The use of performance-enhancing drugs has always been a notorious issue in sports. Because of high competition rates and a relatively short amount of time that a sportsman has to break a record, the idea of using drugs that allow for impressive achievements has always been popular among sportsmen and all those concerned, including the sportsmen’s agents, sponsors, etc. In the XXI century, the problem has taken another curve.
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However, the concern is not that the performance-enhancing drugs (PED) are getting increasingly popular among sportsmen – the key concern revolves around the fact that steroids and other types of PED may soon be allowed as a legitimate means to improve the athletic performance of sportsmen. According to what Chris Smith’s article says, the idea of making PED and the related substances legal may redefine the entire idea of sports: “At the same time, legalizing PEDs would make life much easier for professional sports organizations currently tasked with managing convoluted anti-doping policies” (Smith para. 6).
The issue that the article in question deals with truly is a stellar example of over conformity. While the phenomenon of a sportsman taking drugs to win the tournament and, therefore, become a part of the universe of sport can be viewed as a lesser instance of over conformity, the total acceptance of drugs as the inevitable element of any sports competition is the pinnacle of over conformity in sports. People are willing to be the part of this artificially create a universe so much that they intentionally break not only the rules that they used to applaud to previously, but, violate the basic ethical postulates regarding sports and health, as well as fairness in sports.
One might argue that the problem of accepting drugs as an integral part of sports competitions should, quite, on the contrary, be considered as the ultimate attempt to revolutionize sports and undermine the very philosophy of sports. True, using drugs as the means to achieve a stellar result instead of relying on one’s abilities is cheating, and supporting cheating does seem a rebellious move. Much to his credit, Smith renders this idea in his article.
Nevertheless, the demand to reconsider the existing rules comes from the people, who are supposed to protect these rules in the first place, thus, making the entire idea of sport and competition a travesty. Thus, the idea of rebelliousness is crossed out of the whole movement entirely, over conformity replacing it fully. In other words, those concerned are willing to see the sportsmen win so much that they neglect the basic principles of a sports competition and sport in a universal sense. People are crossing both the culture and the ethics of sport out of competitions so that athletes could excel in their skills. Arguably, the coach may address the issue by reinforcing moral values among the athletes.
What seemed to be an outburst of rebelliousness happened to be an instance of a banal over conformity. While each of the stakeholders subdues to their concept of conformity in the given case – the coach wanting the result, the agent desiring the money and the athlete craving for the world recognition, each of them only reinforces their dependency on the key elements of sports instead of looking at these elements more critically. Though it seemed that over conformity reached its peak in the realm of sport, a new loop showed that there is still some room for developing even more traits of over conformity.
Smith Chris. “Why It’s Time To Legalize Steroids In Professional Sports.” Forbes. 2012.