Drug use has been a part of competitive sport for almost a century. At the
first olympics in Athens in 1896, marathon runners drank a mixture of
brandy and strychnine to help them on their ways and used opiates to
control pain during a race. Use of alcohol was very common in the early
years of the twentieth century. It might be argued that the first athletes
to use drugs to enhance their performance were, in fact, cheating. We need
to remember that drug use is not new. East Germany athletes used drugs to
enhance their performance. Soviet Union was also involved in drug
experimentation. In the United States the drug culture had become so
widespread that steroids and stimulants were known to every high school
coach. The use of drug was believed by athletes to enhance performance, in
one way or another.
Until 1960, nothing was done about the issue. The sports council of Europe
officially moved against drugs when it tabled a resolution calling for the
banning of drugs on ethical, moral and medical grounds.
The Olympic games, even though they are only held every 4 years, represent
the pinnacle of sporting achievement. The International Olympic Committee
(IOC) has a critical role to play in demanding extensive drug testing and
in providing funding for such testing.
This is a controversial issue. The IOC believes that each of the
international federations which governs particular sports should be
responsible for its own testing.
This seems reasonable enough, but it is argued that the Olympic Games are
the highest profile competition in the world and the most prestigious. The
world stops to watch them and they represent the culmination of years of
work for athletes. Winning a gold medal is the glory to any sporting career.
Urine testing is the usual testing method, and it doesn’t reveal the full
range of drugs taken to enhance performance. Blood testing is a more
efficient way, it can detect drugs that urine testing cannot.
By the beginning of the 1980s, the use of anabolic steroids had become
quite common. These drugs – and the allied substances, testosterone and
human growth hormone – were basic muscle builders. They increased mass and
strength, while producing, as one side effect, a heightened aggression.
In other words, they made winners in sports. The problem seems to be in the
definition of drug. For example, if it is all right for a competitor to
take a pain-killer or a vitamin supplement, why is it not right to stop
exhaustion with a caffeine hit? The answer would seem to be that drugs such
as pain-killers are not a valid remedy for a medical condition, where as
steroids are a remedy for only one condition. Losing!
All that differed was the choices of drugs by a particular group. Tennis
players, for example are most likely to use anti-inflamatories and pain-
killers, while elite athletes knew of and use a sophisticated range of mood
and body altering substances.
Successful performance in sports depends upon having quick chemical
reactions in your brain and a responsive muscles system that is efficient
in directing such abilities as speed of movement, reaction time, agility,
flexibility, and coordination.
Drugs interfere with and replace the brain’s normal processes during
adolescent development. Some drugs such as marijuana affect the mind by
reducing motivation. Too much marijuana can make you lose the get up and
go feeling you need to train for sports so that you are no longer capable
of doing your best. Most athletes who use drugs do not die, but many fail
at their sport. An athlete can also fail by dropping out of sports or by
being kicked out either for poor performance or as punishment for illegal
use od drugs. Sports performance requires the most complicated physical
movements. To be successful in those movements, the athlete’s brain must be
in excellent condition for receiving and sending messages that involves
strategy, control, balance and so on.
Remember that drugs interfere with your natural chemical processes that
affect your moods, behavior style, body movements, health and appearance,
memory, and the quality of everything you do.
Drugs can ruin what it has taken you a lifetime to develop. All potential
can be lost when your body and mind are damaged by drugs.
Drugs alter behavior in many ways. They cause unpredictable outbursts and
actions beyond your control . They can cause aggressive acts of violence,
and even murder.
You should avoid drugs while you are still growing . Most drugs are
designed for adults. While you are young, you also have more fluid in your
body weight than you will have as an adult. Drugs that dissolve in water
will spread to more places in your body than in an adult’s.
Steroids is a common type of drug used by almost every sports person. It
cause dangerous imbalances and only temporary advantages. Anabolic steroids
are dangerous because they increase muscle strength quickly but tissues and
tendons are not strengthened at the same rate. That creates a weakened,
imbalanced body, putting the athlete at greater risk of injury. Longer use
of this drug snuffs out sexual interest. It can cause hurt attacks,
myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can also mean sharing death from
AIDS. Causes also hair loss. Steroids raise blood pressure and blood
cholesterol to dangerous levels.
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