Essay on Drugs in Sports

This essay has a total of 1026 words and 6 pages.

Drugs in Sports

Drugs in Sports
Chris Daley
12/3/04
English 111
Drug use has been a part of competitive sport for almost a century. At the first Olympics
in Athens in 1896, marathon runners drank a mixture of brandy and strychnine to help them
on their ways and used opiates to control pain during a race.(1) Use of alcohol was very
common in the early years of the twentieth century. It might be argued that the first
athletes to use drugs to enhance their performance were, in fact, cheating. We need

to remember that drug use is not new. East Germany athletes used drugs to enhance their
performance.(2) Soviet Union was also involved in drug experimentation.(3) In the United
States the drug culture had become so widespread that steroids and stimulants were known
to every high school coach. The use of drug was believed by athletes to enhance
performance in one way or another.

Until 1960, nothing was done about the issue. The sports council of Europe
officially moved against drugs when it tabled a resolution calling for the banning of
drugs on ethical, moral and medical grounds.(4) The Olympic games, even though they are
only held every 4 years, represent the pinnacle of sporting achievement. The International
Olympic Committee (IOC) has a critical role to play in demanding extensive drug testing
and in providing funding for this testing. This is a controversial issue. The IOC believes
that each of the international federations that governs particular sports should be

responsible for their own testing. This seems reasonable enough, but it is argued that the
Olympic Games are the highest profile competition in the world and the most prestigious.

world stops to watch them and they represent the culmination of years of work for
athletes. Winning a gold medal is the glory to any sporting career. Urine testing is the
usual testing method, and it doesn't reveal the full range of drugs taken to enhance
performance. Blood testing is a more efficient way, it can detect drugs that urine testing
cannot.

By the beginning of the 1980s, the use of anabolic steroids had become
quite common. These drugs - and the allied substances, testosterone and human growth
hormone - were basic muscle builders. They increased mass and strength, while producing,
as one side effect, a heightened aggression. In other words, they made winners in sports.
The problem seems to be in the definition of drug. For example, if it is all right for a
competitor to take a pain-killer or a vitamin supplement, why is it not right to stop

exhaustion with a caffeine hit? The answer would seem to be that drugs such as
pain-killers are not a valid reason for a medical condition, where as steroids are a
reason for only one condition. Losing!

All that differed was the choices of drugs by a particular group. Tennis
players, for example are most likely to use anti-inflammatory and pain- killers, while
elite athletes knew of and use a sophisticated range of mood and body altering substances.

Successful performance in sports depends upon having quick chemical reactions in your
brain and a responsive muscles system that is efficient in directing such abilities as
speed of movement, reaction time, agility, flexibility, and coordination.(5)

Drugs interfere with and replace the brain's normal processes during adolescent
development. Some drugs such as marijuana affect the mind by reducing motivation. Too much
marijuana can make you lose the "get up and go" feeling you need to train for sports so
that you are no longer capable of doing your best. Most athletes who use drugs do not die,
but many fail at their sport. An athlete can also fail by dropping out of sports or by
being kicked out either for poor performance or as punishment for illegal use of drugs.
Sports performance requires the most complicated physical movements. To be successful in
those movements, the athlete's brain must be in excellent condition for receiving and
sending messages that involves strategy, control, balance and so on.

Remember that drugs interfere with your natural chemical processes that
affect your moods, behavior style, body movements, health and appearance,
memory, and the quality of everything you do. Drugs can ruin what it has taken you a
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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