Drug tests have become a norm rather than an exception in the modern sporting industry. In fact, drug testing for performance-enhancing drugs is mandatory in the world’s popular and most celebrated professional and amateur competitions. The concept of drug testing has come a long way and the debate as to whether it should be mandatory or not has been met with varying opinions with each faction proving a point. In the recent past, we’ve witnessed professionals being stripped of their wins and paying a price for drug cheating. Some of these include Justin Gatlin, Maria Sharapova, Tyson Gay, Anderson Silva, Ben Johnson, Shane Warne, Lance Armstrong, and the list is long. At one point, the actions by the world governing bodies have had a far-reaching impact on the reputation and careers of some of the world’s leading athletes. On the basis of this background, this article seeks to lay bare the justifications for drug testing.
Sports and championships are aimed at creating a level playing ground to allow competitors to display their inherent talent. This means that when one uses a drug, he or she gains an unfair advantage over the rest. Subsequently, users of drugs win competitions they otherwise wouldn’t have won, putting the spirit of competition into question. It also captures the sanctity of sport and causes other people to do whatever they can to be on the same level as those using drugs. So testing for performance-enhancing drugs among athletes makes total sense.
Isn’t it true that aside from sporting athletes have a life to live? Won’t these drugs impact on you and make you worse at other things? Well, while such drugs have proven extremely effective in bolstering energy and stamina among users, the bitter truth is that the effects are short-lived. Essentially, users of performance-enhancing drugs often enjoy a shorter playing tenure and as such do not last in the sport.
The long term health effects of performance enhancers such as steroids are real. Users of these drugs unknowingly hurt their bodies. Aside from being essentially harmful to the body, these drugs create a false impression of power. This means that they cheat your body to higher levels endurance a phenomenon that leads to strain and damage t boy tissues. Human bodies are designed to naturally adjust to situations through consistent and regulated exercises. Perhaps this should be the rationale for drug tests as a way of discouraging athletes from using steroids and other forms of drugs.
Athletes consume these drugs not because they want to be on the same competing level, instead, they do so to confer themselves an undue advantage. If we were to allow for drug use among athletes, then everyone will be struggling to outperform the other and the end result is the question of whoever takes more enhancers becomes the winner. Ideally, the whole business will culminate into a more violent, extreme affair that renders the sport meaningless. It has been proven through years of research that even scientifically based exercise regimens, advanced physiological and cardio cannot match the overwhelming effect of drugs. This means that in an elite group of athletes, the use of drugs will create a distinct sub-group who will outperform non-users of drugs. This means that the potency of drugs beats any form of training.
There are multiple reasons to support drug testing and one of them is respect for the rules of the sport and the fact that natural performance is the underlying basis of sporting. Rules are the guiding stones and provide a level playing ground—they are established to preserve a sport. In the sporting industry, historic records are revered, so without drug testing, such critical concepts would be useless since everyone would set a record.
In all fairness, the dangers of performance enhancers are greater than the short-run benefits. Without drug testing, the world would be preparing for a global health catastrophe. Drug use by athletes is not just a danger to the athletes, but also to the masses, especially young populations who emulate adult professionals. Therefore, children look up to adults to form their behavior and mindset about certain ways of doing things. Children emulate the style of playing of world-class athletes. What this means is that admission of using drugs to enhance performance sends a signal to young or upcoming athletes that that’s how winning comes about. As such, drug use should be everyone’s concern and should not just be left for professional bodies governing sports.
Having laid bare both health and social underpinnings in support of the argument that all athletes should be tested, it is no clear than ever before that this trend should be the norm going forward. The dangers of using drugs and the fact that it suffocates the primary purpose of competition mean that both amateur and professional athletes should not be given a free rein to use or abuse drugs.