Winners Never Cheat

Topics: Drugs in sport, Illegal drug trade, Drug Pages: 6 (1792 words) Published: October 7, 2007
Winners never cheat and cheaters never win
Winners never cheat and cheaters never win. Americans have grown up with this statement. It is as American as baseball or apple pie. It appears that over the years, winning has become everything and athletes will do whatever it takes to win. In order to achieve this goal, more and more professional athletes are turning to the use of performance enhancing drugs. "A performance enhancing drug is any substance that is taken for the sole purpose of enhancing athletic performance" (Saltzman, 2006 p. 16). Professional athletes who take performance enhancing drugs create false expectations for the children and teenagers who look up to them.

Athletes are role models, whether they like it or not. Their faces are everywhere, on television, advertisements, newspapers and magazines. Their actions, positive or negative, usually make front page news. Barr (2006) stated, "With certain professions come certain unspoken expectations and responsibilities", he went on to say "athletes know that by hitting a homerun, scoring a touchdown, or slam dunking they are going to be revered, idolized and looked up to as an example" (Athletes:, 4). "Athletics are meant to train us in discipline and fortitude, to build character" (McCormick, 2006 p.43). Many athletes also come from a humble background. This deeply strengthens youth's goals to strive for the same thing, that maybe they can achieve greatness with hard work and discipline. There is a possibility that someday, they will be in the limelight. Professional athletes who use performance enhancing drugs break that ideal. They are incidentally creating misconceptions of the sport and their abilities. With the use of drugs, they become faster, stronger, and have more endurance. "Depending on the drug type, they help athletes to relax, work through pain and fatigue, build mass and muscle, hide other drug use, or increase oxygen supply to the exercising body tissues" (Saltzman, 2006, p. 16). No one has the ability to achieve what these athletes can without the help of the drugs. Take Floyd Landis, for example, in summer 2006 won the Tour de France with a bad hip and a blow out on the big mountains. It was a great comeback. Only a few short weeks after his magnificent win, a specimen taken during the race tested positive for testosterone. The great comeback went out with an enormous blow to fans. According to (2006) "Frankie Andreu and another of Lance Armstrong's former teammates said they used EPO (Erythropoietin) drug before the 1999 Tour de France" (Frankie Andreu, 1), and went on to state, "they both used EPO in preparation for the 1999 Tour, when Armstrong re-launched his career by winning the first of his eventual seven titles" (Frankie Andreu, 4). Although this doesn't prove that Lance used illicit substances, it starts to paint a different picture of him and the sport of cycling. This starts to illustrate that it has become less about the sport and becomes all about the win, the glory and the fame. No sport is immune to the use of performance enhancing drugs. In Major League Baseball, "Mark McGwire evaded questions about whether he used performance enhancing drugs (Los Angeles Times, 2007 p.D.1), "he admitted to using the steroid precursor androstenendione during the 1998 season, when he broke Roger Maris' home run record". Illegal drug use is everywhere. It has appeared at the Olympics; "Blood doping controversies marred the Olympic skiing events in Torino" (Quinn, 2006 p.46). "Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter dash has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (Rhoden, 2006, pg. 29). Even professional tennis players are not immune to the temptation of the use of illegal substances. "Tennis player, Mariana Puerta, a finalist in the French Open, was penalized in December 2005 for his second doping violation" (Saltzman, 2006, p16). More recently, "An illicit steroid distribution...

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