The Dangers of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Topics: Anabolic steroid, Growth hormone, Anabolism Pages: 5 (1483 words) Published: December 7, 2008
The Dangers of using Performance-Enhancing Drugs
A serious problem in sports today is doping (e.g., performance-Enhancing drugs) due to the fact these drug are dangerous when use at high doses; Especially Amphetamine, anabolic steroids, and the human growth hormone. Athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs not only risk their career but they also risk their lives. Is doping necessarily a bad thing?

In 2004, sports academic Lincoln Allison argued that if there were drugs to improve Judgment and leadership; we'd want the prime minister to take them; so why should we feel any differently about professional sportsmen?" The use of these drugs enables athletes to gain an unfair advantage over other athletes by artificial means. Abusing sports enhancement drugs not only introduces unfairness into the competition but they also can have adverse physical side effects. Due to the short time athletes have to prove that their skills are superior to others, they are faced with tremendous amounts of pressure to establish themselves as the best. Also, they know that as a star athlete they can earn much money and fame. Training is the best way to be victorious, but they read, and hear about drugs that will give them the edge they need in a short time. Even though the uses of these drugs are banned; there are still those athletes who feel they must resort to cheating by using these drugs to compete. An athlete may have many different reasons for doping, such as: Increase endurance, metabolism, stamina, energy, muscle mass, and strength.

Does the risk out weigh the benefit of these drugs?
There are the three major types of performance-enhancing drugs most commonly used by athletes today, which are Anabolic Steroids, Amphetamines, and the Human Growth Hormone. Anabolic Steroids induce weight gain and increased muscle mass. Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) is one anabolic steroid receiving a lot of attention. According to the mayo clinic staff (2006) “Until recently, THG was marketed as a dietary supplement for enhancing athletic performance, However, researchers have found that THG is actually a chemically altered version of an anabolic steroid that is banned by most sports organizations. THG is referred to as a "designer" steroid because it's undetectable by traditional steroid-testing techniques. A new laboratory test, however, now makes its detection possible. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that athletes taking THG may be putting their health at risk — THG is an unapproved new drug and little is known about its safety.” dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (Turinabol), oxandrolone (Oxandrin), methyl testosterone (Android), nandrolone (Durabolin), metandienone (Dianabol), stanozolol (Winstrol) and oxymetholone (Anadrol) are other commonly used anabolic steroids. Amphetamines, a group of powerful stimulant that affects the nervous System by increasing heart rate and blood pressure while reducing fatigue. Last we have the Human Growth hormone (GH or somatotropin) a 191-amino acid, polypeptide hormone which is synthesized, stored, and secreted by the somatotroph cells which stimulates growth and cell reproduction.

Athletes use HGH for its anabolic effects to reduce muscle cell breakdown and to reduce body fat. Anabolic steroids are used by athletes to add bulk and strength to their bodies, in addition to the preceding factors anabolic steroids are also used to build lean body mass. Steroids help athletes get stronger by reducing the amount of recovery time needed between workouts, therefore allowing them to train harder. Amphetamines are favored by certain athletes like runner, swimmer and so on because it increases stamina and energy, allowing them to go that extra mile.

These drugs can have serious psychological and physical side effects. Anabolic Steroids can cause liver abnormalities, tumors, aggressive behaviors such as Rage...

References: Robert Jacobson. (2006) Performance -Enhancing Drugs, Sports in America: Recreation, Business, Education, Controversy Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. Apollo Group. 28 May. 2007

Dhar, R., Stout, C., Link, M., Homoud, M., Weinstock, J., & Estes III, N. (2005, October). Cardiovascular Toxicities of Performance-Enhancing Substances in Sports. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 80(10), 1307-1315. Retrieved June 28, 2007, from Academic Search Premier Database.
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