Medically supervised drugs

Doping is an issue, which continues to challenge the sporting community. There are a number of factors that may contribute to an athlete misusing drugs. These factors can be related to the drug itself, the person or their environment. The basic desire to be successful and satisfy ego requirements is a major source of internal pressure. Problems such as self-doubt, lack of confidence, nervousness, stress and depression are common to all athletes.

The three authors I picked have different ideas about using drugs and how drug use should be handled in professional sports. William Taylor in his book “Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete” is trying to find a way to lower the number of drug use in any kind of sports. Johan Hoberman is analyzing the doping crisis in his article “Sports physicians and the doping crisis in elite sport”. Sidney Gendin, the author of the last article, “Let’s ban those who don’t use drugs”, has exactly the reverse opinion than the first two authors.

The drug abuse issue is linked in some ways to the debates on commercialism and professionalism of the Olympics and other international sports events. Because appearance fees and prize money typically are performance-related, the argument goes, some athletes worry that abstinence will soon render them uncompetitive at the elite level of their sport, and thus they will miss out on commercial endorsements and other moneymaking opportunities.

Drug use exists; the problem is that it is dangerous. Athletes should be allowed to use drugs supervised by doctors to avoid the dangerous facts of the doping. The characteristics of self-pressure are not exclusive to people in the sporting field. Competitors set the standards to which an athlete must perform. If an athlete believes that a competitor has obtained some kind of advantage, then the pressure to also have or use this advantage is significant (for example: a better designed golf club, lighter running shoes or the use of steroids).

There are arguments that support the idea to let athletes use drugs. As we can read in Hoberman’s article: “A significant minority of doctors has used one or more arguments to justify doping athletes: drugs are necessary to compete effectively; athletes should be free to medicate themselves as they please; drugs do not differ essentially from other performance-enhancing techniques or equipment; and medically supervised doping is safer than self-medication by athletes” (Hoberman J. 1).

However people in general would fight against drug use and prohibit the athletes that have been caught for drug use. According to Taylor: “The banning of the use of drugs in sport is generally justified by the dual and interrelated arguments that it is medically unacceptable because of the potential side effects and it is ethically unacceptable because it contravenes the spirit of sport and the concept of fair play”(Taylor 12). Specifically, it is not fair for one individual to gain an advantage over another by means, which are secretive and dangerous and give advantage to the extent that other competitors would have to accept the same unreasonable risk in order to be competitive.

Nemeth 3 If drug use will be allowed, athletes would compete with equal chances to win. The very nature of sport is about striving to gain the edge over the opponent, using drugs is no different from having a better bike, a better shoe, or a better altitude-training regime. There is never a level playing field anyway, some will always have advantages over others whether it be through; genetics, money, training environment, sports science back up etc. drugs are just another variable.

Sport is by nature dangerous, in the bid to be; swifter, higher, stronger athletes have to take more and more risks, some potentially more dangerous than drugs. The drugs in sport rules are iniquitous, why allow creatine, the birth control pill, local anesthetics etc. and ban anabolic steroids which when taken in controlled circumstances may not be any more dangerous than some permitted drugs. According to Gendin: “In today’s professional environment, drugs restrictions are an anachronism, as both the sponsors and the public simply want the most competitive athletes in front of them irrespective of how they reach that point”(Gendin 3).

Many athletes use drugs but are ignorant of safety issues and it would be better to accept that athletes will always use them, allow them to be monitored by doctors and so limit the side effects. I think this doping battle will never stop, because there isn’t a perfect solution for this problem. That is why we should think about the situation of the athletes, and let them compete in a safe professional sport.

Work Cited

Taylor, William. “Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete.” Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1982. Hoberman, Johan. “Sports physicians and the doping crisis in elite sport.” Department of Germanic Studies, University of Texas, Austin, Historical Article

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