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Performance Enhancing Drugs In Sports

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Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports 1

Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports

Angie Holmes

Axia College University of Phoenix

Effective Persuasive Writing COM 120

Roseanne Robinson

24 September 2006

Performance-Enhancing drugs 2

Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports

Although athletes are good enough to play in professional sports, many of the players feel pressured into using performance drugs to enhance their athletic skills. Athletes take these drugs believing that it provides a competitive advantage. They also take these drugs because they have an image they have to uphold. Many people, children in addition to adults, look up to these people. They feel as though they have something to prove at every game. Athletes feel the need to win at all costs, even if it means taking drugs.

Performance-enhancing drugs, which are also known as anabolic steroids, are the reason athletes are violating ethics and laws to be the best player ever. Steroids can be taken orally, or they can be injected. No matter how a person takes steroids, it will still have a negative effect on his or her body and career. Steroids, taken both orally and injected, can be detected months after it was taken. The body tolerates the injectable steroids more effectively than the oral steroids.

High school students have also started to take these illegal drugs. Many adolescents take steroids because they want to be like older and better athletes. If professional athletes do engage in this risky behavior, younger athletes are going to be tempted to do the same. Younger athletes look up to professional athletes. They imitate what the professionals wear, how they talk, and how they compete in their games. Children love to imitate those they admire. Taylor Hooton, the high school student who died as a result of depression attributed to steroid use, was asked by his father, before he died, "Why do you take steroids?" Taylor's answer was, "Why not? Barry Bonds does"(Matheson, 2005). Not only does it make users artificially superior to their contemporaries and

Performance-Enhancing drugs 3

forebears, it also poses potentially serious health risks (Staudohar, 2005). Steroids have many side effects both mentally and physically. The side effects of drugs do not seem to matter to athletes.

Steroid use has serious side effects that can be mild or fatal. Some physical side effects for men are reduced sperm count, impotence, and development of breasts, shrinking of the testicles, and difficulty or pain while urinating. The physical side effects for women are facial hair growth, deepened voice, breast reduction and changes in their menstrual cycle. Physical side effects for adolescents are the same including premature growth. Steroid use can also be fatal with continued use.

In the Pulse (2006), studies show oral steroids greatly increase the risk of suicide by more than four fold at high doses, a new study of UK general practice concludes. Previous research has suggested the drugs adversely affect mental health, but the new study of half a million patients is the first to link them to suicide. Current use of oral steroids raised the risk of suicide 2.5 fold, analysis of patients on the UK general practice research database found those taking daily doses of more than 30mg were at a 4.2 fold increased risk.

Steroids are known to halting growth in adolescents. Although these side effects can seriously affect athletes, they still feel as though they need to take them. Athletes use steroids because they believe it will make them better than everyone else. Athletes have a certain image they have to maintain for the public. Looking good and playing harder is more important to players than staying healthy.

Performance-Enhancing drugs 4

Players feel pressure from many people around them. Coaches sometimes pressure athletes to do well because of stats. If the athlete looks good, people may think it is because of the coach. If a team is constantly winning, the coaches get to share the spotlight. The coaches receive better deals and more money which makes them want their team members to perform better than ever. Because of this, Coaches feel the need to pressure team members for selfish reasons. Athletes must play better and harder than their competitors. If an athlete believes that a competitor is performing better than he or she, the pressure increases for that athlete. Teammates may cause similar pressure for the athletes.

The media plays an important role in portraying how an athlete should perform. The media influences everyone's opinion of athletes and their performance. Family members and friends can also cause a lot of pressure for athletes. Many athletes feel the need to compete with other successful



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