The Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports

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The use of performance enhancing drugs in sports has been increasingly prevalent; this is a cause for concern. This essay will discuss why the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports should not be legalized, and giving a few reasons as to why it should not be, ranging from the short term effects to the long term effects, how doping can have an effect on the current sporting world and give a few examples of the different types of performance enhancing drugs that some athletes use including caffeine, anabolic androgenic steroids, diuretics and Erythropoietin, and the risks that are involved when an athlete using these performance enhancing drugs. The use of performance enhancing drugs in sports can bring around more health risks than deemed necessary, some would argue that playing sports is already a risk in itself, for example one cannot play football and be fully immune to injury. This is a valid argument, but the risks that come with the use of performance enhancing drugs are unnecessary and avoidable, whereas the risks in playing sports cannot be evaded but can surely be minimized, for example wearing protective and specialized gear while practicing a certain sport.1 Some would argue that the use of performance enhancing drugs should be legalized but has to be regulated and used properly and safely under medical supervision, this indeed would minimize the risks involved in the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports and it would potentially increase the performance level of an athlete or a sportsperson, but this however does apply pressure to those athletes that prefer to train hard and stay ‘natural’ by means of having a good balanced diet and a good overall healthy lifestyle. The legalization of the use of performa... ... middle of paper ... ...nd the body to the tissues, then an extra dose of EPO will ultimately lead to more red blood cells being manufactured and therefore the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood itself increases. EPO is usually used to treat some forms of anemia.4 Athletes took function of EPO to their advantage as they started shooting up with EPO to help them with endurance exercises for example cycling and long distance running. The use of EPO in competitive sports should not be legalized as is carries many severe risks along with it, it exposes the athlete to an increased risk of forming a clot, as EPO increases the thickness of the blood which eventually leads to the heart having to work harder to pump the blood around the body, other risks include myocardial infarction or MI meaning heart attack and stroke, these risks are increased when an athlete is in the state of dehydration.5
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