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Why Performance-Enhancing Drugs Are Ruining Sports

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Sports are something that everyone in the world, regardless of age, sex, or nationality, can enjoy. Whether it's a child playing in his first t-ball game or a professional athlete swimming in the Olympics and everyone in between, sports can connect almost everyone. Fan support and overall devotion for athletic competition has raised professional athletes to superstars and national icons; Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday to some, and sports are one of the largest moneymakers in the economy.

Because sports are very important to many people, and have been since the days of the Romans, there is much pride and honor in sports; however, there is something that has tainted the image of sports and athletes alike: performance-enhancing drugs. These drugs come in substances, chemical agents and are used in medical procedures which provide the user with an advantage in athletic performance (Encarta, 2007.)

These drugs have been a very dark shadow over sports since they came into athletics. Recently, the Tour de France and Major League Baseball have seen major cases in which star athletes in their sports have been questioned if those drugs had been used. These types of drugs are bad for sports, the athletes themselves, and for athletic competition altogether.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Realizing that these drugs are bad for sports all together and also a form of cheating, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) came up with a basic list of principles concerning performance-enhancing drugs in sports. This list, written in 1967, includes:

1. A protection of the health of athletes.

2. Respect for medical and sports ethics.

3. Ensuring an equal chance for everyone during competition. (Mehlman, 2005.)

Protection of the Health of Athletes

Since sports are, in fact, a business and also very profitable, owners and leagues are obligated and very interested in maintaining the health of their professional athletes. In some instances, players have been banned contractually of doing certain activities during the off-season in an attempt to prevent unnecessary injuries. Kellen Winslow is one of these athletes, who is banned from riding motorcycles after injuring himself on one in the spring of 2005, causing him to miss the entire football season (Cleveland, 2007.)

These drugs are seen as bad in the eyes of the owners and the league, too. Though there is an obvious increase in performance while using the drugs, they are not only banned in almost all leagues, but they can harm and even kill athletes. The recent murders and suicide by former professional wrestler Chris Benoit have been linked to abuse of steroids, a fixture in a league that has overlooked steroid use but has since started to change.

Performance-Enhancing drugs are an unnatural way of changing one's body, and the effects can be life altering, sometimes better yet always, in the end, much worse. It is for this reason why major league sports have put strict rules in place suspending athletes who use these drugs; the Olympics ban these athletes for life. These drugs harm the bodies and minds of athletes, and they are banned to protect their health for their benefit and for the sports as well.

Respect for Medical and Sports Ethics

These performance-enhancing drugs are unnatural, and therefore medically unethical. Subjecting your body to something harmful is never good and a poor way to treat yourself. It is medically wrong to use these drugs.

It is also wrong in the sport aspect of it all. A major argument against steroids and other drugs is the credibility of sports while they are in use. Barry Bonds right now is on the verge of breaking one of the most heralded sports records in the entire world- the Major League All-Time Home Run Record. An event that would otherwise have the entire nation watching every Giants game with Barry has been turned into a feud among purists and others who won't ever honor Barry as the record holder because of one thing: performance-enhancing drugs. It is been widely rumored that Barry Bonds has taken these types of drugs, and the evidence is very convincing. And though he has not been even charged



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