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Doping in Sport and Why It Can’t Be Stopped

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Sport is about winning and losing, it’s an outcome-based activity and we love to win. I’ve yet to meet anyone that says I cannot wait to lose today. We build champions to win championships and that champion is taught to be strong, stoic, relentless fearless and aggressive. These champions will go out of their way to be all of these and more even if that means using banned substances. 

Why Do We Watch Sports?

We want to see a great clash. We want to see the best players and the best humanly physical possible job being done such as NRL. I mean it’s brutal, people take a beating in that sport and we love it, but we wouldn’t be interested if it was just a game of tag. Meaning these players would need strength and performance endurance so they can take it and play on.

There’s no shortage of ways athletes try to enhance their performance. Yes, People can argue that by allowing performance-enhancing drugs into professional sports we could benefit the economy by its way on providing a better clash and play meaning more people are going to watch getting more money spent on the games.

The Usage of Doping

Doping had a hand in one of the sport’s darkest moments, the 2014 Olympics where Russia was proved to have carried out a vast doping operation. This situation didn’t just uncover the foul play but called into question the credibility of a system which is meant to guard against doping and bring out protection for honest athletes.

But doping isn’t just a Russian problem it a global problem that we as people have faced for decades. We just can’t stop trying to find an easy way out of beating an opponent and that is why we ignore the full problem completely. So, is there a lack of motivation to catch the cheats?

We can argue over doping being bad but, in some ways, you could argue on both sides. Australians love high performance and we love technology. Why, then, do we get our knickers in a twist when professional athletes turn out to have achieved their great feats with a boost from performance-enhancing drugs and other banned items?

Not everyone turns up their nose when a high-profile athlete dope. Some offer excuses: the pressure to perform is overwhelming, and the rewards are too tempting to resist. We allow special diets, logically enhanced training, and novel equipment, so why ban drugs? In some sports in some eras, nearly every competitor was doping: how else could an athlete have a shot at winning?

Doping in pro sports is a useful nudge that forces us to ask what sport is all about anyway? When we see an exceptional performance when we experience one of those moments of grace and excellence in ourselves, what makes it so special? If excellence in sport is the connection of talent and commitment, as I believe, then drugs distort and distract. Our shared understanding of the meaning and value of sport will determine whether doping should continue to be banned. That decision is up to all of us.

That argument that ‘everyone does it’, is just used to level the pharmaceutical playing field which provides half of the answer. When the first question asked to elite athletes more than 30 years ago why drugs were being used, the answer was Whatever reservations you might have, no one wants to give up a competitive advantage, especially to someone who might not be as talented or dedicated as you but can get enough of an edge from drugs to beat you.

In theory, banning doping prevents athletes from taking unfair shortcuts and keeps sports on a level playing field. In reality, these bans have done less to protect the fairness and punish rule-breakers and more to discourage athletes from reaching the highest levels of success.

Sports are constantly evolving. Don Bradman wasn’t training with world-class coaches in state-of-the-art facilities when he dominated. Dawn Fraser wasn’t drinking Gatorade or using creatine when she amazed her fans. We don’t ban the advantages that modern-day athletes have over their forerunners, and that attitude of progress should apply across the board. Getting a better night’s sleep can enhance performance. Eating a healthy breakfast, taking vitamins and supplements, training harder or simple genetic advantages, countless factors contribute to sports being “unfair.” But that’s the whole point of competition.

We can continue the trend of handwringing and panic, with one doping scandal after another, further embarrassing the field of professional athletics or we can legalize and regulate performance-enhancing drugs to the benefit of sports and sports fans alike. Let’s do ourselves and our athletes a service by allowing them to perform at their best.

Doping in sport can’t be stopped. Sports have always been important to many people in society. Yes, the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports undermines the integrity of sports and creates an unfair advantage for others but isn’t it the same. 

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Doping in Sport and Why it Can’t Be Stopped. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 6, 2022, from
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