Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・7 Sources

The use of Performance Enhancing Drugs has been a significant subject in athletics over the years. Most athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) at some point in their careers. The use of performance-enhancing drugs dates back to the 1930s when scientists found that they could create a synthetic hormone that would help in the healing process of the weakest individuals, restore the sex lives of older men, and improve children with growth defect problems. These effects, however, were brought out of public athletes, and it was determined to help them improve their abilities to compete. This has been a big deal for the professional sporting activities and the banned athletic community.

Thesis: Performance enhancing drugs should not be allowed to be used by athletes since it is illegal and has harmful effects on the body.

P1: Performance Enhancing Drugs should not be allowed by athletes since they are illegal in sports.

P2: The use of PED causes harm in the body, for the athletes using it.

P3: Laws and penalties for the Performance Enhancing Drugs.


P1: Performance Enhancing Drugs should not be allowed by athletes since they are illegal in sports.

The first use of PED’s was in Olympics, which then started spreading to the other sporting world. The Olympic committee was the first to ban the use of PED’s and later followed suit to the other sports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) established a medical commission in 1967 whose main mandate was to ban the use of drugs as well as the use of Performance enhancing substances. The PED’s are therefore illegal and have been banned by every sport.

The first point is justified through examples of sportsmen like A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Jose Canseco and Lyle Alzado. Lance Armstrong saw his win stripped and was banned for life from any sport after it was established that he was using PED’s. Ben Johnson and Marion Jones have stripped off their wins in field and track events while Lyle Alzado died from brain cancer which was believed to have been caused by PED’s. Other athletes have admitted to using PED’s, for instance, Jose Canseco. Alex Rodriguez was suspended for one hundred and sixty-two games after it was confirmed that he was using steroids (Greely et al 22). Most of the people who use performance enhancers have certain physical traits such as severe acne and loss of hair. Other deformities include male breast enlargement, paranoia, violent mood swings and infertility. Moreover, performance enhancers cause stroke, cancer as well as stunted growth due to bone deformities.

President George W. Bush once said in a state function that the performance enhancers like steroids, used in sports like baseball, football and other sports are dangerous as it sends a wrong message that they are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance is more important than the character. Most athletes are role models and they do not think of their social impact when they use the illegal drugs. For quite some time, the use of drug enhancers gives athletes an edge over their competition and it is concerned with ethics for those who supply the drugs as well as those who take them to boost their careers.

P2: The use of PED causes harm in the body, for the athletes using it.

Performance Enhancement Drugs are harmful, and athletes are always thinking of the short-term positive effects which are given by the PED’s. They fail to look ahead and see the long-term impacts which will later negatively affect their bodies. The men and women who use drugs end up developing medical conditions such as heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure, liver and kidney tumors, fluid retention, blood clots and high cholesterol, which alter growth permanently. There are many physiological conditions which affect the bodies of the PED users as well, besides the physical effect. The impacts of these drugs are very serious and dangerous and hence they should be aware of the effects and take the necessary measures from taking place.

The second premise is supported by the fact that those who praise the athletes and look to emulate their performances will copy what their idol sportsmen do. Performance enhancement drugs, mainly steroids have played a big role after it was first established that Mark McGwire used a substance androstenedione 103 during the 1998 season. It was estimated the sale of Performance Enhancement Drugs had increased more than five times. Most youths in the current times have looked up to the people outside their families who have a good example and an idol person who is not around them. This sends the wrong message to the young people that being alright to reach their limits even if they use illegal substances to reach there. This raises the question, how is it right when the athletes who are looked upon by so many people do illegal things and take substances which are harmful to their health?

P3: Laws and penalties for the Performance Enhancing Drugs.

