A few weeks ago, I found myself watching the Jay Leno “Ttonight Sshow” with Chris Rock as the guest. They were talking about the war and other controversial type things and Rock laughingly said, “They aren’t even
concerned where Osama Bin Laden is, everyone is too concerned with Bonds.” Hearing this from a comedian really got me thinking of the impact Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDS) in sports has made it’s way into many minds of the public as an issue becoming even a scandal.
Winning in sports can be worth everything to some athletes who have established sports as their main career choice. The most commonly known extreme an athlete turns to in professional sports, in the Olympics, and in high school and colleges is by using and abusing performance-enhancing drugs, (PEDS) a growing epidemic in our society. Is winning as victorious when it’s been achieved dishonestly, unfairly, and illegally? Athletes in these days and times will stop at nothing to win, even if they are reflected/proven to be as cheaters. In sport, cheating is not really a conquest won, it is more like the shortcut that was easier or breaking the rules established just because it’s possible. [Ruining the whole reason that America finds entertainment in watching sports.] This is not a complete sentence. Not only are most of these drugs illegal, they also come with many physical and internal side effects that can even sometimes be life- threatening for the user.
Some observers are concerned that the growing popularity of the supplements could create a domino effect in which athletes feel that they must use the substances simply to keep up with everyone else. They point out that in today’s highly competitive sports world, races can be won by the millisecond, and just a little extra strength in the swing of the bat can add the few feet that results in a winning home run instead of a caught fly ball. Even if performance-enhancing substances are only marginally effective, athletes may be willing to try them to remain one step ahead of their competitors.
There are several different forms of PEDS available. Studies from the Mayo Clinic (2004) show that a way for an increase in strength and mass in muscle, man-made or synthetic anabolic steroids work best. Again, you do not have a complete thought here. The main hormone made naturally by our body is testosterone and it is also considered a natural anabolic steroid. Androstenedione (andro) is another natural hormone produced in our body by the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. Another natural hormone found in our body unlike the others, that is far less serious and has been known to provide steroid-like results without any major side effects, is called Creation.? (Mayo Clinic, 2004)creatine?
During competition, sStimulants can create the edge many competitors are looking for in being able to do?o
And while playing sports can be a very rewarding experience, fewer and fewer athletes continue to play for the fun of the game. The competition found in the professional world dribbles into the high school and college sports, and that isn’t a good thing.
Professional sports are played for money. This drive is not only to do better than the competition – it’s to get the prize. Professional athletes have shown us they are willing to do anything to get that edge. Barry Bonds continues to deny his involvement in the BALCO scandal and refuses to acknowledge taking any performance enhancing drugs. Take a moment. Look at Barry Bonds when he first started playing professional baseball. Take a good look. Now find a recent photo of him. I’ve said more than enough on that subject.Those who know the sport know what you are getting at. Bigger shoe size, hat size, upper and lower body. But what about the reader who does not follow baseball?
Even the sports that are supposed to be pure – the Olympics – are tainted. Not an Olympics season goes by where there are 0 scandals reported. The fiasco known as professional sports is not restricted to the United States, oh no, it is a worldwide problem.
Why do athletes risk chronic debilitating diseases and death by taking steroids? This is a very good question. It appears they want only the short-term gain no matter what the risks are. Unfortunately, those who are older have learned that athletes can lose their limbs, for example, as a result of steroid use. These drugs have immediate results. You may have heard them called roids, juice, hype, or pump. Quotation marks go around these names. Anabolic steroids are powerful drugs that many athletes take in high doses to boost their athletic performance. Anabolic means, “Building body tissue.” Anabolic steroids help build muscle tissue and increase body mass by acting like the body’s natural male hormone:, testosterone. In a relatively short time, athletes would pack on pounds of muscle and increase strength dramatically. Weight training and using steroids maximizes their gains. There are two ways for Anabolic Steroids administration: Oral, in the form of pills, and injected with a needle. Oral steroids are the first choice for athletes who want to rapidly improve their performance and try to escape from the drug test. Unhappily, these drugs are the most toxic and which have more side effects. Inject able steroids are less potent and generally exhibit delayed uptake into the body, especially if they are oil-based diluents. They have less liver toxicity than oral steroids, but they are easier to find in urine drug testing. Some athletes take higher doses, called “mega doses,”, to produce faster results. Others gradually increase the amount they take over time, which is called “pyramiding.”. Taking different kinds of anabolic steroids, possibly along with other drugs, is a particularly dangerous practice known as “stacking”.
