Opinion Essay on Cheating

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I Would Prefer Even to Fail with Honor Than Win by Cheating

The world is becoming so dependent on the ‘human rights concept and is gradually resulting in a morally lazy public. Unlike the human rights perspective, the idea of human responsibility originates from the declaration that all human beings are free and equal in rights and dignity upon birth. It means that every individual is endowed with adequate reasoning and conscience and that people should act toward each other in the spirit of brotherhood. Human rights receive better protection when every person understands their duties to one another, as well as, to the local, national, regional, and global communities. However, steroid use is still a major problem affecting sports around the world. While the concerned authorities are doing their best to contain the problem, it still rests on the individual athletes to take action by reporting their colleagues breaking this policy. On this premise, I believe that despite steroid use being rampant in my sport, it would be cheating if I were to use them too.

The widespread use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) and the associated drug dependency have altered the perception that steroidal use is cheating in sports. Kirkwood argued this point out from the perspective of cheating as an advantage-seeking behavior (485). This argument followed the example of doping, where sportspeople are allowed to use banned substances as long as there is medical verification. On a similar note, AAS addiction has become a problem among sportspeople. This addiction has caused athletes to become dependent on regular doses of steroids to keep them from developing withdrawal symptoms and becoming ineffective in sports. The question then becomes whether steroidal use becomes cheating, now that sportspeople are not seeking an advantage in the game itself but rather a relief from the effects of the drug addiction problem. McGrew also upheld this view in his research, when he propositioned that the medical community has effectively discredited myths revolving around the effects of AAS (234). For instance, steroid users do not exhibit destructive rage as many believe. From this angle, AAS have risks but are safe as long as they are administered properly.

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Even though the previous articles view the use of steroids as not cheating, others have differing opinions. Dodge et al. contended that it is all a matter of perspective and demonstrates using two scenarios, i.e., representing the athletic and academic domains (678). On the one hand, an athlete abused steroids to succeed in a sports event while on the other, a student used AAS to pass midterm exams. The participants of the study were asked to select which of the two cheated and compared the responses. The findings revealed that most of the participants believed the athlete to be a cheater and many more believed that the student was justified to use AAS to pass exams. From this angle, the circumstances will define whether people will view drug abuse as cheating or not. One way to explain the percepts in the presented case regarding a student and an athlete is the fact that many would have believed the latter to be a frequent user, which is the characteristic of many sportspeople (Dodge et al. 681). As such, the student was more justified because it was probably the first time to use AAS. Despite taking a different viewpoint from the rest, however, this article only enhances the ambiguity that surrounds the concept of cheating in the context of AAS use in sports.

A moral criterion that will be useful in the evaluation of the action involving steroid use will be team responsibility. In any sport, an individual will have to partake in a team from local to international competition. That means that each person has a role to play in ensuring the success of the team. The premise of a team is shared responsibility, which means that the members of the group commit to the completion of the tasks given to them and aid their colleagues in meeting deadlines (Bonner et al. 1983). For such a goal to be accomplished, trust is an important element. If I were to engage in steroid use to enhance my performance, I place my entire team at risk of being excluded from the competition, as is the nature of shared responsibility. The rationale for this claim is that if my drug use is noticed, I will face expulsion from the competition and all my achievements will be stripped from me as well as my team. Furthermore, risking steroid use will damage not only my reputation but that of other athletes on my team that had probably no idea what was happening.

Another moral criterion that will be valuable in examining steroid use is accountability, which highlights issues such as answerability, liability, and blameworthiness. Heck et al. define accountability as the assurance that the performance of an organization or individual will be assessed based on that which they are held responsible (44). Within a team, each member is given a role to play to achieve an overall goal that would ensure victory. Success, therefore, depends on the ability of each individual to play his or her part by making certain sacrifices and meeting their obligations. Using steroids to boost my performance only means that I will be prioritizing my personal glory at the expense of my team. If the steroids were to cause unintended consequences, I would place the entire team at risk of failing. Steroids can be damaging to the muscles and can cause faster deterioration of muscle cells, resulting in burnout (Egner et al. 11). Being accountable means that I am responsible for the role I am given on the team and that means taking measures to ensure that I am ready for the competition using proper

Based on team responsibility, it is vital for a person to ensure that he or she behaves in a manner that brings success to the team. The premise is that the consequences of the individual actions of the team members have repercussions for the team. If one of them were to be caught using steroids to boost performance, he or she places the entire team at risk of losing the competition. For instance, most sports operate using a fixed number of players, which forces competing teams to have two teams in place as a precaution. In case one of the most crucial members were to be kicked out due to steroid use, the team will have to resort to a less-qualified player. The outcome will be that the team’s ability to function as it should diminish and so does the prospect of winning the tournament. Conforming to the requirements of shared responsibility means that any member should not take actions that would jeopardize the team.

In the context of accountability, a team player has a responsibility to ensure that he or she performs the role given to the best of one’s capabilities. Being a part of a team implies an unspoken form of a social contract that each member must strive to uphold. Accountability means that each team member does all he or she can win for the team within the requirements of the law. Steroid use entails breaking the anti-doping rules that make up most competitions, meaning that it is not within acceptable parameters. Accountability also means that in case a member discovers the other consuming steroids, corrective action should be taken before the problem graduates into one that could affect the entire team. Ignoring it will only allow the issue to fester and become more devastating once the bubble bursts. In summary, accountability requires that each team member should be liable for his or her actions and be ready to make amends wherever and whenever possible. The willingness to learn is at the center of this concept since it would be more troubling if a member was to repeat the same mistake.

Human responsibility is a much more effective framework for governing individual actions compared to the human rights perspective. Using team responsibility and accountability as moral criteria, it is evident that using steroids is not a responsible thing for an athlete to do. Not only does it place the individual at risk of suffering health damage but also places the entire team in jeopardy of losing its ability to compete. Thus, it would be cheating for me to use steroids to improve my performance in a competition. Despite the rampant use of AAS among sportsmen, I believe that steroidal use is synonymous with cheating in sports. This view stems from the standpoint that sports are motivated by rules, upon which competitors are expected to compete against each other in a fair manner. Literature evidence supports the existence of a conundrum in the perception of AAS usage as cheating because it is more about relieving addiction needs than seeking an advantage in the competition.

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