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Bailey Tiu
Ms. Gardner
English 10, Period 1
7 April 2014
Doping in Sports:
The Negative Impact on the World of Sports
To many people, professional athletes serve as role models, heroes, and idols in their life.
However the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) by professional athletes has led many
people to question whether or not these athletes are truly elite. A 2012 quote by Tom Murray,
says that The first hard truth about elite sports is that its relentless competitiveness, and the tiny
margins that separate winners from also-rans, press athletes not to surrender anything that gives
them an edge (1). The argument for the positive reasons for use of PEDs is obvious in David
Ewing Duncans, article that stated research has suggested that these meds help injured athletes
to better heal (1). What both Murray and Duncan are noting in their articles are valid points of
view. However, the key difference between their views is that Murray is saying that PEDs are
being used to artificially to be better than their elite competition while Duncan is just stating that
PEDs have some positive use during recovery. These drugs, such as steroids, should not be used
without proper regulation because taking steroids to help an athlete perform better while
completely healthy has unknown long-term effects.
The usage of PEDs or steroids is already banned from almost all professional sports such
as baseball and cycling, yet athletes continue to use these drugs to enhance their natural
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capabilities. The story of Lance Armstrong has Tom Murray stating that Some critics say the
problem isn't athletes who break the rules but the rules themselves specifically, the prohibition
on doping. Lance Armstrong's supporters are running out of plausible defenses (1). Because of
athletes like Lance Armstrong, not only are fans retreating from loving the sport of cycling, but
people are beginning to doubt all athletes clean or not whether they are a fraud or a true elite
athlete. For instance, in todays Major League Baseball (MLB), if an up and coming baseball
player like Mike Trout were to hit over 50 homeruns in a season, the average fan may wonder if
Trout is on steroids. Referring to Baseballs Almanac, the average number of home runs for a
home run leader in MLB over the past 5 years (2009-2013) is 39 home runs in a season.
Compare that to a 5 year span during MLBs steroids era (1998-2002) in which the average
home run leader achieved 61 homers in a typical season.
In addition to fans questioning if an athlete is cheating or not with PEDs, another key
reason why there should be more regulation on PEDs is because athletes wont confess to taking
PEDs on their own accord I find it very hard to believe that every doper out there suddenly
decides to quit on his own accord (Routley 3). If leagues and our national government do not do
something to stress the importance of clean athletes then cheating athletes will simply think that
it is appropriate to take drugs such as steroids, stimulants, and painkillers. Clearly, those athletes
that cheat will not stop themselves unless something impactful gets in their way. Some would
argue that the only way to significantly reduce the usage of PEDs is to bring professional sports
leagues and the government together to develop a meaningfully way to regulate it. For example,
what if a professional baseball player gets caught taking PEDs? He is suspended or banned from
league. If the government got involved and enforced regulation, this player not only would be
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banned from the league but he would also have to serve time in jail. This added consequence
would likely make athletes to think twice before using PEDs.
Some experts and reporters have different opinions on the topic of taking PEDs.
Reporters such as Tim Cowlishaw and David Ewing Duncan have done research and written
about the varying ideas surrounding the use of PEDs by athletes such as Lance Armstrong
(Cycling), Alex Rodriguez (Baseball), and Lyndsey Vonn (Skiing). One key point in their
research noted that We don't know exactly know what anabolic steroids do and don't do to
people 10 to 20 years after they are used (Cowlishaw 2). This big unknown should be enough
reason for athletes to stay away from PEDs but without proper regulation; those athletes are just
thinking of today and not what it might cost them when they are older. The issue of using PEDs
to better the performance of an athlete has not been properly addressed and more data is needed.
There isnt really an argument for the use of PEDs. Cowlishaw attempts to persuade his readers
to support PEDs by using the fallacy of avoiding the question. Meaning that since we are
unsure of what PEDs may do to people in 10 to 20 years, they might be OK in the long run.
