Performance Enhancing Drugs Should Be Legalized In Sports
The use of performance-enhancing drugs, or doping, is hardly news. It has certainly occurred since the first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. Ancient Olympic champions used hallucinogens and stimulants, as well as herb mixtures in order to improve their fights and stave off fatigue and injuries during their game battles. But unlike before when the use of drugs was perfectly acceptable, it has now been banned in all sports competitions. The reasons for the ban are mainly due to the alleged adverse health effects of the use of them and the belief that it creates inequality and unfair opportunities for players.
Yet, despite being banned in sports, the use of illegal substances is still widespread and growing worldwide. Today, it is not only common among professional athletes, like Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez, but also seen to be rife in schools and gyms across the U.S. Many people, particularly who are in the sports field, are now relying on performances-enhancing drugs to better their performance, improve their bodies, and keep their careers going. Advocates of PEDs argue that rather than banning, we should regulate the use of them. And here are the reasons why:
10. If PEDS Are Regulated, They Will Be Safer.
One of the very reasons why performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids, stimulants, erythropoietin, and creatine, are banned in sports is because they are believed to cause long-term health effects. While it’s true that these drugs have potential side effects, they may only occur if taken improperly or excessively. Most athletes, who take PEDs, suffer adverse side effects because they use them with little knowledge and guide from their doctors. Remember that just like other drugs, there is a correct dosage of how much PEDs should be taken by every individual. In the book entitled, Performance-Enhancing Drugs, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) states that PEDs, such as creatine and ephedra, are safe when used within the recommended dosage.
Performance-enhancing drugs have tremendous benefits – that’s why they are created and made available in the market. However, the current ban for using these substances prevents athletes from realizing those benefits; worse, it restricts them from accessing the help and supervision they need. Without proper regulation, athletes will never know exactly how these substances work and affect their bodies. Most people don’t know that most of the dangers that come from these substances lie in not knowing the safe dosage and what they do to your body. Allowing performance-enhancing drugs in sports would make our athletes safer because it will make them aware of what amounts of dosage provide maximum benefits and harmful effects. Proper regulation will also allow athletes to go and seek for qualified physicians than rely to backroom hucksters with no medical background. And if legal, more research can be done to make PEDs a lot safer and effective.
9. Peds Make The Games More Interesting And Entertaining.
< Performancing enhancing drugs improve sports[/caption]
Another reason why it makes sense to allow the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports is because they make the game more exciting. Let’s be honest, sports fans! Who wouldn’t want to see their team’s best player throwing a fastball over 100mph or another guy equaling or breaking a national record?
Unlike television shows or movies, sports competitions become more entertaining when you see people perform at the extreme edge of what humans are capable of. We, the sports fans, don’t want to see normal things, hear normal stories, or witness normal events – we want to watch extraordinary athletes do extraordinary physical feats because that what makes us entertained. In fact, people don’t really care about if athletes use PEDs or not; people don’t care about how athletes do the impossible; people don’t care about how they accomplish those efforts of greatness. All they want is to see them do those things, if possible, over and over again.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson once wrote “…we, the paying customers, don’t want normal-size athletes with normal abilities. We want to see supermen and superwomen performing super feats, and we’re willing to pay these gladiators a fortune.”
8. It Would Be Beneficial To The Business.
As what Robinson said, people are willing to pay good money just to see the best athletes play. No matter how expensive the tickets get and how tough the economy becomes, people will continue to watch sports because they are yearning to see something unusual. And because of performance-enhancing drugs, those yearnings are achieved. PEDs make the players stronger, faster, and better in their performance. They make the games worth watching.
Remember the 1998 baseball season when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa raced towards the 61 home runs? According to reports, it was one of the greatest seasons ever in the history of baseball. In fact, it is believed to be the game that saved the America’s favorite pastime.
Now, we all know that both players used PEDs in order to achieve those performances. But people didn’t care. In fact, people continue to talk about it to this day and still feel the excitement of what happened more than 15 years ago. Just like what Prof. Max Mehlman said on an article in cleveland.com, “There is nothing fundamentally wrong or ethically objectionable to PEDs.” In fact, it makes the competition more fun. And this benefits all the involved – the fans, the athletes, and the sports industry.
7. Banning The Use Of Peds Is A Waste Of Time And Money.
One of the biggest reasons why PEDs should finally be allowed in sports is because the government is already wasting enormous amount of money and time on sports testing that doesn’t even work. The cost of a basic steroid test is $200 per individual. Multiply this by the number of athletes we have in the U.S. plus the number of times a player undergoes testing each year, and the government is looking at spending millions of dollars per year on drug testing alone. What’s worse is that these tests couldn’t even catch doping athletes. Lance Armstrong, who was an avid PEDs user, never tested positive for doping but rather was only caught or admitted using illegal substances. In 2012 Olympic Games, only one out of 6,000 players was tested positive for drug use.
The thing is athletes are not stupid. They know how to use various techniques in order to avoid detection. And no matter what the government does to effectively catch users (even spend billions of dollars in advance research), athletes will always find a way to evade it. So it’s time for the government to allow athletes use PEDs. It would save the country billions of dollars. And we could use the money to fund important programs, such as helping the poor, improving our school systems, paying off our debts, and making the sports competitions a lot safer.
6. The Use Of Drugs In Sports Is Not Unfair; In Fact, It Promotes Equality.
In terms of sports, the perception that everyone has the same chance at winning is totally ridiculous. The playing field isn’t level, it has never been. Athletes in developed communities have a greater advantage over athletes in less developed communities because they have more funding, sports institutions, and easy access to healthcare. Is that fair?
And let’s not forget that there are some people who are born with genetic advantages. Take for instance Eero Mantyranta, a Finish skier and a multiple Olympic champion. In 1960-1972 Winter Olympics, Mantyranta won seven medals in total, making him one of the best in the field of skiing. But later, scientists found he had a gene mutation – that he naturally had more red blood cells than others, which measured at up to 65 percent above the average. Imagine that? Mantyranta’s niece and nephew, Elli and Pertti, have also found to have gene mutation, which gave them an advantage to win in relays at Olympics.
The ability to perform well in competition is connected with the ability of the body to deliver oxygen to muscles. As we know, oxygen is carried by red bloods cells. Therefore, the more red blood cells the body has, the more oxygen is delivered to muscles. This in turn, improves an athlete’s performance.
Well, there are various legal ways in order to improve your red blood cell count, such as undergoing blood transfusion and surgery, exercising, eating iron-rich food, and taking vitamins and iron-rich supplements. But all these sometimes produce low results and sometimes don’t work well, so athletes turn to other options, such as doping, to increase their red blood cell production easily. But as well all know, doping is illegal. Lawmakers and sports organizers make doping illegal because they think it makes the playing field uneven. But some athletes have high red blood cells by luck. Some competitors can afford to buy training equipment. Is that fair? Of course, it is not. Therefore, it is nonsensical to say that using drugs in sports is unfair. By allowing athletes to take PEDs, we’re giving all athletes an equal playing field.