Performance-enhancing Drugs: Improve Your Game, Destroy Your Brain

Essay by PopeCharlesCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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New advances in medicine and technology bring about an abundance of performance-enhancing drugs. Athletes today find ways to improve their minds and bodies in such a way that certain drugs enhance the exact part(s) of the body necessary for the sport. However, their discovery of drugs like Human Growth Hormone and ephedrine brings about many problems. First of all, the use of drugs by the athletes takes away from the nature of the sport and the natural way that the game is supposed to be played. Next, professional athletes' use of these drugs to augment their performance is cheating and they, as potential role models, are teaching the youth in society that cheating is right. Finally and most importantly, the use of these drugs is harmful to health. Although performance-enhancing drugs are beneficial to an athlete's game, they ultimately damage athletics as a whole.

Many people will argue that the banishment of drugs in sports takes away from an individual's rights.

W. Miller Brown, Dean of Faculty at Trinity College in Connecticut, believes that "athletes should be treated as adults, not children. People acknowledge risks every day that could equally be dubbed coercive, but still make individual decisions" (Pappa). However, what Brown does not acknowledge is that sports are not as pure as they once were. Certain drugs alter athletic ability and talent, making

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competition unfairly lopsided. For example, during the first fourteen seasons up to 2000 of Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds' career, he averaged 32 home runs. In the next three seasons his home run average jumped to 55, not to mention his league record-breaking 73 in 2001. In the off-season between 2003 and 2004, though, Bonds tested positive for use of Human Growth Hormone, a steroid that can only be detected in blood...