|Thomas Hicks running the marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
"Performance-enhancing drugs have cast a long shadow on the modern Olympics. Whether the agents are the strychnine, heroin, cocaine, and morphine that athletes used in Athens in 1896 or the amphetamines, steroids, and erythropoietin that some use today, the dilemma remains the same. As a sports medicine specialist noted in 2004, the “attraction of performance-enhancing drugs is simply that they permit the fulfillment of the mythical promise of boundless athletic performance — the hubristic `faster, higher, stronger' motto of the Olympic Games” (2004). The ensuing systems of medical surveillance have led, inevitably, to “a new type of competition,” in which some athletes try to stay one step ahead of the authorities (2001).
Link:Olympic Medicine — NEJM