Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport

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  • Topic: Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee, Tour de France
  • Pages : 3 (749 words )
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  • Published : March 7, 2013
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4. “The playing field in sport will never be level because many athletes have a distinct advantage through their genetic ability. Performance enhancing drugs help level the playing field” Quote: Inside Sport 1999

Using specific examples, analyse why drugs to enhance sport performance is an ethical issue. (8)

Performance enhancing drugs, as it states, are drugs which have an influence on the performance and capabilities of an individual. As drugs become more common place in the field of sports, athletes are given more opportunities to use them; making athletes, both amateur and professional, more prone to use them to compete with a competitive advantage. Both amateur and professional athletes choose to take drugs which leave long term side effects but reach their optimum level of performance. What the athlete does not realise is that they represent their sport and all of its qualities and have also become role models for younger generations to look up to, indicating it is okay to use drugs to boost performance. But what if the athletes with the genetic advantage also started using performance enhancing drugs?

Drugs have been used to enhance performance since ancient times. Greek and roman civilisations used mushrooms and herbs to improve their performance. Later in the 19th century substances including alcohol, opium and caffeine were used. More recently a number of deaths and allegations of drug taking encouraged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to set up the medical commission in 1967, banning the use of drugs and other performance enhancing substances. However it wasn’t until 1990 did the IOC ban the majoritively used substances such as erythropoietin (EPO) and blood doping, although taking them an extra 10 years for reliable testing.

Although being at the top being famous and glorious, these drugs had adverse side effects affecting their bodies causing possible harm in both short and long term. Main possibilities of this harm are organ...
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