Use of Steroids by Athletes

Powerful Essays
A survey was presented to 198 U.S athletes with the following scenario. You are offered a banned performance enhancing substance that comes with two guarantees: 1) You will not be caught. 2). You will win every competition you enter for the next five years and then you will die from the side effects of the substance. Would you take it? More than half the athletes said yes. As we can infer from the above survey, a large number of professional athletes are willing to risk their lives for the chance of victory and recognition.

The controversy of doping in sports is centered on the use of drugs to increase speed, strength, intensity and endurance. Various sports regulating bodies such as the International Olympic Committee have banned certain performance-enhancing substances because of safety and fair play issues. However, many athletes feel that they have to use steroids to be competitive in the international sporting arena. Athletes believe that everyone else is using these products, and thus anyone who does not use steroids is putting himself or herself at a disadvantage. This dichotomy between athletes and regulating bodies represents the major controversy around doping. The doping problem is further complicated by lack of a consistent definition.

This practice of using substances to boost athletic performance is not a new phenomenon. The use of external substances to boost athletic performance dates back to the Greeks who used herbs and seeds to enhance performance (Haji 54). The most popular drug choices today are anabolic steroids, which make athletes bigger, stronger and faster. Anabolic steroids are a group of compounds related to the male hormone testosterone, which promote increases in muscle bulk and...

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...efinition of doping needs to be drafted. This definition must be drafted in collaboration with athletes, trainers, physicians, coaches, and other parties with vested interests in professional sports. As new advances are made in biotechnology that will allow humans to enhance their athletic performance, the definition of doping will have to evolve along with the new developments.

Works Cited

Burstyn, Varda, The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics, & the Culture of Sport, University of Toronto Press. 1999

Eitzen D Stanley, Fair and Foul: Beyond the Myths and Paradox of Sports, Rowaman & Little Field, New York 1999.

Haji Lazak, The History of Drug Abuse in Sports. The Sun, Sept 1998. Hoberman, M John, Mortal Engines, The Free Press, New York 1999.

Schroff, Joannie, McGwire Hits the Pills, U.S. News World Report V125 n9 Sept 7, 1998, 53-54.
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