Athletes and Performance Enhancing Drugs - Essay Example

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In the paper “Athletes and Performance Enhancing Drugs,” the author discusses a major concern in the sports that have been around for a long time – the use of anabolic steroids by athletes. Especially troubling is the increase in the use of drugs by younger athletes…
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Athletes and Performance Enhancing Drugs A major concern in the sports that has been around for a long time now is the use of anabolic steroids by athletes. Especially troubling is the increase in use of performance enhancing drugs by younger athletes. Young people look at athletes as if they are their supermen or people with special powers rather than normal human beings. “Physician-guided education is vital to the creation of an effective intervention program” (Cheatham et al., 2008).
The most common performance enhancing drugs are Creatine, Anablic steroids, and Steroid precursors (Mayo Clinic, 2010). Creatine is a compound that occurs in the body naturally and also is sold as a supplement. The major use of Creatine is to enhance the recovery post workout and expand the muscles’ volume. Athletes playing football, hockey, and gymnastics commonly use Creatine. Side effects of taking Creatine include nausea, kidney damage, and weight gain. Anabolic steroids are hormone testosterone’s synthetic version (Helmenstine, 2013). Anabolic steroids are used to increase muscle strength and build muscles. Weightlifters and football players commonly take Anabolic steroids. They use can cause damage to liver and heart, halt growth of bones, and cause permanent shortage in the body stature. Steroid precursors are substances that are converted into anabolic steroids by the body. Their effect is increased mass of the muscles. Although they are generally illegal, yet dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is generally available in preparations over-the-counter. Its side effects are the same as those for other steroids. In addition to them, different kinds of stimulants, sedatives, and anti-nausea agents are also used to enhance the performance.
Marion Jones was the first woman to be the winner of five medals in total during the Sydney Olympic games of 2000. Her titles were stripped off her after her confession about the use of banned substances (Menton, 2011). Roger Clemons who was once considered to be amongst the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball was accused of using anabolic steroids by the Mitchell Report between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Lance Armstrong was caught using performance enhancing drugs and he was deprived of his cycling trophies (Bucholz, 2013). People found it hard to believe that someone could even cheat them at a transportation method. Similarly, many other athletes have been caught using the performance enhancement drugs; Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Manny Ramirez, Ben Johnson, Floyd Landis, and Shawne Merriman to name a few.
Athletes take the performance enhancing drugs for a variety of reasons. “Most serious athletes will tell you that the competitive drive to win can be fierce” (, 2012). Murray, who is an amateur cyclist shared his reason in these words, “There’s an arms-race quality to performance-enhancing technologies in sport. I could probably do a four-mile climb much better with EPO” (Murray cited in Thompson, 2012). In addition to that, the satisfaction of personal achievement, of winning a medal while they are representing their whole country is one of the major drivers of motivation to take performance enhancing drugs. It is a choice between being an Olympic champion and a self-killer and a professional player playing by the rules and depending on fate (Freudenrich and Allen, 2013).
Bucholz, C. (2013, Feb. 24). 6 Performance-Enhancing Drugs More Common Than You Think.
The Bucholz Discharge. Retrieved from
Cheatham, S. A. et al. (2008, Oct.). Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Today’s Athlete: A
Growing Concern. Orthopedics. 31(10). Retrieved from (2012, Dec. 12). Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks. Retrieved from
Freudenrich, C., and Allen, K. P. (2013). How Performance-enhancing Drugs Work. Retrieved
Helmenstine, A. M. (2013). Anabolic Steroids. Retrieved from
Mayo Clinic. (2010). Performance-enhancing drugs and teen athletes. Retrieved from
Menton, J. (2011, July 25). Top 10 most shocking athletes caught using performance enhancing
drugs. Retrieved from
Thompson, H. (2012, July 18). Performance enhancement: Superhuman athletes. Nature.
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