The Dark Side – Secrets of the Sports Dopers
Al Jazeera (2015)
The Dark Side is a 2015 documentary about the health professionals who assist Olympics and professional athletes acquire performance enhancing drugs, as well as helping them avoid detection on drug testing. Liam Collins, a British track star, goes undercover for Al Jazeera and easily obtains growth hormone, insulin, EPO (erythropoetin)*, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), clomiphene and Delta-2 and other anabolic steroids from unscrupulous doctors, naturopaths (who have prescribing authority in the US and Canada) and pharmacists. He also learns the name of prominent baseball and NFL players who are illegally using these banned substances.
Prior to the release of this documentary, an estimated 40% of professional baseball players were using banned substances. In the past baseball authorities have been somewhat lackadaisical about drug testing. Public interest in baseball was flagging, and the big increase in home runs turned this around.
*EPO stimulates red blood cells, enabling the blood to carry more oxygen.
**HCG, a pregnancy hormone that stimulates placental development, increases testosterone in men.
***Chlomiphene is an anti-estrogen that stimulates ovulation in infertile women. In men, it accelerates testosterone production.