Why are drugs in sport an issue?
Using performance enhancing drugs are banned in all sports because it can give athletes unfair advantages over other athletes and sport is all about having a fair game. The issue of drugs in sport has been around for quite a while and the first ever professional drug tests in sport was conducted in 1966 at the European championships (Soccer), then shortly after at the next summer and winter Olympics. Another issue is that drugs are being used in sport to help athletes cope with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression which is not a healthy way of looking after their mental health.
How are drugs tested?
The urine, blood, or saliva samples are sent to a lab and the test results reported to the governing body of the particular sport. If drugs are not found in the test sample, the result is negative. If substances are found, the result is positive and you may be banned or suspended from your sport.
Benefits of drug testing
- creating a deterrent for athletes who may consider to use drugs to cheat in sport
- promoting drug-free sport that incorporates fair play
- promoting safety in sport
- promoting equity in sport
- rewarding athletes for their ability, training and efforts
- protects athletes’ reputations
What drugs are Taken?
-anabolic steroids (containing testosterone) – these are the most commonly used performance-enhancing drugs in Australia
-peptides and hormones (such as human growth hormone)
-beta-2 agonists (medicine used for asthma control)
-glucocorticoids (medicine used for asthma control)
-diuretics (medicine used for weight loss)
-illicit drugs, including
-stimulants (such as amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA (ecstasy)
-narcotics (such as heroin, morphine and pethidine)
-cannabinoids (such as marijuana and hashish)
Why should athletes be tested for drugs?
Drug testing is the process of collecting samples of your blood, urine, or saliva to check for chemicals that are either illegal or banned in a sport. Drug testing in sports helps: Prevent cheating in sports. Keep a level playing field for athletes.
A solution to make drug testing more fair is that professionals can test athletes using more than on drug test method. Our idea is that they test the hair for the drugs that have been used further in the past and then also a saliva test for more immediate and to also detect more recent drug use. This method of testing for drugs will make sure that athletes are tested thoroughly and acurately.
Another solution that our group was able to come up with was that when athletes come to competions they are required to be screened by security for any drugs on them or in there belongings before they are approved to enter the competion and compete. It will make sure that atheletes dont have drugs available to them during the copetition making testing more accurate and fair.
Why people use drugs in sport?
Using drugs improves in game performance in sport. Drugs in sport may lead to an athlete being banned. But it may also harm their general health. Sporting authorities have banned many drugs and other substances, not just because they might give an athlete an unfair advantage but also because of the wider health risks.
Why are some drugs and substances banned in sports?
So-called ‘performance-enhancing drugs’ or ‘performance and image-enhancing drugs’ are banned in sports because they could give a sportsperson an unfair advantage over other competitors. Using drugs in sport undermines values like fair play and teamwork. When sportspeople use drugs, they not only might damage their own health, they also give sport a bad reputation and set a poor example to others.
What health damage can performance drugs cause?
Drugs that are banned in sport can cause several types of health problem. Their effects will depend on the type of drug; how much and how often it’s taken; and who is taking it.
Steroids – make muscles bigger and stronger but cause :
- a risk of heart attack, stroke, and effect on heart size
- an increased risk of liver and cardiovascular disease suicidal and aggressive thoughts.
Human Growth Hormone – hGH (Human Growth Hormone) may make muscles and bones stronger and recover faster. But it is not only your muscles that get bigger. hGH use may lead to:
- a protruding forehead, brow, skull, and jaw – which can’t be reversed
- an enlarged heart that can result in high blood pressure and
- damage to livers, thyroid and vision
- bigger joints leading to arthritis.
Narcotics – Narcotics, like heroin and morphine may help you forget about the pain. But can cause:
- a weakened immune system
- a decreased heart rate and
- suppressed respiratory system
- loss in balance, coordination
- and concentration
- gastrointestinal problems like
- vomiting and constipation
- narcotics are also highly addictive –
- your body and mind quickly become dependent on them.
Masking Agents – Some athletes try to cheat the system by using diuretics and other substances to cover-up the signs of using
The side effects can affect your ability to compete and train and may lead to:
- dizziness or light headiness
- low blood pressure
- loss of coordination and balance
- development of cardiac disorders
Stimulants – Stimulants are used to heighten the competitive edge and are often found in supplements like pre-workouts. These can result in:
- involuntary shaking or trembling
- coordination and balance
- anxiety and aggression
- an increased and irregular
- heart rate
- heart attack or stroke.