Performance Enhancing Drugs and Professional Sport

The issue of using performance enhancing drugs by professional sportsmen or the question of doping can be discussed as socially significant because many people today orient to the athletic competition as the important element of the modern world. However, modern professional sports can also be considered as the great business, and the issue of using performance enhancing drugs by athletes should be discussed in the economic, social, and ethical contexts. In spite of the fact that the use of forbidden drugs is still a highly debatable question in the sphere of sport management, the effect of using performance enhancing drugs on professional sports is significant because the cases associated with doping violate the principle of fair competition, negatively impact the health of athletes, impact the reputation of leagues and sportsmen, and cause financial losses in the world of professional sport.

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Those professional sportsmen who use different types of performance enhancing drugs receive the opportunity to demonstrate significant and even impressive results while participating in sport competitions of different levels. However, the principle of fair competition becomes violated because the users of illegal drugs receive the unfair advantage. According to Sabini and Monterosso, the problem of unfair advantage is important for professional sports because following the ideology and missions of athletic competitions, it is necessary to focus on the natural capacities of the best players. While many unfair competitors have the opportunity to use performance enhancing drugs, the other athletes are deprived of the opportunity to win the fair competition (Sabini and Monterosso 82). This effect of using drugs is associated with the sphere of the professional sports’ ethics, and it also influences the other business areas.

The most dramatic and unexamined effect of using drugs by professional sportsmen is the negative impact on the athletes’ health. Increasing the athletic ability, performance enhancing drugs affect the players’ health because of different harmful side effects. Strelan and Boeckmann note that focusing on doping, athletes can suffer from dehydration, heart attacks, and even injuries because the abilities of their organisms change (Strelan and Boeckmann 2910). Doping policies and codes such as the World Anti-Doping Code of 2003 and doping tests are developed and conducted to address this problem because the number of banned substances and illegal recreational drugs which can be bought widely increases every year. In order to control the athletes’ health, league’s doctors and outside specialists conduct repeated sampling over time to fix changes in specific health measures (Thornton et al. 238-239). These activities aim to reduce the statistics related to using performance enhancing drugs by professional sportsmen.

Professional sports develop because they are attractive for fans and sponsors. As a result, it is possible to note that the world of professional sport is the great business which develops according to its own laws. Honour pays attention to the fact that the reputation of leagues and sport teams depends on many factors, and one of them is the involvement in the ‘doping scandals’ (Honour 143). In 2007, the Mitchell Report discussing the cases of doping in the American Major League Baseball was published, and it attracted the public’s attention (Thornton et al. 240). The investigators found that more than 7% of tested players demonstrated positive results for using steroids in 2003 (Thornton et al. 241). The similar results were reported for the period of 1998-2004, and the findings mean that the use of performance enhancing drugs is the significant problem in the United States. This period was the most dramatic for Major League Baseball because of the unfavorable publicity (Thornton et al. 241). Similar problems are experienced by professional teams all over the world because the players try to increase their ability, but they also influence their professional reputation.

Economic losses are the next negative effect of doping on professional sports. Sabini and Monterosso state that leagues and other sport organizations are rather profitable, and any changes in the players’ list lead to losing the public’s interest as well as to financial losses (Sabini, and Monterosso 83). While discussing the level of the Olympic Games and other high-level competitions, it is important to note that gold and silver medals are different in the potential as well as in the levels of contracts signed by players and their trainers (Thornton et al. 243). In order to avoid positive tests results, many athletes use testosterone creams and other legal recreational drugs which cannot be tested in comparison with the traditional anabolic steroids (Thornton et al. 244). As a result, trainers and players try to balance between using performance enhancing drugs and demonstrating significant results.

The use of performance enhancing drugs is associated with many negative effects on professional sports because of influencing different areas of this world. Thus, doping can cause significant health problems. Furthermore, the use of illegal drugs is the violation of the principle of fair competition promoted in professional sports. The cases connected with doping affect the reputation of leagues and sportsmen involved in them. The problems with the reputation lead to economic losses. That is why, the overall effect of performance enhancing drugs on professional sports can be discussed as negative.

Works Cited

Honour, John. “The Fight for Fair Play: Can Athletes be Held Responsible for Every Substance They Take?” Nature 430.6996 (2004): 143-144. Print.

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Sabini, John, and John Monterosso. “Judgments of the Fairness of Using Performance Enhancing Drugs”. Ethics & Behavior 15.1 (2005): 81-94. Print.

Strelan, Peter, and Robert Boeckmann. “Why Drug Testing in Elite Sport Does not Work: Perceptual Deterrence Theory and the Role of Personal Moral Beliefs”. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 36.12 (2006): 2909-2934. Print.

Thornton, Patrick, Walter Champion, Lawrence Ruddell, and Larry Ruddell. Sports Ethics for Sports Management Professionals. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2011. Print.

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