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Running head: Professional Ethics 0

Taking performance enhancing drugs for a competitive edge

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Author NoteIntroduction

Sports is very competitive and has been defended as an avenue that searches for excellent performance. Athletes who are the top of their game, either finding their motivation from observing the core principles of competition or craving for an external prize, are prepared to incur a hefty price in terms of time and determination to accomplish great success. We are prepared to applaud an athlete who spends time practicing hard as a worker and true contestant but when they use performance enhancement drugs to have a competitive edge, they are condemned widely as they are portrayed as cheats. Such condemnation, is it justified? What is wrong with the use of drugs to achieve excellence in sports? Is prohibiting the use of performing enhancing drugs in athletic completion justified? (Simon, 1985) In this paper, I will address the issues on drugs in sports surrounding the spirit of sports, safety, cheating and prohibiting and conclude with my view on this topic.The spirit of sports

The World Anti-Doping Agency categorizes an unlawful drug as one that enhances potential, poses a risk to one’s health, or is in violation of the spirit of sport. The spirit of sport is upheld when the human essence, physique, and brain are celebrated and is illustrated by: morality, neutral ground and integrity, wellness, performance excellence, temperament and guidance, enjoyment and delight, working as a team, devotion and dedication, regard for rules and laws, regard for self and other players, bravery, and community and harmony (J Savulescu, 2004).

Performance enhancing drugs violate this spirit, however, there is another view of sport where the choices the athletes make are an embodiment of their own judgement showcasing bravery, purpose and knowledge. This judgement is practiced when it comes to deciding on training, diet and on whether to use drugs. Biological potential is brought out through training but also through biological manipulation which symbolizes the ability to be better versions of ourselves when reason and judgement are best exercised. The result will be that winners are not always the ones born with the finest genetic prospects but the one with a blend of genetic capability, practice, mindset, and discernment. Olympic performances would be because of human inventiveness and decision rather than a genetic lottery.Safety

Safety is the sole boundary that should not be crossed in sports. We should place more effort on health and fitness to compete as compared to testing for doping. There is great need to take safety more seriously. In my view, drugs that are safe should be authorized while the banning and monitoring of unsafe drugs continues. The other argument being that it is incredibly unfair for sincere athletes who do not take drugs as they do not share a similar edge to those that dope enjoy. Extremely thorough and consistent health and fitness checks of the athletes to perform should be prioritized. If safe drugs that boost the athlete’s performance were allowed, those that develop these drugs would feel the pressure to develop safer drugs and in the process creating a safer environment. Sensitivity to the athlete’s health should be paramount when carrying out tests preventing a situation where you are being too rigid by testing for only substances. This could also assist in alleviating the risks innate in sports when medical testing is done flexibly. Many athletes believe that drugs help them in sports by creating a safety net.Climate for Cheating

Comparing the entire world’s medical harms that are caused by doping, you will find that they are lesser than the worldwide dangers rooting from illegal drug use by civilians. The amount of money spent on per drug user to fight drugs in sports overshadows the amount devoted to fighting ordinary citizens by successions of degree of drug use. Suppose that the health risks and observance of the law were merely the motives behind eliminating drug use then the financial value we employed on anti-doping need be similar on each drug user as the financial importance we place on eliminating leisurely drugs usage. But this is not the case. For this reason, it should be clear that it is not health dangers that we discern are principally at risk, but danger to sport, a significant desecration of its spirit. It is a setback for the integrity of privileged sport, if everybody is deceitful. We should purpose to outline sporting rules that athletes are prepared to observe if at all the cheating climate is of primary concern (J Savulescu, 2004).Prohibition

Arguing that restriction of performance enhancing drugs has not been a success is one point, or that it will certainly not achieve success. But it should also be considered that the banning of a material that is previously in supply brings its own inherent tribulations. Banning results to a reduction in consumption, which most of the times results to the formation of a black market to source the ongoing demand. At present, athletes dispense performance enhancing materials in measures that are proportionate with the quantity of performance advancement they desire to achieve, instead of considering safe dosages. The influential athletics have close to limitless reserves and the objective of almost boundless performance, a structure that culminates in the use of exceedingly dangerous dosages. Exclusion of athletes because their bodies are not fit for competition would be reduced.


I would propose that we store gradual records of each athlete’s Hematocrit and hormone concentrations with noteworthy nonconformities from the estimated importance would necessitate follow-up testing. Although this approach is in numerous ways desirable to the prevention of drug usage, it does not do anything to nothing to rectify the harms confronting an athlete who has a dangerous baseline Hematocrit or hormone concentration.

Our main interest should be well-being of the athlete. If a medication does not open a sportsperson to unwarranted endangerment then it should be allowed even if it boosts performance. The way I see it is that we have these choices: unsuccessfully attempt to alter the clock or go back to the basics of who we are and what sport represents and find new ways to revolutionize sports. Our crusade against drugs in sports has failed. We should be more accepting of drugs in sports rather than fighting them. In 1998, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the International Olympic Committee president, was of the suggestion that athletes be permitted to use performance enhancing drugs that were not dangerous. This perspective becomes logical if there is assurance that no harm comes to the athletes by not using drugs (J Savulescu, 2004). Taking drugs for a competitive edge is not necessarily cheating. It is only human that the athletes choose to be better and I think they should be given this choice if it does not pose potential health risks. It is paramount that their welfare be considered. Legalizing performance enhancing drugs in sports could create a considerable and harmless environment. 1


Hedin, S. G. (1891). The Haematokrit: A new apparatus for the investigation of blood. Skandinavisches Archiv fur physiologie, 2(1): 134-40.

J Savulescu, B. F. (2004). Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport. Br J Sports Med, 38:666–670.

Simon, R. L. (1985). Good Competition and Drug-Enhanced Performance. Journal of The Philosophy of Sport, 6-13.


Hematocrit/PCV: Packed Cell Volume- %volume of r.b.c in blood. Normally, it is 45% and 40% for men and women respectively. The measure of PCV in an athlete’s blood sample, exposes possible diseases that could be potential life-threatening disorders such as anemia caused by a low count or the reverse which is polycythemia which is an abnormally high count (Hedin, 1891).


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