Course Title: Drugs in Sport

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Drugs in Sport

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Richard Guy

Course Coordinator Phone: Please contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.2.41

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides you with an introduction to the study of the pharmacology, and effects on body systems, of legal and illegal medicines and drugs used in sports.
In order to demonstrate mastery of the course, you are required to write a critical review on the use of a drug (or drug class) in a single sport, specifically covering: pharmacology, potential actions of the drug, evidence for actual effects on performance, adverse effects, drug regulation and classification, detection, and sample manipulation. The review is written progressively online and students are given feedback accordingly. Each student will be required to read and comment upon the work of some of their peers. Medicines which are used for therapeutic reasons, but which have advantageous or deleterious effects on performance, are also considered.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes
On satisfactorily completing the course it is intended that you should have:
• Developed a coherent body of knowledge about drug use in sport to support a basic understanding of how they are handled by the body and how they produce their actions and effects in the body.
• Describe critically the use of banned substances (or methods) in sport to enhance performance, the pharmacological rationales for their use, and potential adverse effects and related ethical issues – as specified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
• Adapted this knowledge and the basic concepts involved in problem solving.
• Developed detailed scientific literature analysis and written skills to effectively communicate this knowledge and the basic concepts.

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
• discuss the use in sport of banned substances (or methods) to enhance performance, the pharmacological rationales for their use, potential adverse effects and related ethical issues;
• describe the pharmacology of the main groups of drugs prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA);
• review those special drugs which are restricted or permitted in particular situations in sport;
• describe critically the proposed mechanisms of action and ergogenic value of some dietary supplements and complementary medicines in performance enhancement;
• describe beneficial and deleterious effects of commonly used medicines on sports performance and mechanisms underlying these effects.


Overview of Learning Activities

The course content is offered online and includes problem-based learning utilizing current issues and scenarios about drugs in sport. Revision quizzes and questions are provided so that you can review and evaluate your progress and ability to adequately understand the material presented. Problem-based learning exercises are provided at the end of each topic.
In a major learning activity you will demonstrate your knowledge about drugs in sport by presenting a critical and detailed evaluation of a single drug (or drug class) in a particular sport. You will be required to critically evaluate assignments of other students.


Overview of Learning Resources

The course content is provided online via myRMIT (, and includes an eBook and Learning Guide to provide you with knowledge in drugs and sports. You are expected to regularly access the course website, which contains announcements, course information such as detailed timetables and prescribed reading, assignments, course documents and the grade book.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments will include on-line tests, assignments, and a face-to-face final exam held during the exam period at the end of semester. Critical evaluation of other student assignment will also be involved.

Assessment will consist of:

Online quizzes 15%

Wiki assignment and related tasks 40%

End of semester exam 45%