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The Truth Behind a Lie

By LenaMadison Nov 09, 2008 3117 Words
The Truth Behind a Lie
Lena Madison
Axia College of the University of Phoenix
COM 120 Effective Persuasive Writing
Pamela Strunk
October 1, 2006

Sports are among the greatest of human pleasures, [and] one of the U.S.’ biggest industries…”(Sheed, 1995, p. 10). Success is considered by many to be the most important goal of sports, and at the level of professional sports, winning is the ultimate goal. Because winning is so important, athletes, whether they are young or old, professional or amateur, are always looking to gain an advantage over their opponents. The desire for an “edge” exists in all sports, at all levels of play. The challenges created in sports by stardom, soaring paychecks, personal glory and favoritism have collectively worked to increase the prevalence of performance enhancing drugs in recent years. Despite the fact that many of these types of substances are illegal, the drive in athletes to be the best still outweighs any of the adverse effects that are caused by these drugs or, the consequences they pose. The truth is performance-enhancing drugs in sports are unsafe, unethical and they [This is a run-on sentence because there is not a comma before the conjunction. Run-on sentences occur when conjunctions (and/or) and punctuation marks (commas and semicolons) are not used properly. ] falsify the world of sports causing true athletes to become obsolete.

Today, because of the rapid advances of technology, there are wide variety of performance enhancing drugs that have been produced and several new drugs have come available to the world, which all have altered the face of sports. Some of the more common performance enhancers would include: “THG, recently discovered by U.S. scientists and is an undetectable substance in tests; Modafinil, a physical stimulant that turned up in drug tests at the 2003 U.S Olympics; EPO, an artificial hormone that allows blood to carry more oxygen causing a boost in endurance, and has saturated sports like cycling and cross country” (Cheating Culture, ¶ 3). Whatever the reason for their use, performance enhancing drugs carry serious risks for users, including suspensions or banishment from their sport, stripping of their records, and debilitating-even life threatening medical complications. Studies have shown, however [Use a semicolon between two related complete sentences that are not separated by a conjunction (and/or); Furthermore, a semicolon can be used before a conjunctive adverb (an adverb that functions as a conjunction).] , that many athletes will ignore even the gravest health risks if they can gain an advantage through artificial means. As a result, [this] issue has become one of the most serious problems in athletics today (Microsoft Encarta, 2006, ¶ 5). Out of all the enhancers available, the most prevalent that causes the majority of the controversy everyone hears about on the news and in sports conversation are Anabolic Steroids. Anabolic Steroids “[were] first developed in the late 1930’s, [and] are commonly prescribed for medical reasons such as preventing the loss of bone density from osteoporosis or counteracting the body-wasting effects of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)” (Microsoft Encarta, 2006, ¶ 8). Although anabolic steroids were created for legitimate reasons, in the 1950’s athletes along with trainers discovered the potential athletic benefits of these substances and began to illegally reproduce them to be used as performance enhancers. Since, their use by top-level athletes spread in the ensuing decades (Microsoft Encarta, 2006). “In 1991 congressional legislation made steroids a controlled substance in the United States, meaning they could only be obtained legally with a doctors prescription” (Microsoft Encarta, 2006, ¶8). Although anabolic steroids are illegal they remain widespread among athletes, men and women both, and have saturated a wide range of sporting activities, such as football, baseball, swimming and track and field. The development and use of these substances have continued to increase. But, there should not be controversy over anabolic steroid use in athletics because non-medical use of such drugs is banned by most, if not all, major sports organizations. Still, some athletes persist in taking them, believing they will provide a competitive advantages. This man made, illegal drug is very powerful, and it mimics the effects of testosterone, helping to increase and maintain muscle mass. Beyond the issues of popularity and legality is the fact that anabolic steroids cause serious physical and psychological side effects so they [Run-on sentence. Place a comma before the conjunction.] should not be used to enhance sports performance. The effects of anabolic steroids are elevated, especially at the high dosages taken by athletes called “megadoses”, which are used to produce rapid results (American Academy, 2005). Some side effects cased are visible to the naked eye and some are internal. