In Sport
There are many powerful forces in the world, but few are as powerful in sports
as this. It is so powerful that 50% of athletes would keep using this knowing it
would kill them. This force is so powerful that 40% of professional athletes use
them (Bohan 21). This force is performance enhancing drugs. There are many
reasons for taking performance enhancing drugs. The first is and most obvious
facto is the improved performance. Another is pressure for results. That factor
is the leading reason for taking drugs. Another factor is money. Since the main
users of the drugs are professional athletes, who need results for money, they
are usually the select few that can afford them. The reasons for not using the
drugs are more numerous and considerably more dangerous than the reasons for
taking them. The most sever, of course, is death. One example of this tragic end
is Florence Griffith Joyners death. Though she was tested and found with no
drugs in her system, she was rumored to have taken small doses of anabolic
steroids during her illustrious track and field career. Another reason is many
health risks, many not resulting in death though. These include stoppage of
growth, loss of bodily functions, dehydration, and many more. Plus, these drugs
are illegal in sports. Many are available only through a doctors prescription
for certain diseases. The sport that sees the highest rate of competitors using
performance enhancing drugs is bodybuilding. Many of these athletes were skinny
and not very popular during their high school years. They use the steroids to
bulk up and create a shield against the criticism. Due to this fact of
psychological instability and the effect of the steroids, a violent person is
created from a once calm person. This has been illustrated in the many murders
involving bodybuilders recently. An example of one of these murders was the
murder of Kristy Ramsey. She was engaged to Gordon Kimbrough, with whom she won
the 1991 USA pairs bodybuilding title. After she admitted to have an affair,
Kimbrough strangled and stabbed her twice, and afterwards tried to dill himself.

“According to a family member, Kimbrough was meek and shy when not on steroids
and became short-tempered and violent when using them” (Harris 99). There are
many types of performance enhancing drugs. Stimulants, which include
amphetamines, cause you to “speed up” too much. In large doses stimulants
override a persons normal felling of exhaustion, which causes people to push
themselves too hard. Strong painkillers are another type of performance
enhancing drug. The increase a persons pain barrier and are extremely
addictive, resulting in permanent injury. Anabolic steroids cause heart attacks,
growth stoppage and violent outbursts. Women develop deep voices and facial hair
if taken too long. Many snooker (pool) players use beta-blockers, which slows
the beating of the heart. This helps them stay calm in pressure situations. A
side effect of this drug is bonchospasm, which causes the lungs to tighten,
making it difficult to breath. Diuretics are used to remove water from the body,
which improves muscle tone and subtracts weight from water in the body. Taking
this drug can cause serious dehydration, sometimes resulting in death. I believe
all performance enhancing drugs should be banned from sports. There are just too
many risks to athletes taking them. But that is a very unlikely scenario, mainly
because testing cant keep up with the new drugs being produced. New drugs are
created everyday. This is illustrated by Mark McGwires historic home run
binge. Before this year, nobody knew about androstenedione. McGwire admitted to
taking the drug, which helps build muscle. His record will forever have an
asterisk beside it because of that fact. But if these drugs are banned, you will
soon see all of the asterisk disappear from the record books.

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Bohan, Janet. Drugs in Sports. New York: Broderbund Publishing Company, 1988.

Harris, Gary. “Brady Hits Em in Bunches.” Sports Illustrated. April 28,
1997, pp. 96-106. Reilly, Rick. “Muscle Murders.” Sports Illustrated. May
18, 1998, pp. 99-107. Encarta Encyclopedia. Microsoft, 1998.