Recent years have seen major athletes being caught with doping. Use of performance enhancing drugs is considered as one of the major crimes in sports. This act is considered as cheating and as unethical in sports. Increase in the numbers of sportsmen being caught in anti-doping screening has raised debate on whether use steroids should continue to be prohibited.
Various sportsmen and other stakeholders in sports have made convincing arguments against prohibiting use steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. A lot of finances are being used in financing ant-doping screening. In some ways, anti- doping screenings are seen as campaign against sports and great sportsmen/women. Regulated use of steroids is okay and should be allowed.
The most used argument against the use of steroids in sports is that it is cheating. Use of steroid is considered to give an individual sportsperson using it an unfair advantage over other competitors. This is true, but it does not support the continuous use of prohibition as a way handling cheating in sports (Simon 77).
Fair competition grounds are very important in sports; they encourage competition since each every competitor knows that they have a chance of winning. However, use of anti-doping screening to control cheating has not been fully successful. In most cases offenders of anti-doping rules are only caught months or years after winning medals.
From such cases, it is evident that despite of anti–doping rules and implications set for offenders, many sportsmen/women are willing to risk use performance enhancing drugs. From this, it is imperative that prohibiting steroids have not been successful in creating fair competition grounds for all sportsmen. Instead of handling cheating use of steroids discourage sporting.
Prohibiting performance enhancing drugs in sports make it impossible to regulate their use. Steroids used by sportsmen/women are not regulated and no standard is set on the kind or amount to be used. Instead of prohibiting use of steroids in sports, it is more practical and cheaper to regulate their use.
Allowing steroids use in sports will enable sporting authorities to set standards and other regulation measures (Cashmore 56). Regulation has been seen to be successful in other areas. With regulation, the issue of cheating will be partially solved.
Sports men/women will not have to worry over being caught for use for use of steroids. Sporting authorities will be able to set standards and recommend certain types of steroids for use in sports (Simon 221). This will make performance enhancers to be equally available to all sportsmen/women who wish to use them.
Health risks involved with use of steroids are used to support their prohibitions in sports. There are evident health risks posed by use of performance enhancement drugs (Mottram 69). Despite of this, prohibiting steroids in sports on this ground is not strong enough.
Most sports are risky by themselves. In fact, the risk posed by steroids is only a fraction of risks involved in some sports (Irvin and Roy 123). For example, baseball players are usually at risk of fractures, and other major injuries such as head injuries that can lead to very severe effects.
Although some of such sports are know me to be dangerous, they are not prohibited. Thus, it is hypocritical to continue to prohibit use of steroids on health risk grounds. In fact, use of steroid would lead to stronger sportsmen/women leading to fewer injuries. Steroids also help in recovery from injuries and would be advantageous to sportsmen/women.
Use of steroids is not forced on sportsmen/ women. Decisions to use are made out of free conscience with knowledge of health risk involved (Cowart and Wright 77). Sportsmen/women who want to take the health risk for better performance should not be prohibited to do so. In other parts life, it is known that people make sacrifices to have competitive advantage against other people (Yesalis and Bahrke 77).
For example some ladies use diet drugs to enhance their outlook and have competitive advantage in their career progress. In sports such as football, players have to lift weights to increase their strength and have advantage over other players. As long as the sacrifice is not forced and health risk is not major, then the sacrifice should be allowed (Katz 1).
Unlike in earlier days when sports were used for fun, today sports are taken as a profession. Sports as a profession mean that players are required to participate in sports more frequently. Frequent and vigorous training and competitions requires a lot of energy from players and pose the player to injuries (Cahn and O’Reilly 45).
Thus, steroids should be allowed in professional sportsmen/women. Use of steroid would be advantageous to such sportsmen/women and also to their fans. Steroid would enhance performance, prevent injuries and also help in recovery from injuries.
On the overall, steroids use would lead to more entertaining sports that are more appealing to sporting fans. In additions, steroid use would lead to longer sporting period for professionals sportsmen/women making professional sporting more feasible and attractive.
Prohibiting steroids can be seen as motivated by fear of science. There have been general fears on science in many areas of life. However the fears in pharmaceuticals have been higher than in other areas. There is general preference of natural pharmaceuticals over synthetic (Yesalis 133).
These fears are not based on strong grounds since many synthetic pharmaceuticals have been found to have very positive effects to those how receive them. Thus, prohibiting steroid use on this ground is not right.
Allowing steroid use in sports would encourage innovations in sports. There is very large room for innovation in sports. Performance enhancers should be taken as part of sport medicine. Steroid use would lead to more innovations on ways of making sports more entertaining while at the same preventing injuries.
Anti- doping authorities in sports should review their stand on prohibiting steroids. Instead of encouraging sports, campaigns by anti-doping agencies are discouraging sports. The huge amount of money used in controlling steroid use could be used in other ways that would be advantageous to sports.
Regulating steroid use is the best approach to handling cheating in sports. This approach will enable standards that will protect sportsmen/women from negative health risks and enable a level ground to be created for competition.
Cahn, O’Reilly. Women and sports in the United States: a documentary reader:-Simon;-Fair play: the ethics of sport. New York: Westview Press, 2004.
Cashmore. Making sense of sports. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Cowart, V. and Wright, Joseph. Anabolic Steroids: Altered States. Pennsylvania: Cooper Publishing Group, 1990.
Irvin, R, and Roy, S. Sports medicine: prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation. New York: Prentice-Hall, 2008.
Katz:-Should we accept steroid use in sports. 2008.
Mottram, D. Drugs in sport. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2005.
Simon, R. Sports and social values. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1985.
Yesalis. Anabolic steroids in sport and exercise:-New York: Human Kinetics, 2000.
Yesalis, C., Bahrke, M.Performance-enhancing substances in sport and exercise. London: Human Kinetics, 2002.