Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ES 201- Performance-Enhancing Drugs 11/28/07

“Florence Griffith Joyner ("Flo-Jo") died, aged 38, from heart seizure in September 1998. Even before her untimely death, the shadow of suspicion hung over her glorious two gold medals and one silver at the Seoul Olympics in 1988: with her muscular form and husky voice typical of steroid users, and with her retirement announced abruptly in 1989, when mandatory random testing for drugs was introduced, there were whispers that Flo-Jo had used performance-enhancing drugs (Barnard).”
Performance enhancing drugs should not be legalized because they can cause serious health risks, such as in “Flo-Jo’s” case when she had a seizure, which they believe were after affects of the drugs that she was illegally using; and with the end result she died. We also see the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports today, for instance; “In early September 1998, another athlete was etching his name into the record books. The US baseball player Mark McGwire hit the most home runs ever in a single season, America's most prestigious sporting record. He is the first athlete in history to break a record while publicly admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs (Barnard).” Is this something that we as American’s should be proud; of is this what we want our children looking up to? "There [are] a lot of kids out there who think that if the home run king is doing it, then I should be doing it, (Johnson)” and who is to tell them what they are seeing is false. I do not believe that schools give kids the information that they need on these drugs. I think that is kids were more educated on these drugs then it would cut down on a lot of the illegal use.
These professional athletes are going public but what they don’t realize is the impact they have on the people of America; people see these people playing better and harder and they think that is all because of these illegal drugs, when in reality they are just playing the same. When people think of performance-enhancing drugs they see professional athletes and they also think that they are OK.
“Harold Connolly, a former Olympic hammer-thrower and world record-holder who used steroids in the 1960's before coming out against their use[, said] The line between what is effective and legal and what is effective and illegal is fading—it's not clear anymore because the people who are making these other substances are getting very good and they are finding ways to dim the line (Johnson).” By hearing an athlete say this the general public looks at this statement and thinks that it will not harm them either.
So what are the professional sports teams doing to try to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs? They are beginning to drug test regularly. Also by being broadcasted in the media it becomes an embarrassment for the athletes, and then hopefully they will realize the impact that they are having on children in the world.
I think that this quote by Tom Murray pretty much sums up the idea of illegal drugs in sports. "I think this taps some pretty deep roots about what sport means to us—because it's baseball and baseball has a special place in the American psyche," said Tom Murray, the director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Case Western Reserve University and a member of the anti-doping committee of the United States Olympic Committee. "Ultimately, this is a question about values. I think people are really struggling with it (Johnson)."

I do realize that this is the paper that I turned in, however, I believe that it states my feeling and beliefs on Performance-Enhancing Drugs.

Barnard, Matt. "Athletes Will Never Stop Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs." At Issue: Performance-Enhancing Drugs. Ed. James Haley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. Bridgewater College. 28 Oct. 2007 .

Johnson, Kirk. "Performance-Enhancing Substances Raise Serious Ethical Questions for Athletes." At Issue: Drugs and Sports. Ed. William Dudley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. Bridgewater College. 28 Oct. 2007 .

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