Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Performance Enhancers on the Run?

From our T.V. screens, it never seems to amazes us of the many talents we see dominating the hundred yard dash or throwing the ultimate curve ball. The hundreds of home runs by Mark McGuire and the fleeting speed of Marion Jones, their talents to us seem unimaginable and unattainable for any normal human. But that's just it. They are not normal because they are accelerating in their performance due to certain steroids. The many uses of steroids in sports has become a problem according to the September article of the Nature magazine who towards the ban of enhancement drugs in all athletic sports leading to the controversy of whether performance drugs should be legalized. With the competitive egos of athletes to be the greatest is the temptation to do whatever it takes to be number one. And even now it has become an issue in other countries such as Britain where some of their best performers are being accused and are being deliberated as to whether they should be allowed to compete. The Nature article opposes the use of performance drugs through morals and the many health problems that the drugs may cause for athletes. However, the other author, Adrianne Blue, argues that legalizing these drugs would prevent cheating and satisfy the people's interest who enjoy watching them excel.
Why would any healthy individual use drugs that may potentially harm them and their chances of competition? The
Nature article claims that the athletes who use these enhancers only want to be in the spotlight or want fame and fortune. They are more worried about being a successful athlete, than their health, and that is part of the reason why Britain is urging for the banning of steroids. On the other hand, Adrianne Blue feels as if players take drugs so that they may be able to train harder with out being sore, especially when the training intensifies. And so therein lies the question: what’s wrong with building up muscle? However, according to Sara Bellum of the National Institute on Drug Abuse “while anabolic steroids can make some people look stronger on the outside, they may create weaknesses on the inside.” While it not only serves as a cheating method, the dangers of the health of the athletes are innumerable. Along with the risks of a weak structure, Bellum’s page "mind over matter", notes that steroids lead to mood swings, and not to mention irreversible changes; some even more noticeable than others. Guys may shrink their genitals and lose hair; whereas girls grow facial hair, and may even develop deeper voices. Brain tumors often respond dramatically to steroids if not used carefully. Although these dangerous and life altering effects may not have been evident in the case of the woman in Britain it is clearly evident that any female that can run 800 metros faster than most women is a little risque, so why bother risking championships and good health?
Hot on the tracks of Nature's argument is the viewpoint from an average person who sees beyond the health conditions and more at what they would much rather see on their television. While the effects of steroids are clear, people who watch athletes would much rather watch their favorites smoke someone in the hundred yard dash and run fifty yards to the touchdown. In fact, Blue looks at the usage of drugs from a whole new perspective. Adrianne concludes that the inside scoop on steroid usage are well known among the trainers, physicians, and nutritionists. But if everyone knows about it and knows of the benefits of the anabolic enhancer, why not just
legalize it altogether? The only negative effect she feels coming from the banning of the substance is a host full of “liars and cheats”.
No matter what sport: cricket, football, tennis, and in this case track, athletes will do whatever it takes to be among the greatest. Unaware of the danger it presents, if the drugs increases stature and performance ability, someone is willing to try it. Not to say that using the drug sparingly is entirely wrong, but what could be better, not to mention healthier, than sticking to normal push ups on the floor. Anyone who abuses the use of anabolic steroids is no phenomenal person. They are no hero and no superstar if the stardom they attain did not come from hard work. So I agree with Nature get your muscles the hard way, it will be well worth your while. And if not, when cancer begins to grow and your favorite athlete begins to deteriorate that's when you'll ask: IS IT WORTH IT?

Bellum, Sara. “Mind Over Matter”. National Institute On Drug Abuse, National Institute of Health. 2003. 26 Jan. 2007. < in a new window>.

Blue, Adrianna. “Sports: It’s The Real Dope” LexisNexis Academic Search. 2006. 26 Jan. 2007. < >

“Drugs on the track.” Nature. 371. 1994. 26 Jan 2007.


1 comment:

Daniel Lupton said...

Good job on your first post, Gabrielle. You do a good job summarizing the articles and getting to the heart of the ethical issue here. I do have some criticisms, though. Mostly, I think your paper could have used some further revision to tighten up the organization (particularly the organization within the paragraphs) and the sentence structure. A lot of your syntax is unclear, and there are numerous typos (including several distracting ones in the opening paragraph). These are exactly the types of issues that get taken care of in draft workshops, so make sure to participate in all of them and even schedule extra ones with me or with the Writing Center in order to give your future posts more polish.

Also, from a technical standpoint, the visual layout of your post is a bit awkward (I would advise putting empty space between each paragraph) and inconsistent with the rest of your group. Try and pay more attention to this when you make your future posts.