Robert Boyle Essay

826 words - 3 pages

DRUGS IN SPORTDrug use has been a part of competitive sport for almost a century. At thefirst olympics in Athens in 1896, marathon runners drank a mixture of brandy andstrychnine 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 theirperformance were, in fact, cheating. We need to remember that drug use is not new.East Germany athletes used drugs to enhance their performance. Soviet Unionwas also involved in drug experimentation. In the United States the drug culturehad become so widespread that steroids and stimulants were known to every highschool coach. The use of drug was believed by athletes to enhance performance, inone way or another.Until 1960, nothing was done about the issue. The sports council of Europeofficially moved against drugs when it tabled a resolution calling for the banning ofdrugs on ethical, moral and medical grounds.The Olympic games, even though they are only held every 4 years, representthe pinnacle of sporting achievement. The International Olympic Committee (IOC)has a critical role to play in demanding extensive drug testing and in providingfunding for such testing.This is a controversial issue. The IOC believes that each of the internationalfederations which governs particular sports should be responsible for its owntesting.This seems reasonable enough, but it is argued that the Olympic Games arethe highest profile competition in the world and the most prestigious. The worldstops 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 rangeof drugs taken to enhance performance. Blood testing is a more efficient way, it candetect drugs that urine testing cannot.By the beginning of the 1980s, the use of anabolic steroids had become quitecommon. These drugs - and the allied substances, testosterone and human growthhormone - were basic muscle builders. They increased mass and strength, whileproducing, 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 allright for a competitor to take a pain-killer or a vitamin supplement, why is it notright to stop exhaustion with a caffeine hit? The answer would seem to be that drugssuch as pain-killers are not a valid remedy for a medical condition, where as steroidsare a remedy for only one...

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