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Steroids in Sports - Essay Example

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An athlete’s career is fairly short compared with other careers and needs to be maximised. This may seem like sound reasoning for allowing performance enhancing drugs until one takes a look at the some of the health problems associated with the prolonged abuse of performance enhancing drugs. It has been associated with both long term and short term damage to athletes and has even been implicated in the deaths of some athletes. In addition, the use of performance enhancing drugs offers an unfair advantage to the athletes who choose take them in their quest for glory and money and completely goes against the unwritten values of sport which include honesty and integrity. When the view of athletes of athletes is taken into consideration regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs, it appears that over half of them seemed convinced that would actually contemplate the use of such drugs while the others firmly opposed it. This paper will attempt to critically take a look at the reasoning behind the argument that performance enhancing drugs should be legalised and then present the counter arguments for it. I will argue that despite the reasoning provided for it, the (ab)use of performance enhancing drugs in any sport is dishonest and detrimental to the health of the athlete who chooses to use it. The use of performance enhancing drugs in the world of sports has been present probably since the start of sports competition (Campos et al, 2003). Two major events in recent history that shocked the world of sport was Ben Johnson admitting to the use of performance enhancing drugs in 1988 (Catlin et al, 2008) and the scandal surrounding the Tour de France in 1998 with allegations of doping (Schneider, 2004). While most people would agree that the use of performance enhancing drugs should be banned it is worth taking a look at the other side of the argument stating that these drugs should be legalised too. One of the main reasons given by bodies like the Sports Council in Britain or the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have been the health risks associated with performance enhancing drugs (Hanstad and Waddington, 2009). It has been argued that if this concern for the health of elite athletes is really the reason for the ban of performance enhancing drugs, then concern must be had for other aspects of sport that affect health like sports-related injuries. There have been no sports bodies that have passed rules on whether an athlete can perform whilst injured though the risk of injury is quite high for many sports (O’Leary, 2001 from Hanstad and Waddington, 2009). Athletes who take part in sports, especially contact sports, effectively work in an extremely hazardous environment. There is a high risk of sports-related injuries or the development of chronic conditions later in life as a result of the sport (Hanstad and Waddington, 2009). One study actually concluded that the risk of injury if a thousand times higher in athletes playing professional football than in jobs such as construction or mining (Hawkins and Fuller, 1998 from Hanstad and Waddington, 2009). Similarly, when considering a sport like American football, the average length of the career of a player is a meagre 3.2 years ...Show more
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Summary

This paper will attempt to critically take a look at the reasoning behind the argument that performance enhancing drugs should be legalised and then present the counter arguments for it.

Steroids in Sports
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