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Performance Enhancing Drugs And Steroids Essay

3280 words - 14 pages

Ever since Mark McGwire, a St. Louis Cardinals baseball player, broke the home run record of Roger Maris, a New York Yankee outfielder best known for hitting sixty-one home runs in 1961, the media has been frantic.  This frenzy is not only about McGwire's accomplishment of hitting a Herculean seventy home runs but is about another subject, performance-enhancing drugs.

Mark McGwire is not only using creatine, but he is also taking androstenedione. Creatine is an amino acid that fuels muscle contraction and is produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas (Schrof 54).  Androstenedione is produced in the body by the gonads and adrenal glands in small amounts.  It is a sex steroid hormone ...view middle of the document...

  The other side believes that these drugs should be allowed because it is a fair advantage, there is no health risk involved, and that it is helpful to the athlete in that it increases recovery time and builds muscle.  Coaches, athletes, and various medical professionals are divided on whether or not the use of such drugs should be allowed.  Although arguments presented in articles by all sides use pathos, logos, and ethos effectively, the pro side focuses on logos while the con emphasizes pathos.

    The title of Timothy Gower's article, "Eat powder! Build muscle! Burn calories!" is an example of pathos.  It grabs the reader's attention with the words "Build muscle! Burn calories!" even before the article is read.  It appeals to the interest and excitement of the audience and to a desire of everyone to have a better body. Liz Applegate (24) uses this same tactic in her article with the title "Looking For A Boost?"  Using such titles, the reader inquires about the article and wants to do exactly what the titles claims.  The interest of the reader climbs as he reads the first sentences of these two articles that say, "What if something came along that actually stood up to such claims" (Gower 113)? and "It'll make you fast. It'll make you lean. It'll make you strong" (Applegate 24). These introductory sentences catch the attention of the reader. When Gower (113) depicts Brady Anderson, a Baltimore Orioles centerfielder, as having "bulky upper arms and rocky abs" the reader has feelings of idolization for Anderson.  Anderson, described by the phrase  "the man is ripped," appeals to all male figures and probably to women who want their men to be "ripped."  This emotion of desire is also stimulated when it is said that this wonder drug packs on fat-free pounds and may be a calorie burner -- who would not want to get stronger and look better by just taking a substance that trims a waistline?  Pathos is used to engage the audience's imagination into thinking of what they could look like if they took creatine.

     In discussing the case of Mark McGwire, Dan Shaughnessy uses a pathos appeal that supports the person of Mark McGwire and not really the issue.  He claims that Mark McGwire should not be engaged in a controversy that labels him as a cheater and bad role model, because he did nothing wrong.  Ironically, the title of his article is "Leave Mac Alone."  Shaughnessy (12C) relates that throughout McGwire's baseball career, McGwire has "been a good citizen, never one to disgrace the uniform.  Most recently he's dedicated his charity efforts to awareness and funding for abused children" (12C).  This reasoning shows that McGwire is an upstanding person and evokes respect from the reader.  It is against the claim that using performance-enhancers are a bad example to young athletes and at the same time supports the argument for supplement use in sports.

    On the other hand are those who support the removal of performance-enhancers from...

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