why drug use in sports is unfair

Finally, if fairness is our major concern we can easily solve the problem by lifting the prohibition – thus making drugs available to all athletes. Drugs are substances that affect a person’s physical state or mental state. The drugs can be beneficial in relieving pain or curing a diseased condition. At the same time, overuse can lead to unwanted complications and can become an addiction. Sport Integrity Australia is Australia’s national anti-doping organisation.

US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson banned after testing positive to cannabis, will miss Olympic 100m

Diuretics are medications that induce fluid loss from the body through urination. Reducing the water volume in the body can significantly reduce weight, which is why this drug abuse in sports appeals to some athletes. Producing more urine also helps dilute any drug metabolites which may be in the urine, which is why some athletes use it for masking illegal substances in their urine. However, diuretics can predispose to dehydration, dizziness, hypotension, cramps, and even death. The anxiolytic effect of beta-blockers is what makes them abused as PEDs.

Blood Doping

What would sport be like if performance-enhancing drugs were allowed? The Enhanced Games seeks to answer these questions by removing all restrictions on doping. In response to this objection, ethicist Julian Savulescu has argued that performance-enhancing drugs are not particularly dangerous, and if their use was no longer clandestine they would be safer still. It is difficult to know whether allowing drug use would lead to greater harm to athletes, but for the sake of argument let’s assume Savulescu is wrong and accept that drug use is risky. Almost everyone seems to be in agreement that performance-enhancing drugs are a blight on competitive sport.

  • Having a blood transfusion to increase the number of red blood cells in the body is an example of this.
  • So, if our objection to drugs is that they create an unfair advantage, consistency demands we apply the same standard to many other aspects of athletic competition.
  • Athletes did still suffer harms within these systems, often at the hands of central organising individuals or groups in the forms of bullying, coercion, and extortion.
  • However, information from an Iranian study showed an interesting difference with a value of 36.2% among athletes.

Anti-doping organizations, drug testing in athletes, and rules

Amphetamine was also used legally as an aid to slimming and also as a thymoleptic before being phased out by the appearance of newer agents in the 1950s. Doping with erythropoietin may raise the risk of serious health problems. It’s common for athletes who exercise for long amounts of time to use a lab-made type of erythropoietin called epoetin. A health negative effects of drugs in sport care provider can prescribe human growth hormone for some health reasons. Some drugmakers and workout magazines claim that andro products help athletes train harder and recover faster. It took years for a reliable test for testosterone to be developed, and by then there were many new substances on the market, as well as experimentation with blood doping.

why drug use in sports is unfair

This substance increases how much oxygen the muscles get, which helps keep them non-fatigued and primed. However, synthetic versions have become very popular within the world of sports. When it occurs naturally, it helps teens grow their bones during puberty and strengthen the skeletal structure overall; in medical settings, it can be used to help those who are not producing enough during puberty https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-long-do-amphetamines-stay-in-your-system/ or who are fighting certain diseases, such as HIV. As with any drug use, the exact reasons an athlete turns to drugs in sport are personal. However, a common factor is—as one would assume—improved performance and physical condition. The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) suspended Slupianek for 12 months, a penalty that ended two days before the European championships in Prague.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Athletes may also use phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors in an attempt to attain increased oxygenation and exercise capacity, since they have vasodilatory effects.51 However, again, little research exists to support a performance benefit from these substances. Learn how these drugs work and how they can have effects on your health. Later Watson was cleared on appeal, tested positive for caffeine but banned from competing in his event.

As sport and anti-doping drive harsher policies, more invasive surveillance techniques, and push the cultural narrative around ‘clean sport’, doping groups have responded with techniques for avoiding detection and keeping overall risk as low as possible. In order to understand how enabling environments are produced we must consider those instances where the environment has been altered in order to reduce the social, political, economic, and physical risks of doping. As noted above, online doping forums may be seen as a form of user-led, ‘grassroots’ harm reduction communities, although such venues may focus on the maximisation of physical or performance benefits. Moreover, the very nature of the doping risk environments may limit the ability of individuals to effect harm reduction through mere behavioural change. The prevalence of doping is unclear, though there is a significant gap between prevalence estimated by researchers and the official testing results.

  • In a vote before the debate, 18 percent of audience members supported the motion to accept performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports, and 63 percent opposed it.
  • Only trained and licensed medical professionals can provide such services.
  • While schools have their own drug testing policies and standards for most of the season, the NCAA controls drug testing in the postseason and historically has had much stiffer penalties than the schools.

Side effects in men

This article will use secondary literature in order to review and analyse known cases of systematic doping through the risk and enabling environment frameworks. We begin with a background on doping and anti-doping, risk and enabling environments, and sport risk and enabling environments. We then present a theoretically explorative discussion on the specific anti-doping risk/doping enabling processes and environments, using known cases of systematic doping as illustration. We conclude with a comparison of sport and non-sport responses to drug use and the potential outcomes of each approach. Recent doping scandals and persistent rumours that doping remains prevalent among elite athletes provide reason for pessimism about the prospect of doping-free sport, but lifting the ban is not the answer.

why drug use in sports is unfair

General side effects include acne, inhibited growth in teenagers, hypertension, liver tumors, and psychiatric disorders. However, most of them indicated their use was for social purposes and not anything relating to sports. Information from one study showed that more than four out of every five student-athletes who participated in the survey admitted to using alcohol. If an athlete is not competing with someone else, they are competing with who they were yesterday, striving to do better, to be better. And the pressure to improve is not merely internal; from coaches to parents to fans, it seems that everyone around athletes pushes them to do more and be more.