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Performance Enhancing Drugs

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Essay title: Performance Enhancing Drugs

The use of performance enhancing drugs has spread from the Olympic and

professional athletics to college, high school, junior high schools and middle schools for

athletes and non-athletes a like. Just by looking at the facts you’ll probably realize how

widespread the problem has become. A study in 2001 revealed that it was estimated that

as many as three million athletes in the United States have used anabolic steroids for non-

medically prescribed applications (Silver 2001). The general public has to now realize

that the use of performance-enhancing substances in athletics has increased at every level

of competition and poses a serious problem in today’s society.

The reasons for most professional athletes to use performance-enhancing substances

are many. Most athletes use performance-enhancing drugs to get themselves a

competitive edge. When it comes to sporting contracts and endorsement deals, athletes

have realized the competitor who performs at their highest levels within their sport gets to

earn the most money.

Baseball players that choose to take performance-enhancing drugs like steroids are

looking to hit the ball for a greater distance and recuperate from their injuries at a much

quicker rate. Usually, the ball player who hits the most homeruns gets the largest

contracts. If two players are both free agents, and one hit 20 home runs and the other hit

50, do I have to ask which ballplayer will end up with the bigger contract?

Football players may take performance-enhancing drugs in order to increase their

strength, rate of recovery, and muscle mass. Drugs such as steroids can improve their

blocking, speed, and tackling skills.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs page 3

In a 1997 Sports Illustrated survey they asked current and aspiring US Olympic

athletes two questions. The first was whether they would take a banned performance-

enhancing drug if they were guaranteed to both win their athletic event and not get

suspended for drug use. The second question was whether they would take the same

substance if it would enhance their ability to win every competition for the next five

years but then result in death. Remarkably, 98% responded, “yes” to the first question,

and more than 50% responded, “Yes” to the second question (Bamberger 1997).

The use of performance-enhancing drugs is no longer a problem that is limited to

Professional athletes and bodybuilders. Because so many people admire successful

athletes, they try to imitate their actions. According to a 2006 annual meeting press

release from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists reported that 4.5 %

of high school senior boys admit to taking performance-enhancing drugs. Another 2.4%

of girls also admit to taking the drugs. Even more concerning is that 2% of 8th graders

also make the admission (Carpenter 2006).

Thousands of young athletes are consuming performance-enhancing drugs in order to

better their chances for scholarships and careers in professional sports. Drugs improve

muscular development, strength, and stamina. These young athletes see drugs as part

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