Should Professional Sports People Be Given Lifetime Bans From Playing Their Sport If They Are Convicted Of Using Performance Enhancing Drugs?

1679 words - 7 pages

Research Essay
Should professional sports people be given lifetime bans from playing their sport if they are convicted of using performance enhancing drugs?
The following essay will discuss whether or not lifetime bans should be implemented to those athletes convicted of using performance enhancing drugs. In particular, it will argue why lifetime bans should be put into practice while considering health, ethics and social and economic factors.

Whether or not professional sportspeople should receive lifetime bans from playing their sports, if they are caught and convicted of using performance enhancing drugs is controversial. Professional sportspeople have been using performance ...view middle of the document...

Generally the taking of drugs is for rehabilitation or therapeutic purposes in which the side effects can be weighed against the benefits of the drug. This counterbalance however doesn't exist for athletes as they are taking drugs for non-therapeutic purposes and as such "side effects can only be perceived as detrimental to health" (Mottram, 2005, p.11). Serious side effects include violent mood swings, heart attacks and lung failure. Florence Griffith-Joyner an American sprinter who died of a heart seizure in 1998 allegedly took steroids for a large portion of her career and some experts suggest that is was this long-term steroid use that contributed to her death (Atkins, 2010, p.17). Some athletes however, believe that these side effects are worth the risks. Athletes are under extreme pressure to succeed, and this often leads to drug use. Banned substances help to build body mass which becomes an advantage in sports such as weightlifting and body building. They also increase oxygen delivery which assists in events like sprinting; performance enhancing drugs also help to mask pain therefore enabling those athletes to compete for longer periods of time. According to Nicolas Eber (2009) some doctors believe that the practice and participation in professional sports activities are more damaging to an athlete than performance enhancing drugs. Nevertheless prohibited substances are disallowed for a reason. Athletes have to consider whether the glory of a win is of more importance than their lives. Knud Jenson, a Danish cyclist, was one of the first causalities to performance enhancing drugs when he collapsed during the 1960 Olympic Games, his autopsy showed amphetamines in his body (Atkins, 2010, p.17). Implementing lifetime bans is necessary to protect athletes from the temptation of injuring themselves from using performance enhancing drugs.
The use of performance enhancing drugs in sports is illegal as it helps athletes gain an unfair advantage over other competitors in their field. The current regulations regarding performance enhancing drugs according to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) are based upon the eight Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV). The eight ADRV's relate to the usage, possession of and trafficking of banned substances. There are currently a number of short-term bans in place if any of these offences are committed. By cheating athletes are destroying the spirit of sport as "doping...is detrimental to the positive impact of sport in society" (UK Sport, 2005). However, how much of an advantage do performance enhancing drugs have on professional sportspeople's performance? As sports itself is unfair. Athletes that have better natural abilities, better coaching or funding and unlimited access to performance enhancing substances and this divide escalates the inequality between sportspeople (Eber, 2009). The use of certain performance enhancing drugs may also help athletes by lowering the dangers, specifically...

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