In this paper, I am going to discuss performance enhancing drugs and its ethical implications to the spirit of sportsmanship.
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Performance enhancing drugs are chemical substances used by sportsmen to boost their performance in the field. For many years, theseclasses of drugs have always been related to anabolic steroids but the global anti doping agency has a broad classification of these drugs which include mass builders, stimulants, painkillers, sedatives and diuretics.
Purpose of sport
In my view, the use of performance enhancing drugs is equivalent to cheating and does not add value to the spirit of fair competition in sport. The essence of participating in a sport is to maintain originality. People participate in sports to appreciate their human nature, soul and mental capabilities.
In order to achieve these, sport has to contain the following features to attain these desired values: high degree of fairness should be characterized with fun and happiness, cooperation and hard work. To this effect, the use of performance enhancing drugs violates these values and enables the users to have unfair advantage over their colleagues.
When athletes compete, their ultimate goal is to get a win after having a genuine and well fought struggle. It is the spirit of human nature to get a genuine win which shows that using performance enhancing drugs renders it irrelevant because using these drugs is equivalent to cheating and is therefore, contrary to the intention of sport. The intention of sport is to compete fairly using your human ability to achieve excellence.
Approaches against enhancement drugs
Performance enhancing drugs also referred to as a doping, is considered unethical. As it has been discussed earlier, it goes against the spirit of sporting and is dangerous to the positive impact of sport in the community. Getting rid of this practice calls for participation of all ethical practitioners in sport and advocating for the spirit of fairness in sports.
There is need for consistent rules that prohibit participants found engaging in use of these drugs. When dispensing educative information to sportsmen, emphasis should be placed on promoting the spirit of sport which could be brought down by drug enhancers(Fletcher, 98).
The spirit of sport is not only limited in major competitions like Olympics and commonwealth games but with every movement of a single athlete that chases a football, runs or rides a bicycle. One of the pleasant things that come with sport is the ability to use peoples’ natural talents through practice and training to attain admirable results.
For me to climb a nearby mountain in my neighborhood, I can do it very fast when I use EPO, one of the drug enhancers. The other means that I can use to reach the peak even faster is by using a motorbike. On the contrary, the question is whether satisfaction is attained. Use of these alternatives does not reflect human nature. Therefore, with regard to sport, consideration should be given to human brilliance, talent and hard work and not artificial means that undermine human nature.
According to me, I consider athletes who use drug enhancers as cheaters and should not be given an opportunity to compete with the natural athletes who have worked hard to attain their fitness. As argued in the text, doping contradicts the spirit of sport, denies human satisfaction and discourages genuine athletes from exposing their talent. Some of the drugs used also have devastating side effects and should be eliminated.
Fletcher, Bennett. Drug Abuse Treatment: The Implementation of Innovative Approaches, California: Greenwood Press, 1994.