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Drugs In Sport Essay, Research Paper

There are many powerful forces in the world, but few are as powerful in sports

as this. It is so powerful that 50% of athletes would keep using this knowing it

would kill them. This force is so powerful that 40% of professional athletes use

them (Bohan 21). This force is performance enhancing drugs. There are many

reasons for taking performance enhancing drugs. The first is and most obvious

facto is the improved performance. Another is pressure for results. That factor

is the leading reason for taking drugs. Another factor is money. Since the main

users of the drugs are professional athletes, who need results for money, they

are usually the select few that can afford them. The reasons for not using the

drugs are more numerous and considerably more dangerous than the reasons for

taking them. The most sever, of course, is death. One example of this tragic end

is Florence Griffith Joyner?s death. Though she was tested and found with no

drugs in her system, she was rumored to have taken small doses of anabolic

steroids during her illustrious track and field career. Another reason is many

health risks, many not resulting in death though. These include stoppage of

growth, loss of bodily functions, dehydration, and many more. Plus, these drugs

are illegal in sports. Many are available only through a doctor?s prescription

for certain diseases. The sport that sees the highest rate of competitors using

performance enhancing drugs is bodybuilding. Many of these athletes were skinny

and not very popular during their high school years. They use the steroids to

bulk up and create a shield against the criticism. Due to this fact of

psychological instability and the effect of the steroids, a violent person is

created from a once calm person. This has been illustrated in the many murders

involving bodybuilders recently. An example of one of these murders was the

murder of Kristy Ramsey. She was engaged to Gordon Kimbrough, with whom she won

the 1991 USA pairs bodybuilding title. After she admitted to have an affair,

Kimbrough strangled and stabbed her twice, and afterwards tried to dill himself.

?According to a family member, Kimbrough was meek and shy when not on steroids

and became short-tempered and violent when using them? (Harris 99). There are

many types of performance enhancing drugs. Stimulants, which include

amphetamines, cause you to ?speed up? too much. In large doses stimulants

override a person?s normal felling of exhaustion, which causes people to push

themselves too hard. Strong painkillers are another type of performance

enhancing drug. The increase a person?s pain barrier and are extremely

addictive, resulting in permanent injury. Anabolic steroids cause heart attacks,

growth stoppage and violent outbursts. Women develop deep voices and facial hair

if taken too long. Many snooker (pool) players use beta-blockers, which slows

the beating of the heart. This helps them stay calm in pressure situations. A

side effect of this drug is bonchospasm, which causes the lungs to tighten,

making it difficult to breath. Diuretics are used to remove water from the body,

which improves muscle tone and subtracts weight from water in the body. Taking

this drug can cause serious dehydration, sometimes resulting in death. I believe

all performance enhancing drugs should be banned from sports. There are just too

many risks to athletes taking them. But that is a very unlikely scenario, mainly

because testing can?t keep up with the new drugs being produced. New drugs are

created everyday. This is illustrated by Mark McGwire?s historic home run

binge. Before this year, nobody knew about androstenedione. McGwire admitted to

taking the drug, which helps build muscle. His record will forever have an

asterisk beside it because of that fact. But if these drugs are banned, you will

soon see all of the asterisk disappear from the record books.


Bohan, Janet. Drugs in Sports. New York: Broderbund Publishing Company, 1988.

Harris, Gary. ?Brady Hits Em in Bunches.? Sports Illustrated. April 28,

1997, pp. 96-106. Reilly, Rick. ?Muscle Murders.? Sports Illustrated. May

18, 1998, pp. 99-107. Encarta Encyclopedia. Microsoft, 1998.

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