Doping in Sports
My high school cross country coach once told me, “Ryan, greatness isn’t just given out; you have to go out and earn it. You can only earn it through an extreme amount of hard work and sacrifice.” Today how ever in the twenty first century this statement can become a lie. Greatness no longer requires the same amount of dedication as it did fifty years ago. Everyday greatness is given in the forms of needles and small pills. The doping situation in professional and amateur sports has become a serious problem. The number of athletes that have been caught doping is unacceptable. Something needs to be done that will stop or greatly reduce the number athletes using drugs to increase performance.
The most commonly used performance enhancing drug is the anabolic steroid. Steroids first came into massive use during the 1960’s (Robert Voy pg.48). The Soviet Union was the first country to allow steroid use. Steroids were first given to their track and field athletes to help aid in a victory over the United States. By 1980 professional baseball, basketball, and wrestling athletes had all been caught using steroids. One very recent case regarding athletic doping involved a rather famous track field athlete. The five time gold medalist in the 2000 Olympics, Marion Jones, denied the use of steroids for years. She is currently doing time in jail for lying to a federal agent regarding those drug allegations. When most people think of anabolic steroids, the idea of a pill comes to mind. While anabolic steroids are commonly taken in pill form, some athletes chose to take the steroid in liquid form. The liquid form is given though an injector. When an injector us used the steroid is injected directly into the muscle using a needle (Yesalis pg.342). Athletes demanding faster results will often turn to this method. While the liquid form does produce results faster results it also has more complications. When a steroid is injected directly into the muscle, the muscle that the steroid was injected has a higher probability of being strained; resulting in an injury (Lightsey pg.78). Another downside to the injected version of a steroid is that there is a higher probability of the drug being detected during a drug test. When the steroid is injected into the muscle some of the drug enters the surrounding fat. The steroid can remain in the fat surrounding the muscle for months at a time. There for giving the athlete a higher chance of testing positive.(Lightsey pg.99). The most commonly used steroids today that come in liquid and tablet form are Human Growth Hormone (HGH), Erythropoietin (EPO), Tetrahydrogestrione (THG) and Beta-Blockers (Lightsey pg.37). Each steroid is used to achieve a certain desired effect. HGH is a growth hormone that causes the muscle to become bigger and stronger. EPO causes to body to produce more red blood cells, EPO would be the drug of choice for an endurance athlete. THG is the most potent muscle building drug available on the market today. THG would be used by any athlete that needs to build strength or speed. Beta Blockers do not aid in muscle production or blood production. Instead they can “slow” the body allowing for more control and fluid movements. Figure skaters are the only athletes that would choose to use this drug.
When an athlete makes the decision to take steroids it’s based on two factors. The first and most obvious reason an athlete would choose to take steroids is increase in performance part. Every competitive athlete says they want to be the best; steroids would allow an athlete to train harder day after day. While athletes use “being the best” as there reason to take drugs. Sports psychologists list a number of different reasons. Most psychologists believe that self worth is the main motive behind steroid users (Tricker pg.99). Self worth can be described as the need to feel competent, achieving, and accepted. Who can provide this better to an athlete then the fans and...
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