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (2006) has issued updated research reports that detail the numerous health consequences. Many undesirable side effects for men include, infertility, shrinking of the testicles, loss of scalp hair, severe acne, cysts, irreversible breast enlargement and an increased risk of prostate cancer. For women the use of anabolic steroids cause different effects, which consist of, decreased breast size, deepening of the voice, male pattern baldness, and the growth of facial hair. The more life threatening consequences that occur in both men and women are an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. These drugs also cause liver tumors and cancer, jaundice of the liver, kidney tumors, fluid retention, trembling, increased blood pressure and LDL, bad cholesterol, and a decrease in HDL, good cholesterol. Users also share needles to inject steroids, which can lead to the spread of blood-borne disease, including Hepatitis, types B and C and HIV or AIDS (Microsoft Encarta, 2006). These physical effects alone should reason enough to keep steroids out of sports, but let us also take a look at the devastating mental effects on users. The NIDA (2006) case reports show a number of emotional effects anabolic steroids have on the user. A common emotional effect is an increase in aggressive behavior, sometimes called ‘roid rage. This rage consists of mood swings and extreme irritability. Users also suffer impaired judgment stemming from feeling invincible, fatigue, distractibility, anxiety, panic attacks, forgetfulness, confusion, and delusions. Evidence has shown that steroid abusers can also become addicted, creating many withdrawal symptoms when use is terminated. Again, the abusers will suffer from mood swings, be fatigued, restless, loss of appetite and insomnia (NIDA 2006). “The most dangerous of the withdrawal symptoms is depression, because it sometimes leads to suicide attempts. Untreated, some depressive symptoms associated with anabolic steroid withdrawal have been known to persist for a year or more after the abuser stops taking the drugs” (NIDA, 2006 ¶ 6). Jeff Rutstein (2005), a steroid abuser for 3½ years almost died from the drug, and gives a firsthand example of the effects, “I used to tell people that I thought rats were crawling through my head. I knew it sounded crazy, and it was, but I was really having that hallucination” (p. 80). These studies show that over time, anabolic steroids take a heavy toll on a person’s health. The medical dangers of steroid use far outweigh the advantage of gains in strength or muscle mass for sports; therefore leaving little room to argue that they are physically beneficial to the athletes. The drive for success can be so engrossing and so compelling that a person can easily lose sight of what is fair and right. Individuals face tough ethical choices about how to get ahead amid systematic cheating and gross pay inequities among athletes, with cheaters often getting the biggest rewards (Callahan). Steroids allow individuals to alter their true athleticism, giving a shortcut to becoming bigger and stronger. I believe Rutstien (2005) a former steroid abuser had the right idea when he said, “I don’t like sports being a fraud. I don’t like ‘champions’ taking illegal substances to perform better” (p 103). Incorporating these steroids into sports go against all the principles of fair competition and create an unfair competitive advantage. Performance-enhancing drugs undermine the essence of what competitive athletics is supposed to be about, increasingly eroding the foundations of sports in our country. Athletic performance has more to do with skill and hard work that popping a pill or downing a super drink. Sports are not about winning but winning fairly. If we do not participate with honor and dignity in sports, then it [Remove the comma.] means nothing. Steroid abuse damages the very spirit of sport, if there is cheating it is cheating fellow athletes out of scholarships, and cheating the world of the legitimacy of sports. Richard Pound, Chairman of the World Anti-Doping agency states, “Part of my job is to make [sports] as visceral as I can: I ask ‘How would you like it if your kid, who had trained for 10 years to go to the Olympics, and [lose] by a tenth of a second to somebody who was all doped up?” (2005, ¶ 7). Steroids