The Enhanced Games: letting athletes use drugs could lead to worse problems than cheating

Those who dislike that conclusion will need to find arguments beyond personal preference. Athletes caught using performance-enhancing drugs are banned from their sport for a period of time. This can range from a few months to a lifetime, depending on the drug and the severity of the infarction. Additionally, they may be fined or ripened off any medals or titles they have earned. Furthermore, sports are designed to test a specific cluster of skills and capacities, including physical, psychological, tactical and technical abilities.

Each of these substances presents a significant risk for addiction and each can have serious side effects as well. Athletes are not immune to the struggles of the rest of society and can deal with addiction to hundreds of different substances, for many different reasons. The common assumption may be that athletes who struggle with drugs is “doping” or trying to gain some performance advantage. We could increase the testing to a level where the odds of getting caught are higher. For example, homogenous blood transfusions and other common methods of doping are undetectable at present. Blood passports have been thought to both limit the extent of doping, and to make it easier to dope – by providing a set of limits to work to.

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In addition to the health concerns, most major sports have strict punishments for anyone being caught using any PED’s. This can include season or lifetime bans, loss of endorsements or contracts, and much more. If doping continues unchecked in athlete competition, then it would require changes in the rules to accommodate the shifts in performance. Goaltending rules in drug use in sports basketball were introduced to prevent removing the ball from the cylinder after players grew tall and strong enough to get above the rim. The end result of such an action would be a change in the rules, which would create the need for more doping, and that creates a cycle that would continuously repeat unless the performance enhancers were removed from the equation.

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care. He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture. Current anti-doping measures rely primarily upon the punishment of athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs. The effectiveness of this is hotly debated, given that many athletes still use these drugs despite the potential consequences.

Asthma Issues: sport, travel, and pregnancy – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Modern athletes used alcohol, amphetamines and strychnine while competing in events such as marathons. These substances were not off limits back then, and instead were overlooked and considered to be part of the scientific method of the culture. The original version of the Games saw athletes come together every four years to battle for fame, prestige and riches. Since the days of Leonidas of Rhodes (the Usain Bolt of Ancient Greece), athletes have been trying to get an extra edge, especially at the Olympics. Richardson tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana and admitted to using the drug to help her grieve the recent death of her biological mother.

why drug use in sports is unfair

More steps have to be undertaken to ensure clean sports and fair competition, such as creating truly independent governing institutions that are prevented from pursuing their own interests or those of a minority of stakeholders. The athlete’s opportunity costs of not being able to earn (prize) money, his increasing loss of value as he advances in age, and being exposed to a prisoner’s type of dilemma work in the same direction and serve as incentives to take performance enhancing drugs. As the evidence suggests, the combination of these incentives is strong enough to outweigh the threat of punishment. At the college level, organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association60 and individual member institutions conduct standard drug testing programs and enforce penalties for positive tests.

List of the Cons of Doping in Sports

Even if a PED is originally used for injury or surgery recovery, the drugs’ effects can be addictive and lead to more long-term use and unfair advantage in competition. While PEDs may seem like the quick ticket to athletic glory, they are deadly. We only have to look at bodybuilding, a sport that has historically encouraged PED use, for proof of this fact. The complaint is not against performance enhancement, but the method by which it is achieved. The real concern behind the cheating claim is that athletes who use drugs are gaining an unfair advantage by accessing something not available to those who follow the rules.

The attempt to use safety to justify the ban on sports drugs is outrageously inappropriate. Monetary and non-monetary incentives play a decisive role in an athlete’s calculus. Approaching this topic from a rational perspective, Becker and Murphy8 argue that even strong addictions are driven by rational decisions and involve a forward-looking maximization of stable preferences. Individuals with high discount rates for future events and thus a high preference for the present are more likely to become addicted.

There seems to be no reasonable justification for drawing a line in the sand that places drug use on one side and the above-mentioned performance enhancers on the other. The Tour de France, a sporting event well known for drug use, would not suddenly become a level contest if drug use disappeared. The Tour would only be a true test of individual riders if teams were banned. Almost everyone seems to be in agreement that performance-enhancing drugs are a blight on competitive sport. The second is that performance-enhancing drugs threaten the health of athletes. Athletes from all different sports deal with short and long-term injuries that vary from bumps and bruises to serious or even deadly accidents.

why drug use in sports is unfair

It is not as though sport is somehow bereft of human struggle or magnificence. The only thing that is bad about sport today is that some athletes are getting a small advantage that others aren’t, and people are regularly getting tossed out or brought under a cloud by rules that are unfit for purpose. Anyone who is actively doping creates a higher risk of liver or heart damage for themselves, including a higher risk of blood clots.

Should Professional Athletes Be Drug Tested?

Velloso (2008) reviews current thinking on the physiological mechanisms through which growth hormone and IGF-I act, in particular, to regulate muscle mass. Discussion then centres on whether these actions would necessarily confer any benefit on those attempting to abuse these substances by self administration. It is concluded that some advantages may be conferred in relation to increased lean body mass but that evidence is very thin for improved performance by such abuse in mature healthy adults. This contrasts with the interesting potential that manipulation of this system may have therapeutically, for example, for restoring deficits in development or those caused by ageing.

Even with the athlete’s blood, there are still risks, such as blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Besides prescription medication, many athletes may turn to illicit substances to deal with mental health conditions, stressors, and pain that they experience. In a vote before the debate, 18 percent of audience members supported the motion to accept performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports, and 63 percent opposed it.