PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS
For many years sports have played huge roles in human’s everyday lives, from entertainment, political, financial and to actually competing in them. The task for the sportsmen or women, especially in the top rank, is to beat the other competitors and get a good result from it. Here there is a high amount of pressure on many athletes coming from the media, coaches, themselves etc. They have the wanting to do well and achieve their goals and aims so much that some of the athletes turn to performance enhancing drugs. Obviously training for competition is the main thing to do but using drugs is another helper to succeeding. So, to their way of thinking, doping does not seem like cheating it just seems like something that has to be done for success.
Using chemicals in the hopes of improving athletic performance is nothing new. If you were an athlete in the Greek Olympic days, your coach might have suggested you try different mushrooms to gain a competitive advantage. Doping, however, in the sense used today, really came onto the scene in the 19th century. The first drugs to be used were heroine and morphine. Heroine was mainly found in horse-racing circles, while morphine was very much in fashion in boxing and so-called endurance sports. It was suspected of having caused the death of Arthur Lindon, a Welsh racing cyclist who died a few months after the Bordeaux-Paris race of 1896, thereby becoming the first ever recorded victim of doping. Things really got out of hand at the beginning of the 20th century, with strychnine and ephedrine making their appearance, not to mention steroids. Over the last few years, doping has taken a new, dangerous turn. Growth hormones drugs have appeared, as well as doping involving transfusions of the athlete’s own blood, and then erythropoietin, perfluorcarbons and reticulate haemoglobin. All this has changed the whole course of doping. Drugs used to be taken just for a one-off effect which activated various standard bodily functions, but now they may bring about the biological reprogramming of the body. To put it plainly, the time is not far off when it will be scientifically possible to make artificial but lasting changes in the way an organ functions and when the technicians of sport will be able to change each drug to meet the specifications for a particular level of performance.
There are drugs used in sports such as steroids (Build size and strength of muscles or bones), Erythropoietin also known as EPO or Mood doping (increases the delivery of oxygen to the muscles reducing pain and tiredness), Diuretics (hiding the drug use and also reduces weight), narcotics (takes longer for the athlete to be introduced to pain) and beta blockers (relaxants used for athletes who need to keep a steady hand e. g. in shooting events). These are just some example! of drugs used there are many more for different uses. These drugs are put into the body in many different ways they can be injected, taking in tablets, taking them orally. Most of the drugs shown are banned outright in Olympic competitions. However, some of these drugs, such as cortisone and local anaesthetics, are allowed in sport because they have uses for die athlete’s medical conditions
Almost all of these drugs have dangerous side effects especially the ones that are illegally used. Anabolic steroids can result in mood swings, depression, aggression, Jaundice and liver damage. In males and females they can affect them in shocking ways in males they can develop breasts, become bald or infertile. In females they can thicken the vocal cords making them have a deep sounding voice, stimulate hair growth and interfere with the menstrual cycle which could cause infertility. EPO can cause heart attacks or strokes because it thickens the blood making it more like syrup than water, which means that the heart must work harder to pump the thickened blood. Or if blood doping this can result in viral infections such as HIV/AIDS or malaria. Narcotics are used to treat pain and include substances such as morphine, methadone and heroin. Narcotics are highly addictive, and the high associated with their use can impair mental abilities (judgment, balance and concentration). Also, athletes who continue to compete with an injury run the risk of further damage or complications. Other drugs such as diuretics, relaxants and stimulants can cause lower than normal blood pressure, slow heart rate and fatigue, dehydration, dizziness, cramps, heart damage and kidney failure. So this shows just how dangerous all of these drugs can be to the human body and it shows the desperation for success and money from some athletes.
I feel that performance-enhancing drugs are wrong some of the reasons why I think this is because first of all Athletes it can be powerful role models for young people. The behaviour of the best athletes can have a significant impact on young people as they desire to follow their sporting heroes, especially their actions and attitudes. This can have a very negative result on the young generation and I think it is the athlete’s job to encourage the next generation. Also sport is about competing and performing to the best of your ability without dregs. If the athlete, coach or medical adviser resorts to using drugs to assist performance, they are also cheating themselves. If an athlete, coach or medical officer is caught breaking the rules, it could affect their future career in sport as well as bring shame on the sport, their family and friends or harm their own body’s even result in death.
I feel that the use of doping substances or doping methods to enhance performance is cheating, unfair and is contrary to the spirit of fair competition. I feel that performance enhancing drugs are wrong in many ways like the horrible effect they have on the athlete’s body. Also the bad name that it gives to the sport that the athlete cheats at and very importantly the way that young children look up to their favourite athletes and if he/she hears about them taking drugs they may want to try them as well.