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Steroids In Sports Essay, Research Paper
Drugs in Sport Stuart Fox 4T I am certainly a great sporting enthusiast. I love nothing
more than to watch a great sporting encounter, no matter which sport. Unfortunately, it is
becoming increasingly common for sportsmen and women to use substances to aid their
performance. That is not to say all competitors use illegal substances, however when
competitors start to use illegal substances, they ridicule the whole ethos of sport and
competition. I cannot see the point of people competing when they are using a substance
which is bound to give themselves an unfair advantage over other competitors, who are
trying their level best to win fairly. I can’t see how it cannot be worse to run a race fairly
than cheat and artificially enhance a performance by taking drugs. In 1992 John
Mcewick, was one of the most promising shot putter’s in Britain, he took the silver medal
in the all Britain games and at just 22 years of age, hopes were high for his future.
However just 6 years later, he found himself totally isolated from the sport and unable to
continue. Why you may say? Was it a great injury sustained? Was it a financial problem
he faced? Did he lose interest in the sport? None of these actually. The only problem
John Mcewick faced was a moral one. Unfortunately John Mcewick believed that sport
was something that tested the combination of natural ability, training and determination
and not the determination to do anything to win, even if it meant abusing their own
bodies. What am I talking about, well John Mcewick was encouraged by people in the
sport including his trainer to take substances such as steroids to improve his
performances and to keep up with the majority of shot putters. When he refused to risk
damaging his body with the possible effects of such illegal substances, John Mcewick
found himself in a terrible position. He simply couldn’t compete with other athletes who
were becoming stronger and better than ever before. He also found that his trainer and
main sponsor would no longer support him, because of his refusal to take such
performance enhancing drugs. This seems terribly harsh treatment for a man who in 1992
was heralded as one of Britain’s medal hopes for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. However in
the space of a couple of years, this man went from being a talented prospect, to being a
man, not capable of keeping up with other athletes, who he surpassed only years before.
Surely, this type of situation is wrong. Why should John Mcewick be forced out of the
sport he love, merely because he refused to put his body in danger, because he refused to
give into the pressure of others, perhaps John Mcewick has lost out in terns of medals and
money but he has definitely made up for this, showing tremendous character. It seems the
case of John Mcewick is not alone as far as a coach encouraging their prodigy to take
drug’s. Swimming has seen a spate of drug related incidents. It has been reported that in
the 1980’s Russian female swimmers were being injected with the male hormone
testosterone. The athletes were given no choice as to whether or not to take the hormone,
if they didn’t they would be out of the national team. The women involved were given
huge performance boosts, and Russia was looked upon as one of the strongholds in
sporting excellence. However, eventually the women suffered terrible side effects ranging
from deepening of the women’s voice and the growth of hair in unusual places for a
women, to the women never being able to have children. Unfortunately the women
involved never knew of the consequences. More recently the Chinese female swimming
team were found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs after a national swimming
meeting in Australia. It is not always the fault of the athlete often the pressures of friends,
family, the media make athletes take illegal substances. I am a firm believer that athletes
should be warned of the dangers of drug taking and should be protected from themselves.
In a recent BBC documentary an anonymous rugby player reported that 90 percent of all
premiership rugby union players use some diet supplement to enhance their performance.
Most of these substances are said to have unknown effects. It is important that athletes
realise, no matter how important the sport is, the their health has to be of paramount
importance. Athletes need to be warned, not encouraged to take drugs. If 90 percent of all
rugby players take drugs, one can only speculate of the high proportion of players who
take drugs in other higher profile sports such as football. Although everyone is tested for
drugs both by the clubs and the football association there are some substances an athlete
can take which do not show up on a drug test. Surely taking drug’s ruins the entire
principles of sport, dating back to the Greeks in 500BC. Back then sport went hand in
hand with honesty and integrity. Unfortunately, it seems some, not all, athletes these days
are prepared to win no matter what cost; it might incur on their integrity, public
perception and their bodies. Doesn’t taking drug’s, make sport pointless; if one athlete
decides to train hard for a race, whilst another decides to not do as much training, but to
supplement his training with some kind of drug. If the athlete who took drugs wins the
race, it doesn’t mean a thing, it’s just not a true representation of the two people’s athletic
ability, it goes against every ethic of sport ever laid down 2500 years ago. Any athlete
who is taking drug’s to help themselves is disgracing themselves, their family but their
country. Even if it is in a sport not connected with the country it still makes that country
look bad. Other countries will soon begin to look doubtfully on all of the athletes in that
country. Because of this countries are having to set up expensive drug testing facilities,
just to keep an air of integrity. It cost’s the country so much more money to fund these
testing facilities, that they cannot support the real athletes, those who want to train to win,
those that want to practice to succeed not those who want an easy option of drugs. All in
all drugs in sport, look to be becoming more and more popular. I just hope they go away
as quickly as they came in. But, with all the excitement and with the lucrative nature of
sport, it’s hard to see drug’s disappearing anytime soon.
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