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Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports Essay

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Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports


In all areas of sports, professional, college, and even high school, there is widespread illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs. Although there are many reasons for athletes to choose to use these drugs, the cost of such use, both to the athlete and to society can be extraordinarily high. It is important to understand why performance-enhancing drugs are used and what are the consequences of their use to the athlete and society.

One of the reason athletes choose to use performance-enhancing drugs is to bulk up. Athletes have guidelines pertaining to size that must be met. If one wants to be a defensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL), one cannot weigh 175 pounds; so some athletes will use performance-enhancing drugs to make themselves gain weight.

Another reason athletes will choose to use illegal drugs is to get more oxygen to their muscles. When blood and muscles are full of oxygen, one?s body can perform better. An athlete who has used a performance-enhancing drug to get more oxygen to his or her muscles can perform for longer periods of time.

A third reason an athlete would choose to use an illegal drug is to stimulate the body. The reasons an athlete would need to keep his or her body stimulated are to reduce tiredness, to stay alert, and maintain aggressiveness. It is the same as when a person drinks coffee in the morning to perk him or herself up.

One final reason an athlete would use performance-enhancing drugs is to mask an injury. For example, if a quarterback breaks his toe during the South Eastern Conference Championship game, there are two options: one, the quarterback can be taken out of the game or two, the trainer can give the quarterback an injection to take the pain away, allowing the quarterback to return to the game. In this instance the quarterback most likely would choose the injection due to the magnitude of the game and he would most likely feel an unconscious pressure from the fans, his teammates, and the coaches to do so.

Often the decision to use is made without considering the risk. Athletes who make the decision to use performance-enhancing drugs do not focus on the side effects. They do not realize that gaining weight quickly and unnaturally is not healthy. They are risking having mood swings, aggressive behavior, or even life t...


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...use performance-enhancing drugs for many reasons, justifying the benefits while ignoring the risks. We as a society do not condone drug use in sports, but at the same time we look the other way for the star athlete giving him a slap on the hand and warning him not to do it again. I believe as long as society puts the idea that being the best player and having the best team is the # 1 priority, the use of performance-enhancing drugs will only get worse. We will get the upper hand on the use of illegal drugs in sports only when we as society look at sports for exactly what they are, just games.

Works Cited

Edwards, K. (2005, January 8). During an interview on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

MacAuley, D. (1996, July 27). Drugs in sports. British Medical Journal. Downloaded January 7, 2005 from Western International University online library, Info Trac, http://www.apollolibrary.com/Library/databases.aspx?db=0

McCaffrey, B. (2001). The United States Must Spearhead Reforms to Eradicate Drugs in Sports. Drugs and Sports. Downloaded January 7, 2005 from Western International University online library, Opposing Viewpoints, http://galenet.galegroup.com


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