Dirty Doping in Sports, Cheating or Competing?

by Castagnetti on February 4, 2014 - 1:12pm

The Article entitled “Drug testing for Sports: an Overview” written by Ericka Bouchard discusses the effects of performance enhancing drugs in the world of sports. Ericka begins the article by explaining how athletes use drugs such as anabolic steroids in order to increase their testosterone and red blood cell levels to gain muscle endurance, strength, weight, etc. Athletes who use performance enhancing drugs do so for a multitude of different reasons. One Reason is to “level the playing field” with athletes who have a much higher natural red blood cell count than the average athlete. The more common reasons that athletes justify using these illegal drugs is because it is becoming impossible to be the best without using them since so many athletes are already doping. Athletes like MLB’s Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and even the “Tour du France” 7 time winner, Lance Armstrong have all been caught doping causing them to be stripped of their achievements. This raises the question that if all world class Athletes such as these owe most of their success to performance enhancing drugs why are these drugs illegal?
The answer is simply that these drugs are obviously harmful to one’s health and can even take a life as seen in the case of English cyclist Tom Simpson who died after using amphetamines during the 1967 “Tour du France”. Shockingly it wasn’t until 2004 that the United States began to issue mandatory drug testing’s and hearings within its major sports organizations such as the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, etc. Despite their intentions these hearings were met with criticism by citizens questioning whether the government’s involvement in the affairs of private leagues was appropriate. Certain Athletes were also against the hearings by claiming that mandatory drug testing violates the fourth amendment of the U.S constitution which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. The medical privacy of an Individual is also at stake due to the inaccuracy of some drug test which obtain unclear result.
The conflicting values that appear in the argument of these drugs in the sports world are Individual right versus Health and regulation .Athletes believe they have the Individual right to do so with their own body‘s in order to be able to compete in these highly competitive sports. These values are conflicting with the government’s beliefs that these drugs are highly dangerous and not only make the achievements of dopers questionable but also that young athletes may be influenced by their childhood heroes who turned out to be doping. In fact, studies show a direct relationship between young men with poor body images and the use of anabolic steroids. With studies expressing how influential these drugs can be it is increasingly more important to protect the health and integrity of the young athletes in the world. This moral claim has also become the basis behind UNESCOs vow to fight drug doping in sports which in 2004 obtained 100 countries with the same idea in mind. What UNESCO demonstrated through this vow is that doping will not be tolerated even if it is for the sake of competing. Despite these actions doping is still the number one problem in sports so do these athletes have the right to want to be able to compete or are these drugs just an illegal shortcut?

Bouchard, Erika, and Nancy Sprague. "Drug Testing for Sports:An Overview." Point of View. EBSCO, n.d. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.

Comments

I'm posting on this topic because I am a huge fan of sports and this topic always gets me angry. I think that people who use drugs to enhance their abilities to succeed in their sports are cheaters. Of course any athlete should have the right to compete in sports but if it means cheating to get there, I think that is completely wrong. For example, in UFC almost everyone is under the influence of performing enhancement drugs. But JSP for one is not, he is retiring because he thinks it's completely unfair that he has to fight people who are using performance enhancement drugs to win, also the fact that the UFC league does not want to do drug tests proves that they know many of their athletes are using performance enhancement drugs and all they want is to keep to ratings up. I think using performance enhancing drugs is cheating and should not be allowed. So yes Illegal drugs to enhance ones physical ability in sports is a short cut and cheating. it goes against the values of honesty, equality, fairness, and security. So let me say this, if you were completely sober and competed against someone who was using performance enhancement drugs and you lost, would you think it was a fair game...?

I have to hand it to JSP in that case for standing up for what he thinks is right and for being able to dominate in his sport while being clean. my response to your question is that no, I don't think I would find it fair game but for some reason something inside me says that I would accept the challenge any way for the sake of competing. I would especially feel pretty good if I was able to hold my own against a someone who is doping because it would give me great confidence in my own abilities. Look at JSP who dominated like he did. That being said though, I do completely agree with your position that these drugs should be illegal in sports.

I'm posting on this topic because I already known someone who did it and the repercussions on their health are intense. Doping remains a serious issue mainly because it not only threatens the integrity of the sport, but also puts up an athlete’s health at serious risk. The consequences of doping are serious both professionally and health. It is not only limited to the top athletes, but it also affects the upcoming and aspiring athletes who are influenced by what they do and look up to them. In addition, it is easy to procure and often people are not sufficiently informed about the consequences. Sport is for enjoyment and competition, and usually aims to improve; what is the goal to increasing skill and performance by taking drugs?

The reason why I am commenting on this post is because the title caught my attention since I am a great fan of sports and love playing it myself, especially when it comes to hockey. When it comes to doping yourself for the sport, I think that this is a big issue and people do not know the impact it has around them. For example, my idol is Sidney Crosby, to me, in my eyes, the best hockey player in the NHL. If he would take drugs to make him a better hockey player, it would affect my decisions and maybe even make me start using the types of drugs that he uses. I would say to myself, he is there because of the drugs therefore if I use them too, I will be there one day. Personally, I think people in the use of dopes are cheaters and have an advantage towards the others and it should not be permitted. When I play hockey, I play it because its fun and I love it, it makes me forget my problems and puts a smile on my face and I believe it should be the same for everybody, no matter what the sport is. It should be a fair competition, everyone should compete equally. Do you think sports will every be totally clean?