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A Sports World Divided Essay

2177 words - 9 pages

The incredible world of sports that has given so much entertainment, so many memories, and so much to look forward to has recently been dominated by the performance enhancement scandals. Coming out of the midst of all the controversy, the world of sports can now be divided into two distinct categories: the users and the non users. Unfortunately the users have heavily out weighed the non users and it is an irreversible trend. Trying to fix the problem now is like fighting a war that simply cannot be won. With all that has gone on in recent years, the sports world that we know and love will never rid itself of the issue involving performance enhancement drugs and it will only get worse.Performance enhancing substances have been used since sports became popular. Performance enhancing substances do just that, they enhance performance whether it be using anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, stimulants, or anything else that can give an athlete an unfair advantage. One of the first known cases of an athlete using one of these substances was back in 1904 when Thomas Hicks won the gold medal in the St. Louis Olympics after mixing brandy with a drug called strychnine to aid in his victory. After the race he collapsed and nearly died but was revived hours after the collapse. Later in 1967, cyclist Tom Simpson died during the Tour de France after taking amphetamines to boost him during the race which caused the Tour de France to install a doping control policy (Timeline). However, the doping policies adopted by major sports were not enough to prevent the rapid incline of performance enhancing drug use.The use of these substances has inclined since the popularity of them increased around 1970. From 1986 to 1995, steroid use among young adults ages 19-28 have increased from 1% of people surveyed using them to about 3.5% of people surveyed using them (Bachman). That may not seem too overwhelming but considering the fact that the information on these drugs was almost nonexistent at the time and obtaining them was extremely difficult unless you knew someone, this was a significant increase. Now that information overflowing on these drugs all over the internet, it makes the decision of the athlete much easier. Also, obtaining them has become increasingly easy recently.Even teenagers not old enough to drive have shown an interest in these substances. A survey from the Research Report journal showed the increase of a younger age range over a ten year period. Eight graders were surveyed and in 1989 only 1.7% used steroids but in 1999 that number increased to 2.7%. Tenth graders went from 1.6% to 2.7% and seniors in high school went from 2% to 3.5% (Leshner). It is evident that this trend will continue to increase as the years go on because almost every survey done has shown an increase thus far. As more information is given to us, more people will become attracted to these powerful drugs.Of course the big time athletes who are egotistical enough to spread this...

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