not only negatively affect the user but also negatively affect everyone around them by cheating them out of hard earned rewards. Another sign of the depth of the problem is the mounting evidence of the use of performance enhancing drugs by teenage athletes. In a 2004 national study the NIDA found that 3.4% of high school seniors admitted to taking steroids, other studies have estimated that 1 million teenagers use the drugs, including a growing number of young girls (Microsoft Encarta, 2006). Athletes’ lives are at stake, and not just the lives of elite athletes. “…Young athletes will emulate sports figures who use substances of questionable value in a bid to gain a competitive edge. There’s a danger that kids or young adults will think: ‘if I want to be like that, I’ll need to take something” (Mayo Clinic, 2004, ¶18). These adolescence users face many risks such as stunting their long-term growth and other physical problems, and the “depressive side effects of steroids have been linked to a number of teen suicides in recent years” (Microsoft Encarta, 2006). These adolescents are also more likely to use other addictive drugs and alcohol (American Academy, 2005). When addressing the need to reduce drug use, President George W. Bush stated, We must stand with our families to help them raise healthy, responsible children. And when it comes to helping children make right choices, there is work for all of [Word choice. To eliminate redundancy (using two or more words that mean the same thing), use one word. Eliminate of. ] us to do. One of the worst decisions our children can make is to gamble their lives and future on drugs…to help children make right choices, they need good examples. Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately [Insert a semicolon before], some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message-that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character (Blake, 2004, ¶ 1-3). A common misconception many athletes have is they believe the only way to attain the level of athleticism desired is to take drugs, and this level cannot be accomplish through natural means. But contrary to this belief, there is success without the use of these drugs. John Hansen (2005), the first natural Olympia title holder and Natural Mr. Universe, says the only reason people are inclined to use performance enhancing drugs, like steroids, is because either, they don’t [Contractions should not be used in academic writing.] have enough confidence that the level they want to achieve is attainable with out the assistance of drugs, or they don’t [Contractions should not be used in academic writing.] have enough knowledge of the human body to produce the desired results. Success lies within the power of the athletes mind. John Hansen (2005) also believes that “resorting to dangerous and illegal drugs for this purpose destroys the original concept of the sport. [Athletes should] build [their] body extensively through the use of intelligent training and nutrition and leave the drugs to those who lack the inspirations and guts to pursue the sport the way it was intended”(p 5). There is no replacement for a healthy diet, proper training and practice. On the other side of things some think steroids should be legalized. Kayser, Mauron & [In APA style, use an ampersand (&) only in text citations for sources within the document and in References at the end of the essay. Do not use an ampersand (&) to take the place of "and". ] [Use an ampersand (&) only in citations and references. Do not use it as an abbreviation for "and.”] Miah, (2005) “believe that rather than drive doping underground, use of drugs should be permitted under medical supervision” (¶ 3) and by allowing medically supervised doping, the drugs used could be assessed for a clearer view of what is dangerous and what [Run-on sentence. Place a comma before the conjunction.] is not. The fact is that the full extent of health risks is not completely known because of the lack of thorough scientific study. But , why do we need extensive studies to show any more effects to the users of performance enhancing drugs. We already know too many of the adverse effects on athletes who take these drugs illegally. The results are both dangerous and deadly, what more is left to find out? Nothing. Is the ultimate end result [Word choice. End and result mean the same thing. To eliminate redundancy (using two or more words that mean the same thing), use one word or the other but not both. ] [Word choice. To eliminate redundancy (using two or more words that mean the same thing), use one word. Since result and product already mean the end of something, eliminate end.] of death, not enough scientific data?