There are several side effects of steroids, high blood pressure and heart disease, liver damage and cancers, stroke and blood clots, urinary and bowel problems, such as diarrhea, headaches, aching joints, and muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, sleep problems, increased risk of ligament and tendon injuries, severe acne, especially on face and back, and baldness. In males, one of the more disturbing effects of steroid use for males is that the body begins to produce less of its own testosterone. As a result of producing less self-testosterone, males will experience a reduction of the size of their testicles, reduced sperm count, impotence, increase in nipple and breast size, and an enlargement of the prostate. “Females will suffer of a reduction of breast size, enlarged clitoris, increase of facial and body hair, deepened voice, and menstrual problems “(Sports Medicine).
Ethical Principles in Sport
Led by the international Olympic movement, organized sport has attempted to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs by banning them, establishing testing programs and punishing athletes caught using prohibited substances. The International Olympic Committee laid down the basic anti-doping principles of sport in 1967:
1. “Protection of the athletes’ health”;
2. “Respect for medical and sports ethics”; and
3. “Ensuring an equal chance for everyone during competition.”4
It might seem hard to disagree with the first principle, “protection of athletes’ health.” Clearly some performance-enhancing drugs are dangerous. Sports in general, and some sports in particular, are inherently dangerous. Athletes often injure themselves in training and in a ghoulish fashion. Indeed, for many people, it is the anticipation of beholding injury and even death that makes sports events fun to watch. Think of automobile or downhill ski racing, even football and hockey, not to mention boxing. If athletes are free to accept a certain degree of risk from dangerous sports, why shouldn’t they be allowed to accept a comparable, or even greater, risk from enhancements?
Of Risk and Autonomy? Why is this a different color?
Aan obvious- avoid this word in formal papers answer is that the fact that some sports are already dangerous does not justify making them more so by allowing the use of dangerous enhancements. These actions would alter the fundamental nature of sports.
Perhaps the answer lies in the assumption that the use of enhancements violates athletes’ autonomy. We might feel less hostile to enhancements, for example, if athletes truly had a choice about whether or not to use them, but we know that, if some athletes use them, they all will have to. Coaches have admitted that athletes must use doping to succeed at highly competitive levels of sport.5 In short, the objection to the health hazards of enhancements may be that they are not freely chosen.
Yet athletes presumably still have a choice about whether or not to be athletes. Why, focus on enhancements rather than other risks?
Moreover, athletes routinely lose their autonomy in all sorts of ways. They give up sleep, certain foods, relaxation, recreation and certain relationships to adhere to their rigorous training schedules. Why is the loss of autonomy that characterizes the use of enhancements different from these other sacrifices that may be just as compulsory in order to be competitive?
Playing by the Rules
Rules and the traditions they represent, are important because they create a set of expectations among athletes, coaches, judges and spectators.
Its fan supports the entire professional sports industry. Different font? It seems there’s no more true players for the love of the sport. The use of enhancements, particularly banned drugs may be taken as an endorsement of illicit drug use in general. The consequences of disappointing these public expectations are not to be underestimated at all. It is clearly justifiable for any sport league to create a ban on dangerous practices. If enhancements are jeopardizing athletes and others safety as a risk, it’s appropriate to discourage their use of drugs in order for the protection of all. Sports should strive to be as strict and safe as possible, justified as not allowing athletes to act out or increase their risk with dangerous or potentially dangerous behavior. The nature of the sport at the same time, as defined by the rules, always creates inherent dangers regardless (of what?).
Even in cases where accurate tests could be developed, sports should consider letting the market decide whether relatively safe enhancements should be permitted, especially if they are widely available and popularly marketed, the costs paid for prohibiting them would be substantially difficult.
If these types of drugs are considered illegal throughout our own country, then we as American cCitizens should abide by the rules and pay more attention not allow anyone to take illegal substances, especially not a single athlete just because of power or position. A very long sentence Athletes nNeed tTo bBe held accountable for their actions. Sports should be played for the enjoyment of the game, along with monetary value! Criminals are criminals, whether they play sports or not!
Brody, Jane. “The Muscle-Building Secret Is Out of the Bottle.” New York Times (September 1, 1998): A7.
Carlton, John. “In Professional Athletics, Looking for an Edge Is Part of the Game.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (August 30, 1998): B1.
Drexler, Madeline. “Entranced by Enhancement.” Boston Globe (September 13, 1998): E1.
Hayden, Thomas; Springen, Karen. “McGwire’s Power Supply.” Newsweek (September 7, 1998): 61.