David Ewing Duncan highlighted support for the use of PEDs in an article he wrote, "An
Easy Way to Improve the Olympics: Make Performance Enhancements..." (Article 1). Duncan
also noted that, After all, research has suggested that these meds help injured athletes to better
heal (1). What Duncan is referring to is PEDs as meds or medicines. Even if the recovery time
for athletes are shortened, we cant fully believe Duncans statement is completely true because
referring back to what Cowlishaw said, we dont know what drugs such as steroids can do to a
person 10 to 20 years from now. Yes, PEDs can temporarily help injured athletes to better heal
yet, we dont fully understand the long-term effects.
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The intake of PEDs has built up a huge controversial issue between athletes and
investigators. Yet there is one specific group of people that make professional sports the way
they are today: Fans! Fans are one reason why the issue of intake of PEDs is under so much
controversy. What if fans don't care if a player is using performance-enhancing drugs?
(Duncan 1). In another statement, Duncan contradicted himself by saying that PEDs can help
better heal and suggests that it can quicken the recovery time. The question could be why would
he want someone like Lyndsey Vaughn to quicken her recovery time? Could it be so she can get
back on the slopes sooner? Maybe to compete again sooner? Or perhaps so that she can perform
and do what she does best entertain the fans through competition sooner. That entertainment
for fans can draw millions of people to stadiums and television to watch athletes compete. These
millions of fans and viewers may point to money as a reason for why athletes would risk using
PEDs.
The money involved in sports are very real and the competition fierce. For instance, a
baseball player that has a good season with over 40 home runs might get a new contract for
millions. The other side of the coin is that he gets hurt, gets cut from the team and is out of the
league. So money could definitely be a serious driver for athletes risking PEDs.
All the debate about whether or not athletes should be allowed to take PEDs should
concern the authorities that have power and authority to make a difference and make a final
decision. Both opinions on intake of these drugs should be respected yet, like reporter Will
Routley stated, What have they done to improve the sport? On one hand PEDs can be useful
like when Lyndsay Vonn could have taken drugs such as these to quicken her recovery time of
injury. Although, on the bad side, if an athlete takes a drug like steroids and is completely
healthy and only wants to immensely improve his or her concentration or strength, then that is an
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example of why PEDs should be banned. Although the biggest downside to athletes might be the
unknown around what PEDs may do to their health long-term, getting caught is usually very
public and it can hurt their reputation as a professional thus costing them money, sponsorships,
or their job.
Athletes have the right to do what they believe is right for them, especially in the United
States. Evaluating whether or not to allow any athlete, especially professional athletes, to take
PEDs such as steroids is a topic that can have a huge impact to the sports world. Its unlikely that
we will see a major change in the number of athletes taking PEDs in secret. Changing what
happens when athletes are caught taking PEDs are in the hands of health officials, the
government, professional leagues, and fans. Those groups have to be involved in order to solve
this significant problem.

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Allenby, Braden. "After Armstrong's Fall, the Case for Performance Enhancement." Washington
Post 2012 oct 28: B.4. Web. 7 May 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
Cowlishaw, Tim. "If All PEDs Were Legal, It Wouldn't Be Cheating--Would It?"Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette 2013 feb 07: A.6. Web. 7 May 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
Duncan, David Ewing. "An Easy Way to Improve the Olympics: Make Performance
Enhancements..." Newsweek 2014 feb 21: N.p. Web. 7 May 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
Koller, Dionne. "USADA for Everyone." Baltimore Sun 2013 jan 20: A.27. Web. 7 May 2014.
<http://sks.sirs.com>.
Murray, Tom. "Why Sports Needs Rules Against Doping." Washington Post2012 nov 24: A.15.
Web. 7 May 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
Routley, Will. "Dopers Are Not Victims." Vancouver Sun 2012 nov 06: C.9. Web. 7 May 2014.
<http://sks.sirs.com>.
Young, Geisler. "Home Runs Year-by-Year Leaders on Baseball Almanac."Home Runs Year-by-
Year Leaders on Baseball Almanac. Baseball-almanac, 2000. Web. 07 May 2014.