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Doping has been the most controversial topic during sports; doping has created and destroyed many athletes careers. Notorious athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and many more. These athletes used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), to improve themselves as players and upgrade their stat line. There are still athletes to this day that are entering the Olympic games opening ceremony on PEDs.
Katie Uhlaender describes it as “mind-blowing”. Sports most treasured athletes will forever have question marks by their names asking if they ever decided to cheat. Whenever an athlete is even in the discussion of doping, their career is over. There has also been recent scandals regarding the Russian olympic team. Investigations were led that the Russian athletes were swapping urine samples to try and hide their unfair advantage. Doing this only backfired as they were all found positive for evidence of cheating. Now all individual athletes from Russia may compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”. There is only one reason that these occurrences happen. This constantly occurring problem is the reliance “primarily on the misuse and abuse of commercially available medicines, as well as compounds in development that are not as well-known or easily detected”.
There is one major problem with the use of these substances. The main problem is that they are not using their own training to improve themselves. Training takes time, due to this, athletes resort to using PEDs to improve their athleticism. Multiple agencies across the world are working to end the dependence on banned substances. A world wide agency ‘Astellas is committed to ensuring the safe and effective use of its therapies in appropriate settings” (‘World Anti-Doping Agency) rather than using these drugs or medications. The “WADA is encouraged to be partnering with Astellas on the prevention of misuse and abuse of medicines for doping in sports,’ to help create the beginning of the end. Longtime National Football League (NFL) Quarterback (QB) Peyton Manning was accused of using Performance Enhancing Drugs while playing in the season. They believed that Manning used a “human-growth hormone” to help him improve his game. There was no evidence that ever proved Manning guilty of using these substances. The NFLPA states that ‘As a former player, Peyton Manning is free to do whatever he believes is in his best interest,” (Bonesteel 1). The constant use of these drugs has caused an epidemic in sports all across the world. More and more athletes are testing positive and serving suspensions and bans due to these narcotics.
There are many causes why athletes might choose to dope instead of just using natural enhancements. The reasons are that they cannot compete with their opponents, they want to make their statistics better than everyone else, they want to be better than everyone without having to actually try, and doctors and therapists are using them as medicines without specifying this to the athlete. When you become a professional athlete, the competition is the best in the world. Many athletes cannot compete so they decide to cheat their way to victory. A great example is Barry Bonds, Barry used steroids to rack up the most homeruns in MLB all-time history (still current record). These steroids were primarily used to “ improve the muscle quality of beef cattle’. The steroids made him appear “like a WWE wrestler or a toy superhuman action figure” (Kakutani 1). Many people believe that Bonds did this because he wanted to win all the time and be forever known as the best. Although he is among many American athletes to do this, the Russian olympic team tried getting away with doping as well. The main reason there was suspicion of these activities from Russia was “ triggered by the allegations of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory” stating “that he had helped athletes in several Olympic sports cheat with banned drugs and that he had participated in a scheme to sabotage drug testing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with the assistance of government agents”. This statement incriminated the Russian olympic team causing the cheating athletes to be disallowed to compete for their country. They are now neutral athletes from Russia. The Russian olympic soccer team was also caught up in the doping scandal. The squad during “This summer’s Fifa World Cup in Russia could be the next sports event caught up in the Russian doping scandal, with an investigation into claims that some Russian footballers were among those protected by its state-sponsored doping programme gathering pace”. Another cause that is a very serious problem is when athlete doctors or therapists use these substances as a normal medicine. An Australian rugby superstar, Jarrod Mullin, has had his career ruined as a result of these banned drugs. Mullin as a result of doping “is coming to terms with a life derailed by a substance injected by his personal physiotherapist”. Mullin needed a physiotherapist after having two very unsuccessful hamstring surgeries to help him recover enough to participate in rugby again. His mother also states that “her son took the substance unknowingly amid unimaginable pressure to get back on the field. She said Jarrod knew he was receiving an injection, but not that it included a banned substance”. There was a similar situation with Peyton Manning and baseball powerhouse Mark McGuire. These two had very rough injuries that bothered them during their seasons. So their physicians decided to use steroids and other banned substances then claim that it was just medicine. Doing these things made them look like cheaters. These causes either way end up hurting the athletes careers in some way.
There are a few possible solutions that could help prevent the use of these drugs. The Anti-doping Agencies could do random drug tests, enforce tougher fines, and indefinite bans. The idea of having random drug tests can prevent the use because athletes will be unaware of them and will make them not want to take the risk of the consequences. If they enforce tougher fines, the athletes will not want to lose their money because they have earned it through their hard work. Indefinite fines seem extremely strict but, they are technically cheating which is tremendously unfair to other athletes and immensely against the rules and frowned upon. If any athlete cares about what they do, they will not jeopardize their entire career by getting suspended.
The best possible solution to prevent the use of PEDs or steroids is to have random drug tests and have indefinite suspensions. Random drug tests has been proven to work in the past and continues to work. No one enjoys being caught cheating, especially in very competitive sports. Indefinite suspensions have made all athletes fear having this happen to them. All athletes that have suffered this repercussion has regretted it tremendously.
There are also many people that feel doping in sports should be allowed. They think this because it can help enhance sports and rejuvenate the competitiveness of sports as a whole. Its adds fair play and honesty, health, excellence in performance, fun and joy, and community and solidarity. Performance Enhancing Drugs make sports a much more competitive and encouraging activity. Sports have already become increasingly competitive due to Performance Enhancing Drugs, that athletes can not keep up. We have seen proof that players have had absolutely astonishing statistics. There are three MLB (Major League Baseball) players that have broken home run records back to back years for just under a decade. Those amazing players are Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds is by far the most infamous sports athlete on the planet for using these performance enhancing drugs. If he was not caught using these illegal substances on the field, he would be considered the greatest player to ever graze a baseball diamond. After breaking his own homerun records, with McGwire on his tail, he kept accomplishing astronomical feats that no one could have ever imagined. These accomplishments will never be met again without the possibility of having performance enhancing drugs being the main culprit for these statistics. These drugs could make sports become so competitive that anyone without performance enhancing drugs will more than likely not be successful throughout their career. These struggles can also lead to very serious problems for people that work harder than others to become professional athletes only to not succeed as much as people that have not worked as hard. I personally feel that all Performance Enhancing Drugs should be banned for all sports because they are extremely unfair. When there are people that can join the same teams can become impossible to beat because they are on drugs that make them far more superior than tge others. They should also be banned from usage on players for healing because then they get blamed for their personal physician so that they do not have their legacy get ruined due to their health. I also feel that the unfair advantage they have is so astronomical that it makes the game less enjoyable knowing over half the players are using drugs. I do love the excitement it brings to the game but it is too unfair for other competitors.
Doping in sports has many problems, causes, and possible solutions that could help sports all across the world. Doping has become an epidemic in the world that needs to be cured. Drastic measures must be taken to end doping.
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