Performance enhancing drugs in sports has become a controversial topic in today’s professional sports world, as pros and cons are discussed in the media and among professional organizations. Today’s athletes continue to push the boundaries of excellence in performance and physical fitness. Helping these athletes are more refined training methods and technologies.
Never have athletes had more training aids at their disposal. The down side is that never before have athletes had more opportunities to cheat mainly through the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Defining Performance Enhancing DrugsSport enhancing drug used by athletes to enhance performance include Steroids, Creatine, Amphetamines, Stimulants, Peptide Hormones, Human growth Hormone, and Insulin. Steroids and performance enhancing drugs are used by today’s athletes to increase the testosterone production in the body.
These drugs work by stimulating muscle growth and muscle development. Athletes also seek this effect through the use of over the counter substances such as creatine, androstenedione, and erythropoietin especially at the high school level.
These drugs do have some medical uses, but are carefully controlled when used for medical reasons, and are illegal unless used in accordance with a prescription.The article from CBC In Depth look at Drugs Amphetamine-like sympathomimetics are described as drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, as well as the cardiovascular system.
In addition, they increase glycogen and fatty acid metabolism. Such compounds have been shown to improve athletic performance to various degrees in strength and endurance exercises, improve reaction times, and reduce fatigue. Amphetamine and its analogues can cause euphoria, boost confidence, and intensify aggression 2006.The concern with this group of drugs is ephedrine, which is available in the United States and abroad, and is often found in combination allergy and cold products and in dietary supplements.
The NCAA prohibits the use of ephedrine, and the National Football League NFL added ephedrine to its list of banned substances in 2001 Nowadays more and more athletes are tempted to use GH as a performance drug. It is considered to be efficient undetectable and without major side effects. Athletes use it to increase their muscle mass and strength. GH is also believed to reduce injuries and to shorten recovery periods between workouts.
Pros of Performance Enhancing DrugsThe pros of using sports enhancing drugs include; physical enhancement, bigger body mass, improves strength and endurance, improved performance. Steroids increase muscle mass and strength which helps athletes recover quicker from injuries.Cons of Performance Enhancing DrugsThe cons of using sports enhancing drugs include negative physical side effects. All of the physical side effects can present very serious medical issues.
Males are subject to hair loss, acne and liver cancer which can be a life threatening disease. Females are exposed to growth of body and facial hair and they are also liable to contract deepening of the voice. Gaining that little bit of competitiveness can lead to greater increases in performance but may affect an athletes overall health.Moral issues and the impact on high school sports are issues also surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Performance enhancing drugs are on the rise in high schools. Athletes hear about the pros using the drugs and they see the difference it makes, but what they don”t know or don”t care about are the long term effects. The effects on teenagers are similar to the effects on adults. If a teenager starts out using at this young age and constantly uses, they will never be able to stop because of the addictiveness the drug has on them.
Controversial Issues Surrounding Performance Enhancing Drugs Controversial issues in professional sports are all over the media. There has been a lot of media controversy about steroids in sports. The pressure has caused some sport stars to admit to their use of steroids. Some of the professional baseball players that have admitted to steroids use Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi.
Steroids seem to be very helpful to professional athletes.The people who takes steroids has advantage over other people. Babe Ruth vs Barry Bonds home run record is another hot topic in the media. Barry Bonds who has denied using steroids even though he has been accused of steroid use has broken Babe Ruth home run record.
Should history show the record broken by Barry Bonds if he was on steroids or should there be a foot note in the history book?Ben Johnson Olympic record was also questioned. Johnson captured the imagination of Canadians on Sept. 27, 1988, when he won the 100-metre sprint title in a world-record time of 9.79 seconds at the Seoul Olympics CBC Sports 2003.
To make the victory even sweeter, Johnson captured the gold medal by handily defeating American rival Carl Lewis. The euphoria of Johnson”s win didn”t last, however, when it was found the Canadian tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. Johnson”s claim that the positive test stemmed from a spiked herbal drink the night before the race was unfounded not that his positive test was any surprise, considering his inflated deltoid muscles and jaundiced eyes, but how many Canadians wanted to believe that?Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and world record and banned from competition for two years. The disgrace of the event was a black eye on Canadian amateur sport and pushed the drugs-in-sport issue to the forefront like never before.
Nearly 15 years later, it was discovered that several American track athletes tested positive for drugs before those same Seoul Games. Allegedly among them was Lewis, who was awarded the gold medal after Johnson”s disqualification.Tour de France athletes using drugs to win, Some say cycling faced a near death following the 1998 doping scandal in which French officials caught an employee of the Festina cycling team with a carload of performance-enhancing drugs, including erythropoietin EPO â€“ a hormone that helps the blood carry more oxygen, letting you go faster and longer on your two wheels. Tour de France winner American Floyd Landis has failed two drug test following hisvictory this year.
Conclusion Pressure placed on athletes to perform better. The fierce competitive nature of the modern sports’ world, in combination with society’s demand for excellence, has caused athletes to seek alternative means to enhance their performance. Today”s athlete faces an increasingly difficult choice: to use drugs to enhance performance or to accept what could amount to a competitive handicap. It is a choice, which carries significant ethical considerations.
Should athletes be permitted to make this choice, or should society, through the sports” governing bodies strictly enforce the ban on performance enhancing drugs? Some argue that the choice should be left to the athletes in order to respect their individual choice above any ethical considerations. Others choose to ban performance-enhancing drugs with the intention of protecting the athlete against the potentially harmful consequences of his or her own actions. Athletes who are caught using illegal drugs are often exposed through the media and negatively discriminated against by the sporting community.The result is that the athlete faces a double bind conflict: he or she is pressured to produce superhuman performance, yet must remain ethically human while preparing for them.
The negative effects of cheating in sport are numerous and all harmful in nature. Beyond the negative aspect which cheating in sports presents, are dangerous physiological and psychological side effects, which the athlete faces when, using performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic and androgenic steroids? At the heart of anti-drug use in sport debates, lies the idea that using sport enhancing drugs take away the true intention of sport.The continuing media frenzy of drug use in sport is negatively impacts the athlete, as well as the sporting itself. Drugs and other performance enhancers do not reflect the forms of human excellence which sports are intended to honor.
Using performance-enhancing drugs is the same as using a corked or lead-weighted bat in baseball. In either case, the true skill, hard work and excellence of the athlete are masked behind a form of cheating. In addition to the negative impact of cheating in sports, the side effects of anabolic and androgenic steroids present another negative realm of drug use in sport.Drug testing is not yet extensive enough yet to deter the athlete from using he drug, but has enhanced fair competition in certain sports.
Without any testing, drug use would be out of control CBC Sports 2003. The future of drug testing can serve to be an effective deterrent if money, research and cooperation contribute together with positive incentives for drug-free athletes. Modern sports competitions place little emphasis on the means when dealing with the end results. This presents itself to be a dangerous situation both for the athletes as well as for the integrity of sport.
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