-Doping Agency, Athlete Biological Passport, CNS stimulants.