It isn’t just drugs that are improving athlete’s performances, sports technology, equipment and new training techniques are having an ever greater impact on the performances of athletes. As this happens it is less and less the athletes’ natural ability and motivation which gives them the edge, and more their equipment and training budget. Sports clothing such as body-hugging tops that can help players escape tackles in rugby and technologies such as streamlined, light weight racing bikes can give a team a winning margin. Why then should these athletes be banned from using substances that can help them to get more out of their training and practice?
Arguments for and against allowing the use of drugs in sport.
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|Arguments for allowing performance enhancing drugs:||Arguments against allowing performance enhancing drugs:|
|Drugs and special diets have always been a part of the Olympics from the Greek times, who took magic mushrooms to ‘fortify’ themselves.||Just because it’s custom and practice does that make it right?|
|If the winning really isn’t what counts then why do we support and celebrate the winners so much.||Winning at all costs is not what is important; it is the taking part that counts. |
|Spectators have the right to see the best possible performances, even when this involves taking performance-enhancing drugs.||If we know the athlete has cheated do we really enjoy watching their performance as much?|
|Legalising drugs would save a great deal of money that is spent developing tests to try and catch cheats.|| |
|Drugs testing is not 100% reliable and is often unforgiving to those who have unknowingly taken banned substances. ||This is not a good argument for giving up on something we believe in, but we should try to improve testing.|
|There is little evidence that athletic drugs are anywhere near as dangerous or damaging as legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.|| |
|It is the athlete’s choice whether to take drugs or not, what right do we actually have to stop them? ||We should protect people under pressure to win at all costs from themselves|
|It isn’t just drugs that are improving athlete’s performances, sports technology, equipment and new training techniques are having a greater impact on the performances of athletes. Why shouldn’t this include drugs?||As technology advances it may simply become that the team with the best scientists, who can produce the most effective cocktail of performance enhancing strategies, will win.|
|Everyone is different and some athletes have important natural advantages such as larger lung capacity or longer arms. Can it be ethical to deny athletes drugs which would allow them to compete on an equal level with these individuals? ||Legalising drugs could also lead to casual use for those who might want to shape up or improve their muscle tone for their summer holiday.|
|Allowing athletes to use drugs may better our knowledge of the human body and the ways in which such drugs might be used, this could be of benefit in finding new ways to use these and other drugs.||Many of the performance enhancers used pose serious health risks, and to allow the use of such substances would force all athletes to consider using them. Athletes hoping to improve their performance are often the first people to try substances; this places them at risk of side effects.|
|Do we really want clean-cut role-models, isn’t this why athletes such as Ben Johnson and Diego Maradonna are still so popular even after their player careers have ended?||By allowing professional athletes to use drugs what message are we sending out to young sports players and those who idolise their sporting heroes? |
Is there ever a level playing field?