Doping in sports to demonstrate the use of substances and banned methods that provide sportsmen unfair advantage over their competitors. Sporting competition is characterized by conflict between individuals who have acquired and mastered their skills through natural abilities or honed them through hard work and training. Sports and ethical rules regarding fair competition discourage doping activities. Some athletes result to performance enhancing drugs such as steroids to increase outcomes of their performance. Lately many athletes found to be using steroids have been banned from participating in competitions as they would allow them undue advantage. Use of performance enhancing drugs is the biggest threat to sports today and has created a lot of controversy.
Doping has a long history in sports dating as early as 400BC and testing for use of stimulants started in 1968 Olympics. Nowadays the sporting community and governments all around the world condemn doping and accurately tests for doping to ensure fair sport event. Drugs normally used to enhance sport performance according to the international Olympic committee, NFL and several other professional sports organizations include stimulants such as ephedrine which has an effect of increasing alertness and hiding tiredness. This class of the drug also increases blood flow and breathing rate but also leads to complications leading to violent behaviour. Narcotic analgesics such as morphine and heroin have also been banned as athletes use them as pain killers. Athletes also use diuretics as they help in fluid loss in an attempt to lose weight. Anabolic steroids help in developmental changes as they are manufactured based on testosterone. Some substances such as alcohol and marijuana are only prohibited by certain sports. Prior to implementation of stimulant testing, doping was acceptable across international sports. Communist governments even encouraged their athletes to use performance enhancing substances so as to increase their chances of bagging more gold medals. Those for doping argue that doping augment the effects of training. It has been argued that doping does not want to work against the spirit of sports, but rather it’s an illustration of using knowledge to make one better off than when absent.
Doping has taken away the respect of games and athletics by allowing people to cheat into breaking a record set by great athletes. Stiff penalties should be imposed on those found abusing these drugs including stripping them of their records. Use of steroids is eminent in athletics and American baseball with players such as Jessica Cosby, Bonds, Sammy Sosa and McGuire accused of doping. Sureyya Kop a Turkish middle distance runner was convicted of doping despite winning a silver medal during the IAAF World Championship. Doping is unethical and undermines the principles that guide international sports since it eliminates fair play and harm users. Doping diminishes the integrity of sports and also leads to health problems. As a result of misusing these performance enhancer’s athletes and managers end up with cardiovascular disorders, liver, kidney failures, psychological dependence and at times lead to death as was the case for cyclist Tommy Simpson in 1967. The problem of doping in sports also affects society through affecting benefits associated with sports promotion of peace and development.
Doping leads to an uneven playing field as well as health problems to those who engage in the use of performance enhancing drugs. Therefore, the international sporting community has been aggressive in out of competition and in-competition testing in order to ensure they protect against drug users. Fight against doping can only be won if all parties involved show interest and commitment on efforts to deal with this problem. Extensive attention should also be given to emerging new drugs less detectable but qualifying as doping products.