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Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports

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Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports

Reid Perlstadt

Axia College

Effective Persuasive Writing COM 120

Star Hall

2/25/2007

In the world today there are many issues that impact humanity. These issues are discussed and argued by people all over the world. There is a heavily debated issue that will not have as great an effect on our collective future as most people think. Performance enhancing drugs in sports are not as big an issue as the American public may assume from the press coverage

From experience I have come to realize there are drugs in many professions outside of professional sports which are not scrutinized. Stock Brokers, for example, are professionals who have a high level of drug use. Coming from my own personal experience, I would conjecture that the majority of stock brokers use cocaine. These individuals also have a record of high use of energy and concentration enhancing supplements. In most movies based on the life of stock brokers there is heavy drug use and they are still portrayed as multi-millionaires. Even in these movies when there is justice for the way they make their money, there is no punishment or lesson to be learned about doing these drugs.

Celebrities are another group who have a known history of high drug use. These individuals are more easily compared to athletes as they are in the spotlight as well. There are numerous actors/actresses who have been caught with drugs numerous times and continue to have success. For the most part these drugs do not help these actors with their careers, however there are many artists who use these drugs to get into character. Another excellent example of a profession with a known high level of drug use is musicians. Throughout the mid to late 1900's some of the most popular musicians were openly experimenting with drugs. Many musicians were not only using drugs, but attributing their talents and successes those drugs. While no Musician would come out an say "I am famous because I love heroin" there are very subtle hints that show their love for the drugs. For example, Jimi Hendrix is know to have done acid on the stage.

Many of these athletes using performance enhancing drugs have been punished, though not by the courts. I believe just the public scrutiny has been punishment enough. Mark McGuire is an excellent example of this. Mark McGuire broke the home record and was looked upon as a future Hall of Famer, but due to his record of steroid use he was not voted in to the Hall this past winter. The greatest honor for an athlete in any sport is to enter into the Hall of Fame, however, due to Mark's public embarrassment he will now be remembered as a cheater.

Barry Bonds is probably the most visible athlete today involved in this issue. Bonds holds the record for most home runs in a single season and is dozens away from breaking the great Hank Aarons all time record. I can only imagine the inner battle going on in his head now knowing that even if he beats the record it will not be respected. In addition to that Hank Aaron is his relative, so it brings to question whether it is worth taking such a high honor away from a family member.

I blame society for making these drugs look necessary for these athletes to succeed. Consider the NFL for example. The average weight of an offensive lineman in 1956 was 165 pounds. In the last 50 years that number has increased to 320 pounds. Just based on this information, one can see that athletes today much be bigger, stronger and faster in order to succeed. Some people may argue that there are many athlete who are very successful and do not use these drugs. While this is true, the athletes who use them are in positions, within their sport, where size and strength is a huge factor. The athletes who stay away from abusing steroids and succeed are in less physical positions, such as a wide receiver. A wide receiver could remain at 180 pounds, as long as he can catch the ball in traffic he will be successful.

Many people are worried about the effect this issue will have on the children of tomorrow. Children throughout the world are well aware of performance enhancing drugs and the effects these steroids can have. It is easy to see, as a child, the benefits of taking a performance enhancing drug. Children see all these athletes breaking records and making millions while this issue is hovering over their heads. When I was 14 I saw the movie The Program. One of the characters in this movie took steroids and only achieved his goal because of them. He is also shown beating up a woman off the field and being torn apart emotionally. From that point on I realized that steroids are not as glamorous and beneficial as one would think.

Parents are responsible to ensure their children stay away from steroids. While athletes are in the spotlight they are not your children's

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