(The use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sport(s) is commonly referred to as doping, particularly by those organizations that regulate competitions. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical by most international sports organizations and especially the International Olympic Committee, although ethicists have argued that it is little different from the use of new materials in the construction of suits and sporting equipment, which similarly aid performance and can give competitors an unfair advantage over others. The reasons for the ban are mainly the alleged health risks of performance-enhancing drugs, the equality of opportunity for athletes, and the alleged exemplary effect of “clean” (“doping-free”) sports for the public.)
What’s the big deal?
So what if Lance Armstrong did drugs to win the Tour de France!
So what if Ben Johnson did drugs to run faster!
So what if there are health risks, professional athletes are like Roman Gladiators, THEY know the risks, and WE want to see the best performance EVER!
End of story!
A famous case of illicit AAS use in a competition was Canadian Ben Johnson‘s victory in the 100 m at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He subsequently failed the drug test when stanozolol was found in his urine. He later admitted to using the steroid as well as Dianabol, testosterone, Furazabol, and human growth hormone amongst other things. Johnson was therefore stripped of his gold medal as well as recognition of what had been a world-record performance. Carl Lewis was then promoted one place to take the Olympic gold title. Lewis had also run under the current world record time and was therefore recognized as the new record holder. In 2003, however, Dr. Wade Exum, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) director of drug control administration from 1991 to 2000, gave copies of documents to Sports Illustrated which revealed that some 100 American athletes who failed drug tests and should have been prevented from competing in the Olympics were nevertheless cleared to compete. Among those athletes was Carl Lewis. Lewis then broke his silence on allegations that he was the beneficiary of a drugs cover-up, admitting he had tested positive for banned substances but claiming he was just one of “hundreds” of American athletes who were allowed to escape bans, concealed by the USOC. Lewis has now acknowledged that he failed three tests during the 1988 US Olympic trials, which under international rules at the time should have prevented him from competing in the Seoul games two months later.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport has become an increasing problem across a wide range of sports. It is defined as any substance or drug that, when taken, gives an athlete an unfair advantage relative to a “clean” athlete. The banning of these drugs promotes a more level playing field which most if not all sporting organizations seek to achieve. Recently, the use of ‘the suit’ in swimming, which gives athletes an advantage in the way of hydrodynamics, has been banned from international competition due to the unfair advantage it delivered. The drugs taken by athletes differ widely based on the performance needs of the sport. Erythropoietin (EPO) is largely taken by endurance athletes who seek a higher level of red blood cells, which leads to more oxygenated blood, and a higher VO2 max. An athlete’s VO2 max is highly correlated with success within endurance sports such as swimming, long-distance running, cycling, rowing, and cross-country skiing. EPO has recently become prevalent amongst endurance athletes due to its potentcy and low degree of detectability when compared to other methods of doping such as blood transfusion. While EPO is believed to have been widely used by athletes in the 1990s, there was not a way to directly test for the drug until 2002. Athletes at the Olympic Games are tested for EPO through blood and urine tests. Testing endurance athletes for blood doping protects them from the deleterious effects that the practice can have on them. Stringent guidelines and regulations can lessen the dangerous culture of doping that has existed within a handful of endurance sports. As of 2012, 18 pro cyclists in the last fifteen years have died from using EPO.
Look kids, your humble reporter doesn’t care if some guys end up looking like gorillas, or women end up looking like Neanderthals, if they want to increase their performance by whatever means possible, then I say: “Go For It!” Break a leg coming out of the starting gate, or fry your brain as you increase your biceps……………….., I don’t care.
Hopefully you’ll make enough money that you can hire someone to look after you when the wining is over!
Your ‘win at any cost’ reporter;
Allan W Janssen