31162 - Pharmacology in Sport

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the mechanism of action, the pharmacokinetics and the risk-benefit profile of drugs used in sports. Moreover, he/she knows the list of drugs and substances currently banned in sport, the toxic effects and the health risk of various drugs used as doping, and the World Anti-Doping Code.

Course contents

Drug abuse and doping: general aspects and epidemiology.

International regulatory aspects for doping : World Anti-Doping Code; Medicinal products subject to restrictions and their prescription in case of therapeutic use; request for exemption for therapeutic purposes; declaration of therapeutic use. The doping controls.

List of substances and medical practices considered doping.

Pharmaco-toxicological aspects of different classes of prohibited drugs:

S0 non approved drugs

S1 Anabolic agents: Anabolic androgenic steroids

S2 Peptide hormones: erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, growth hormone

S3 Beta 2-agonists

S4 Hormonal and metabolic modulators: aromatase inhibitors, selective estrogen receptor modulators, agents that modify the function of myostatin, insulins, PPAR-delta receptor agonists

S5 Diuretics and masking agents

S6 Stimulants: amphetamines, cocaine, ephedrine. Substances included in the monitoring program

S7 Narcotics: morphine, heroin, methadone

S8 Cannabinoids

S9 Glucocorticosteroids

Prohibited methods:

M1 enhancement of oxygen transfer

M2 chemical and physical manipulation

M3 gene doping

Prohibited substances in some sports:

P1 Alcohol

P2 Beta blockers

Doping and addiction

Doping and sudden/unexpected death syndrome


Doping in Sport. Editors: Thieme, Detlef, Hemmersbach, Peter (Eds.). Springer, 2010.

Teaching methods

Lectures with multimedia support. The teaching material presented during the lectures is available on the "Insegnamenti On Line" plarform of the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist in an oral test aimed at assessing the student's understanding and knowledge of the topics set out during the course. The examination consists of an interview. The student will get a mark for each course unit (Biochimica dell'attività sportiva, 3CFU - Pharmacology in sport, 3CFU). The marks obtained for each interview, in proportion to the number of credits, contribute to the final grade of thirty. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the course and the use of an appropriate specific terminology will be assessed with a mark of excellence.

To check exam dates, students can access AlmaEsami.

Teaching tools

Slides are usually used to enhance clarity during courses. The materials used will be uploaded to to the website https://iol.unibo.it

Username and password are reserved for students enrolled at the University of Bologna.

Office hours

See the website of Carmela Fimognari