Steroids have given sports a black eye. The research on steroid abuse clearly indicates that inappropriate use of anabolic steroids cause serious health consequences, they are a form of cheating and the use of steroids by top athletes negatively impacts our youth. As former abuser Jeff Rutstein (2005) says, “Steroids aren’t acceptable. They’re not ‘cool’. They almost killed me and they have killed others. I thought they would make me strong but they made me weak. That’s why my mission is to get rid of steroids on and off the field” (108). We must be vigilant to educate young people, our future, of these dangerous drugs. Sports will always remain intact because of the entertainment value it is given by Americans, but to protect the morals and values sports were founded on, which are fair play and letting the best man win, we should stand against the use of steroids and not allow the games we all love to become tainted with cheating of this kind.

References
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2005). Steroids: Play Safe, Play Fair. Retrieved August 22, 2006, from http://www.aap.org/family/steroids.htm Blake, Brian. (2004). President George W. Bush's State of the Union Remarks on Reducing Drug Use. Retrieved August 22, 2006, from http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/NEWS/press04/012104.html Callahan, John. Sports, The cheating culture. Retrieved August 22, 2006, from http://www.cheatingculture.com/drugsinsports.htm Hansen, John (2005). Natural bodybuilding. Champaign, IL: HumanKinetics. Incentives for the use of performance enhancing drugs. (2005, April). American Academy of Pediatrics, 115(4), 1103-1105. Retrieved August 23, 2006, from TracOne Database. Mayo Clinic, (2004, December 22). Performance-enhancing drugs: Dangers, damaging and potentially deadly. Retrieved August 18, 2006. from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/performance-enhancing-drugs/HQ01105. McCarthy, Michael. (2005, December). Profile Richard W Pound, QC-chairman of WADA. The Lancet, 366, 20. Retrieved August 23, 2006, from EBSCO database. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2006). Anabolic steroids. Retrieved August 17, 2006, from www.nida.nih.gov/ Performance-Enhancing Drugs. (2006) Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 8, 2006, from http://encarta.msn.com.

Rutstein, Jeff (2005). The steroid deciete: a body worth dying for?. Boston, Massachusetts: Custom Fitness Publishing. Sheed, Wilfrid. (1995, Winter). Endangered Pastimes: Why Sports Matter. The Wilson Quarterly, 19(1), 10. Retrieved August 20, 2006, from ProQuest Database.

RUBRIC FINAL PERSUASIVE ESSAY WEEK NINE

Content / Development
240 PointsPoints Earned
238/240
Additional Comments:
All key elements of the assignment are covered.
The paper is a Persuasive Essay.
The paper is 1400-1500 words in length.
The paper takes a position on one of the following topics: 1.Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace
2.Controversial Television Advertising
3.Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports
4.Outsourcing of Jobs to Foreign Countries
5.Another topic approved by the instructor
Counter-arguments are addressed.
The paper is submitted as an attachment.Lena you did an excellent job on your final persuasive essay for COM/120.

The paper met and exceeded the required word count on the approved topic.

The paper was submitted as an attachment and in the correct format.

The content is persuasive. Your substantial research makes it more persuasive.

Your thesis statement is excellent

Your paper is well written and has good tone.

The content is accurate and persuasive.
The tone is appropriate for the intended audience.
Major points are stated clearly; are supported by specific details, examples, or analysis; and are organized logically. References: A minimum of 2 in-text citations, at least one of which comes from the University Library, and 2 corresponding reference sources are included. The introduction provides sufficient background on the topic and includes a thesis of 25 or fewer words. The conclusion is logical, flows from the body of the paper, reviews the major points, and does not add any new information.

Mechanics
60 PointsPoints Earned
58/60
Additional Comments:
Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.The comments in blue are from WritePoint and the Center for Writing Excellence. My comments are in pink. I suggest submitting all future assignments to the Center for Writing Excellence and WritePoint. WritePoint does not catch every error, but it is a useful tool and starting point. You had several run-on sentences. It may be helpful to read your paper aloud before submitting.

Your headers and page numbers are correctly formatted.

The paper looks very professional.

The paper, including the title page and reference page, is formatted according to APA guidelines. Citations of original works within the body of the paper follow APA guidelines. Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.

Spelling is correct.

Total
300 PointsPoints Earned
296/300
Overall Comments:
Lena you did a fantastic job on your final paper. Sensational! J

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