When the government or governmental institutions like public schools or colleges desire to test an athlete for drugs, this calls for a state action. Usually, there are no state actions for the private sports leagues and thus there were amendments in the fourth, fifth and sixth issues on the private league sports. The Feral laws regulate the use of drugs and the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990. It has been the wish of the US government to create integrity in the sports department in the country, without invading the privacy of the athletes. The athletes have constitutional safeguard which allows a challenge to test them on the basis of constitutionality. The courts have supported the of mandatory suspicionless testing to address the challenges of testing for the athletes who are tested on drugs. The fourth amendment gives the provision for testing athletes for drugs, where it states it’s the right of the people to secure their lives and property against unreasonable seizures and searches without warrants. Most competitions require a test as part of taking part in the competition, in the bid to control doping and use of drugs in spots. Some of the remedies for people found guilty of using drugs ins sports include fines, banning from specific sports for a particular period of time, jail terms and exclusion from the rest of the competitors, among others.

Objection to the arguments.

One of the projections would be PED should be allowed since they enhance the performance of the athletes. Studies have revealed that performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroid androgen increase the muscular performance of the employees by 5-20 %. Improving the strengths and the general durability of employees will help the athletes perform to their best when playing or taking part in an event. The fans and spectators push the athletes to perform their best and in the process, enhance a culture of doping in order to reach great heights. It is very difficult to reconcile the purity of the athletes and the expectations of the fans and their managers in whatever it takes to win so long as it does not go past the arbitrary conceptualization of natural. Performance Enhancing Drugs are a great level and is used to close the gap for the athletes to fill the gap between their performance and their potential (Savulescu, Bennett, and Megan, 668). When athletes use PED’s, it makes them perform at higher levels and meet the expectations of their fans and managers. It makes the athletes more interesting and exciting to watch since we are used to seeing athletes perform at the normal levels. when we see an individual playing well in any competition, we are poised to even watch them the more.

Though there are strong arguments made against the banning of PED’s I believe that the facts are evidenced by the effects and hence I support the banning of PED. Drugs are illegal and harmful to the physical and physiological effects in their bodies. Despite people thinking they should allow since it enhances the performance of athletes, which people argue that it leads to a more exciting game, it is very wrong. Arguments have been made that if one individual uses the PED’s then the others should use them too to make the game more exciting, but they fail to recognize the effects of the drugs. If everyone uses the PED drugs, it would be the same just like when no person was using, since the performance of all the players will be the same and they depend on the PED’s. My arguments are strongly based on the grounds that PED’s should remain illegal and banned from sports. With all the supporting evidence I believe that these arguments are valid and in case there are any objections, it would be difficult to put up a counter argument for these reasons.


Performance Enhancing Drugs in sports carries away the integrity of athletes just like the sports in general. PED’s are illegal and have adverse effects on the athletes. PED’s should be kept away from professional sports so as to create transparency and encourage individual efforts. The use of harmful substances like steroids, which are most common among athletes causes harm, which may cause even death. Performance Enhancement drugs not only affect the physical and physiological traits of athletes but has other effects like infertility and contracting other diseases like cancer. It is unfair for the athletes who work very hard and put all their efforts in becoming successful in sports to be compromised by the individuals who use performance enhancement drugs. Advocating for people who use PED’s will give them an upper hand in sports, which is not advisable for any sport. Young athletes should be aware of the effects which they will experience when they PED’s and which will prevent them have a prolonged life in their careers.

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Works Cited

Bahrke, Michael S. Performance-enhancing substances in sport and exercise. Human Kinetics 1, 2002.

Brotherton, Stephen L., Norman Fost, and Gary A. Green. "Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports." Virtual Mentor 6.7 (2004).

Catlin, Don H., and Thomas H. Murray. "Performance-enhancing drugs, fair competition, and Olympic sport." Jama276.3 (1996): 231-237.

Cross, Aaron, and Mr. Kulycky. "Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports." (2005).

Greely, Henry, et al. "Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy." Nature 456.7223 (2008): 702-705.

Kayser, Bengt, Alexandre Mauron, and Andy Miah. "Legalisation of performance-enhancing drugs." The Lancet366 (2005): S21.

Savulescu, Julian, Bennett Foddy, and Megan Clayton. "Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport." British journal of sports medicine 38.6 (2004): 666-670.

Uvacsek, M., et al. "Self‐admitted behavior and perceived use of performance‐enhancing vs psychoactive drugs among competitive athletes." Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 21.2 (2011): 224-234.

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