Substance Abuse Among Athletes: Fact or Fiction?

Topics: Red blood cell, Anabolic steroid, Drugs in sport Pages: 4 (1345 words) Published: July 2, 2013
In international and professional level competition, athletes require a high level of skill and expertise. Athletes at this level would need to train for several years to get to where they are, and sometimes it is still not enough to get the winning medal. When you are representing your country and you have countless fans depending on your performance, the pressure adds up. What if they had the opportunity to obtain an unfair but promising advantage over their competition? Morals and values may push some athletes away from doping, which is also known as the ingestion of unnatural substances to gain an unfair advantage over others. The twist to the tale starts with the pressure put on them and their goals to win which could ultimately override the push factors. The question has been asked many times in the past: is substance abuse among athletes fact or fiction? It has now become clear that substance abuse among athletes is in fact an established problem in today’s society, seen through increasing amounts of positive test results in recent years, the expansion of substance variety used to dope with, and the constant need for new testing methods to keep up with new and different types of doping methods that have been created throughout the years.

Doping has been occurring since the Olympic Games, but has become a widespread issue since the twentieth century. The sudden awareness of doping was due to large pharmalogical advancements during this time that created powerful and effective drugs, ultimately helping to provide the desired outcome (Knopp, Wang & Bach, 1997). This encouraged athletes to use these drugs to enhance their performance. In certain sports, different substances of use are appropriate. The use of steroids is currently the most common in sport (Knopp, Wang & Bach, 1997). Anabolic steroid use is mostly seen in weightlifting as it provides the boost in muscle tissue growth desired. The distribution of steroid use is shown in the pie chart below....

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