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Doping: How It Damages The Odds

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Sports throughout the world are absolutely stunning. Anything from backyard horseplay all the way up to the professional level, athletics bring out the raw amount of talent people have. Yet, what would happen if people were to take away the natural skill that someone worked for? That’s exactly what doping does; it takes away from hardwork and dedication, and adds a unworked for and unfair advantage that causes several problems.

In competitive sports, doping is the use of banned athletic performance enhancing drugs by athletic competitors. The term doping is widely used by organizations that regulate sporting competitions. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical, and therefore prohibited, by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. Athletes taking explicit measures to evade detection exacerbate the ethical violation with overt deception and cheating.

Historically speaking, the origins of doping in sports go back to the very creation of sport itself. From ancient usage of substances in chariot racing to more recent controversies in baseball and cycling, and many of the mainstream sports. Popular views among athletes have varied widely from country to country over the years. The general trend among authorities and sporting organizations over the past several decades has been to strictly regulate the use of drugs in sport.

The reasons for the ban are mainly the health risks of performance enhancing drugs, the equality of opportunity for athletes, and the exemplary effect of drug free sport for the public. Anti-doping authorities state that using performance enhancing drugs goes against the ‘spirit of sport.”

Since professional athletes are at the top of the food chain when it comes to athletics, whether it be football, cycling, bodybuilding, or gymnastics, athletes are always striving to achieve perfection to get there. Doctor Thomas Kosten of Baylor College of Medicine studied and examined the effects of pro athletes doping in sports. Kosten explains that doping boosts performance of athletes. “The simple reason that athletes start doping is because they want to win, and these substances can help in a variety of ways.” But he also sheds more light onto the topic by explaining that substances can be addictive and cause health issues down the road. “More typically, the complications of these substances are long-term health problems such as liver cancers. Other organs can also be damaged by heavy doping over long periods of time. Life-threatening complications can come up months or years later.” Kosten said. The USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) also lists the harm that doping, both physical and physiological,can cause. Some physical issues that may occur are acne, liver damage, stunt in growth, and many more. Following that, some examples of physiological damage includes increased anger, and sexual problems. Also, withdrawal symptoms have been linked to depression and suicidal tendencies. The medical risks aren’t worth taking performance enhancing drugs.

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Regardless of league divisions and testing, the underlying issue is that getting a man-made advantage through doping is clearly immoral. Sports doping involves the utilization of drugs (such as steroids or human growth hormones) or medical techniques (like blood doping or sequence manipulation) for the purpose of gaining an unfair, and nonlegal advantage. Once one considers the physical and psychological damage it causes, and the violations of rights inflicted, doping is clearly an ethical violation. In an exceedingly sporting context, participants rights center around an honest competition in the attempt for personal and team achievement. The utilization of performance enhancing drugs violates the globe Anti Doping Agency’s rules, violates competitors rights and could be a variety of cheating. Actions, like doping, that cause injustice, short and semi permanent damage to health, or the violation of participants rights are thought of to be immoral. In fact, it’s been argued that no alternative sport violations, be it violence, game fixing, or cheating, violate the attribute of sport the maximum amount as doping will. Understanding the psychological characteristics of athletes World Health Organization dope is also even as vital as the sports world approaches supported testing, catching, and penalizing athletes World Health Organization dope.

From a moral perspective, one will concentrate on their ethical development, or emphasize the stress of the game itself as an extremely competitive sport, during which finishing in second place is typically seen as unacceptable. From a theoretical perspective, sport ethics are studied from an achievement goal perspective, a social perspective or body structure perspective (gaining muscle). An example, factors on personal morality and social values, ethical values, cheating, performance and social control, external motivation and negative mood states, and sportspersonship orientations. All of those changes when using performance enhancing drugs. Yet, none of those viewpoints has proved to all athletes that doping is morally wrong.

Albert Bandura, a American-Canadian psychologist came up with a theory pertaining to ethics and morals that can be connected to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Bandura’s social psychological feature theory of ethical thought and action offers a promising approach to understanding performance enhancing drug use. Bandura proposes engagement in transgressive activities is deterred by anticipation of negative emotions ensuing from such behavior. Athletes are deterred from doping and as a result they associate doping with unpleasant emotions like guilt (for breaking rules), shame (the possibilities of peers finding out), or fear (of unpleasant health consequences). However, Bandura additionally explains however individuals will scale back or eliminate anticipation of such emotions through the use of any of eight psychosocial mechanisms jointly termed mechanisms of ethical disengagement. Ethical disengagement permits individuals to reduce their personal responsibility for the act or its consequences, distorting the results of the act, or dehumanizing or blaming the victim of the act. Then showing that ethical disengagement could permit athletes to dope while not experiencing associated negative emotions that ought to deter doping.

Believing that anabolic steroids can improve competitiveness and performance, uninformed or misguided athletes, sometimes encouraged by coaches, abuse these drugs to build lean muscle mass, promote aggressiveness, and increase body weight. Anabolic steroids are not the same as steroid medications, such as prednisone or hydrocortisone, that are legitimately used to treat asthma and inflammation of the skin or other parts of the body. Anabolic means bodybuilding tissue. Anabolic steroids help build muscle tissue and increase body mass by acting like the body’s natural male hormone, testosterone. Steroids have become popular because they improve endurance, strength, and muscle mass.

Since performance enhancing drugs cause multiple forms of damage and ruin professional sports, there must be a way to stop athletes from using them. In most sports there are usually tests and screenings, but there aren’t enough, and athletes usually know when they are, so they know how to avoid getting caught. Preventive measures must be based on the following two assumptions, acknowledgment that doping exists, even in an “honest” environment, and realization that prevention is much needed. There needs to be more tests and screening that aren’t announced to the athletes, combined with the announced screenings. There also needs to be stricter rules and regulations pertaining to the athletes. That would possibly help prevent use before it happens, and make sure that further use is stopped. Along with stricter rules, there needs to be harsher punishments and fines to not only make a statement that is is wrong to use performance enhancing drugs, but to stop repeat offenses. Following that, there needs to be help and rehab for athletes that dope. Once figuring out that an athlete has a problem the next step is recognition and then rehab. Helping the athlete off an addictive substance and helping them through emotional strains and possible withdrawal symptoms can make the recovery of an athlete smoother and more beneficial. After rehab, provide options for the athletes future whether that be getting back to the sport, or maybe finding an alternative path going forward.

All in all, doping in sports is wrong in many ways. It takes away from natural born talent that athletes are born with. It makes working to achieve higher standards a waste of time by providing a way to cheat the system. It is morally wrong in many ways such as lying, breaking rules and regulations which is illegal, and possibly creating guilt. It also creates both physical and mental health problems such as creating negative effects down the line for organs like an athlete’s liver, or even making an athletes mood act up, making them have an increase in anger or depression. There needs to be actions to stop the use of doping in sports because it negatively impacts all parts of the game.

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Doping: How It Damages The Odds. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Doping: How It Damages The Odds.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Doping: How It Damages The Odds. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Doping: How It Damages The Odds [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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