Doping and sports - 1800-1849


In 1807, British captain and long-distance runner Abraham Wood (1778-1824) confessed to using laudanum or opium to stay awake during a 24-hour endurance race. For a prize pool of 500 guineas, about 600 Euro, he took on captain Robert Barclay Allardyce (1779-1854) and he even gave the captain a 20 miles head start.



The Scottish captain Robert Barclay Allardyce (1779-1854) was very notable. In 1809 in Newmarket he ran a mile every hour for a prize pool of 1000 guineas, which he managed to do a thousand hours. At the same time, he also closed bets with the bystanders and this way Barclay collected 100,000 British pounds, the equivalent of 5 million Euro. During those 1,000 hours, which lasted from 1 June to 12 July 1809, his weight dropped from 84.5 to 70 kg.


On the recommendation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German pharmacist and chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge (1794-1867) isolated pure caffeine from coffee beans for the first time.


The German physiologist Arnold Berthold (1803-1861) experimented a lot in the field of endocrinology. His research focused on the gonads and their role in the sexual characteristics. In 1849 he made a groundbreaking discovery in the castration of a rooster, he discovered that the testicular function was correlated with circulating blood fractions that we now know as the androgen hormonal family.