Doping and sports - 1-1799


Roman naturalist and philospher Pliny the Elder (24-79) reported that, in order to prevent dropouts, runners used decoctions of the Horsetail plant to shrink their spleen during long distance races. Some even had their spleen removed surgically.


The Greco-Roman physician Claudius Galen (131- 216) reported in his writings that Greek and Roman athletes took performance-enhancing drugs.


Greek sophist Flavius Philostratos (170-249) reported the use of performance-enhancing drugs in athletes.


The Persian warlord Hassan-i-Sabbah (1034-1124) distributed cannabis among his fighters because of the euphoric and stimulating properties.


Breton wrestlers agreed not to use products that could improve performance.


Doping was limited to the use of natural resources until the sixteenth century, but chemical means were slowly becoming available, such as caffeine-containing medicines.


The Italian anatomist Carlo Ruini (1530-1598), who became famous for his anatomical plates and dissections of horses, reported mixtures and extracts that were administered to horses to make them less phlegmatic.


For the first time in history English administrators banned the use of doping in horses.


In Cambridge, some men were sentenced to death and hanged because they had doped horses with arsenic.

At the same time, dogs were reported to be drugged.