Enhancing Oneself Performance with Dugs in Sport
During the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes discovered ways to improve their athletic abilities by boosting testosterone. “Performance-enhancing drugs was not only a threat to the integrity of sport but could also have potentially fatal side effects on the athlete”(Anid). Performance Enhancing Drugs are substances that are used to improve any form of activity performance in humans. In 1928, The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), “the governing body for the sport of track and field, become the first international sporting federation to prohibit doping by athletes” (International Association of Athletics Federation). This is important, because the athletes that use PEDs gain an unfair advantage by accessing something not available to those who follow the rules. Performance Enhancing Drugs shouldn’t have a spot in sports because, it can badly affect your health in the long run and it ruins the real purpose of sports.
PEDs can have a negative impact on athletes when abused. For example, physical, “Athletes are using a drug that is damaging their bodies to the point it could kill. These men are doing major damage to their hearts and are substantially increasing their risk of death” (Darke). When individuals begin taking the drug there is a high risk that they could become addicted to the drugs or over use them. As a result, anabolic steroids and other PEDs should not be used by professional athletes.
How it works
Another example is negative psychological impacts on athletes when abused. Individuals who use performance enhancing drugs have an increased chance of using other recreational drugs and alcohol. A study conducted at Rutgers University found that “athletes who abuse PEDs are more likely to also abuse alcohol and other recreational drugs such as weed and cocaine” (Performance Enhancing Drugs). Athletes who abuse PEDs could potentially experience alcoholism and/or drug addiction later on in life. In conclusion, athletes may be using other drugs and getting drunk while also abusing steroids as well.
Mixing drugs and sport can disrupt your game in many ways, such as breathing, heart rate, muscles, and also brain and behavior. First, breathing can be badly affected if using depressant drugs and/or opiates. Depressant drugs, such as cannabis, alcohol and opiates, can slow down your breathing. Opiates, such as heroin and codeine, slow down your breathing and narrow your airways. Both of these drug types can makes it harder to breathe and reduces your breathing at a time when your body needs extra oxygen. Second, the heart rate can be affected by using stimulant drugs. “Stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy and speed, increase your heart rate and put undue stress on your heart. Cocaine can cause heart attack and abnormal heart rhythm. When you use speed, the lack of blood to your heart can cause angina. Depressants such as alcohol slow down your heart rate, meaning less oxygen-rich blood reaches your muscles.” (Drugs. ie). Using stimulants can affect the player’s heart rate alot. Third, disrupting your coordination and relax your muscles is the last thing you want in playing sports. “Depressants such as cannabis reduce your motor activity so it’s hard to coordinate your movements during sport. Alcohol is high in calories so you may start piling on the weight. Stimulants increase your movements so you are more likely to injure yourself during sport. Cocaine at higher doses can act as an anaesthetic so you can’t feel pain and may play on after an injury, causing even more damage.” (Drugs.ie). Depressants can affect your muscles, so you wouldn’t be able to use your muscles in the way you need to use in playing in professional sports. Last way mixing drugs can be bad is it can affect the player’s brain and behavior. “Stimulants, such as cocaine and speed, can keep you awake so you don’t get the rest you need and this can affect your performance. They also decrease your appetite when you should be replacing calories after using so much energy. Side effects also include confusion, delirium and paranoia. At higher doses stimulants can cause you to become irritable and aggressive, they can also cause blood vessels in the brain to rupture leading to convulsions.” (Drugs.ie). Stimulates can make the player act like not themselves.
The mind of a player who abuse steroids or any other PEDs can be badly affected. “One of the key psychological impacts of performance enhancing drugs is addiction i.e. craving the drug, require more to get the same effect and having withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them” (Murphy). Once the player start using then abusing it, they’re addicted. Even if they try to stop using their mind is gonna make them think they can’t live without it and get back on the drugs again.
Steroids and other performance enhancing drugs provide athletes with an unfair advantage . Those who support performance enhancing drugs argue that sports would allow the athletes to take performance enhancing drugs, because incase of injury they can recover quickly and they can entertain their fans more with perfect performance. Opponents of this idea claim that sports should allow the athletes to take drugs to have a perfect performance. It is clear that they’re two sides of the argument. Though it is true that PEDs does give you better performance, but it’s not worth doing, because not only you can get addicted to it, but also you can die from it. Another example of a negative impact is that “Drugs negatively affect not only a team’s performance, but its sense of team spirit and cohesiveness as well. In particular, drug use can cause effects on the morale of the team, lack of togetherness, concentration, commitment, energy and trust” (Eubanks). You can ruin the team and the fans if players are abusing enhancement drugs.
Doping tests are getting better but there are gaps, like tests are getting difficult and expensive especially for Epogen. According to Dr. Don Catlin, former director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory. “We have a way to detect EPO but it’s difficult” (Catlin). “It takes a couple of days to do and it’s expensive, so sports organizations who pay for the testing don’t like to order it” (Clarke). The more athletes that misuse this drug, the more problems the lab has to go through to be able to afford to run tests looking for EPO. As expressed, labs are spending too much money to just test players that misused this drug.
There is a couple of ways to improve drug testing in professional sports. One way to address this problem is to improve the drug tests in professional sport leagues, The Australian National University are finding ways to detect drug usage by athletes. The lead researcher Malcolm Mcleod and his team are engineering a bacterial enzyme that can speed up the detection process of many banned drugs. It can detect many banned drugs over longer time frames, longer than the current anti-doping tests. Another way to improve the drug testing in professional sports, is using a rapid on-site screening technology called coated blade-spray mass spectrometry. The University of Waterloo researchers and Dr. Germán Augusto Gómez-Ríos they have found a new way to detect enhancement drugs in the athletes’ blood and urine. According to the researchers and Dr. Gomez-Rios ,“This more efficient process is made possible through the development of a rapid on-site screening technology called coated blade-spray mass spectrometry that can detect more than 100 drugs using just one drop of blood or a few microlitres of urine on a coated sample strip at the parts per billion level. That’s like detecting a sugar cube dissolved in an Olympic sized swimming pool” (Gomez-Rios). These facts work together to build a case that the coated blade-spray mass spectrometry could be the best way to improve the drug tests in sports because they say it can detect more than 100 drugs from just one drop of blood or a little bit of urine. Overall, researchers and Dr. Gomez-Rios found improvement to drug testing in pro sports.
In summary, those drugs do improve your performance but it does also kill you mentally and physically. In general, performance enhancing drugs can actually cause, depression and then it can lead to death. Additionally, over using PEDs can cause you to addicted to other recreational drugs and alcohol. Doping tests are getting better but there are gaps, like tests are getting difficult and expensive especially for Epogen. And also there are researchers that are finding improvements for the anti-doping tests, to prevent this problem from getting bigger than it is right now. Finally, it ruins the real purpose of sports.