Drugs in sport is an issue that is always in the spotlight, especially during major athletic events such as the recent and highly controversial, Tour De France. However, now the issue has risen to such an extent that sport itself is almost a side issue.
There have been numerous drug busts over the years as more and more athletes succumb to the temptation of an easy win by using steroids and various other performance-enhancing drugs. The frustration of continuously losing and the anger of finding that a drug-using athlete had been banned, only to come back and cheat again, makes those who do not use illegal drugs wonder about the credibility of the sport.
There have also been cases, where even though the athlete was banned, they did not appear to suffer financially. This was proved in the case of Ben Johnson, who was banned in 1988 for illegal drug use but still had enough money to buy a fleet of sports cars.
Athletes would then ask themselves, ‘What is the point in competing if the opposing athletes can use illegal drugs and often escape the consequences?’ This was proved in the recent Tour De France, where the Festina team was expelled for drug use. However soon after that, a member from the Festina team was chosen to
All performance-enhancing drugs have some side effects. Some are potentially fatal, while others can cause heart or liver problems. When athletes take these drugs, they often do not know the amount that they can take ’safely’, and as a result, many die from overdose. This was proved when cyclist Linton, died as a result of trimethyl overdose in 1886. Give modern examples.
There are only two solutions to controlling or stopping illegal drug usage; the first is to increase drug testing to cover every possible performance-enhancing drug; and the other is to make all performance-enhancing drugs legal. The first solution is not viable as it would require an immense amount of funding and at least 10 years before drug testing can become as sophisticated as the newly made drugs. The latter solution, however, would not require any of these unfeasible techniques.
By making performance-enhancing drugs legal, athletes who do not use drugs because of the risk of getting caught, can now do so. They then would also have a chance of winning against the athletes who used to use drugs.
Because these drugs would be legalized, countries would be able to carry out scientific research on them. This would allow doctors to prescribe ’safe’ doses of these drugs to athletes and thus they would not run the risk of possible death from drug overdose. The athletes do not realize the dangers involved with drug taking and doctors can help them by telling them which drug is ’safe’ and how much they should take of that drug.