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Darrell Jean-Noel
Dr. Amy Lynch-Biniek
ENG 023: College Composition
28 April 2016

Doping in Sports

You have practically spent your entire life trying to become a

professional athlete. Endless hours in the gym; blood, sweat, and tears are
only a fraction of what you needed to finally reach this point in your life. No
matter what sport you play, you have finally made it to the top. Now that you
are here, it would be very wise and beneficial for you to not take
performance enhancing drugs.
Not only can these drugs put your life at risk, but you could potentially
be jeopardizing your entire career and everything you have worked for your
whole life. Lance Armstrong is a perfect example for this. Armstrong is a well
known athlete to not only American citizens, but citizens of the entire world.
We all know him as that guy that rides the bike, and the fact that he is a
participant in professional cycling allows him to be recognized on such a
prestigious platform. Lance Armstrong was one of the greatest and most
beloved cyclists that the world has ever seen.
Throughout his long career he was awarded with many accolades and
has accomplished great things. He won seven Tour De France titles and a

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bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics. Sadly, all of the love and awards that he
"earned" throughout his career were falsely given to him, because he was
taking performance enhancing drugs through it all. In October, the U.S. AntiDoping Agency released more than 1,000 pages of evidence in doping
allegations against Armstrong and his teammates. He was stripped of his
seven Tour de France titles in the scandal. (Wilson) Throughout all of this,
the world was shocked. This is a man that we all loved and supported. He
had various endorsements and sponsorships, including his Livestrong
campaign, that consisted of sneakers and accessories provided by Nike.
The case involving Lance Armstrongs use of performance enhancing
drugs demonstrates the risks included with the use of these drugs-not only
for professional cyclists, but for all professional athletes. Think long and hard
if you ever are offered, or are persuaded to use performance enhancing
drugs, because you may be putting a great deal of things in danger.
Some people may truly not realize it, but being a professional athlete is
tough. The amount of professionalism that people expect you to have right
away is overwhelming. Not only must you act a certain way at all times, but
there is an immense amount of pressure on you. The way you act may lead
your fans, or anyone that follows you, to see you in a certain light, giving you
a reputation. Your reputation could be in danger if you indeed decide to take
PEDs (performance enhancing drugs).
Along with reputation comes ethics. These two words go hand in hand.
For example, when the details involving Lance Armstrongs case were

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released, an abundance of people took back all of the good things they have
ever said about Armstrong, including myself. Just knowing that I applauded
for a man that was cheating the whole time made me, along with a great
deal of his fellow supporters, hate him. His reputation will forever be
tarnished, as everyone will know him as a man who cheated and lied to his
fans. It would be very difficult for any professional athlete to come back from
something like this.
When people become professional athletes, it is a very well known
thing to society that they will be making a great deal of money, whether it is
hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars. Usually, the amount
of money that they attain for staying with a certain team is publicly
announced for everyone to see. With this being said, it would be a tragedy
for a professional athlete to be caught using performance enhancing drugs
and potentially lose their job and the money that they could be earning. For
example, Maria Sharapova was suspended from professional tennis for some
time. Either way, Sharapova has to be suspended from professional tennis,
at least through the 2016 Grand Slam events and August's Rio Olympic
Games. Six months at a minimum. And the maximum? Four years, which can
be reduced for mitigating circumstances down to two years, or even less
(Brennan). According to Christine Brennan, this was a result from the use of
meldonium for an unbelievable 10 years. Using performance enhancing
drugs is not worth it when you have to spend four years away from the sport
that you love. Not only is Sharapova missing a minimum of six months from

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professional tennis, but she has been experiencing various injuries. If she
gets the maximum punishment, it would be challenging for her to perform on
the same level that she was playing at before she was caught.
I think that any professional athlete should look at the stories of Lance
Armstrong and Maria Sharapova, and automatically decide to stay away from
doping in sports. Although different professional sports enforce different
rules, getting caught doing this terrible thing never has a positive outcome.
The transformation is Lances life from before doping in sports, to after
doping in sports should be a clear indicator to never partake in performance
enhancing drugs.
The drugs that Armstrong and Sharapova were caught using are only a
few of all of the various drugs currently on the market. According to Yvette
Brazier, performance enhancing drugs are categorized into different classes.
There are stimulants, anabolic-androgen steroids, diuretics, narcotic
analgesics and cannabinoids, and peptides and hormones. Along with these
types of performance enhancing drugs, there are other methods of doping in
sports, like blood doping and gene doping, for example.
Doping in sports do indeed excel the performance of its user, but
physical risks are a serious aspect in this. Depending on the drug, taking
PEDs could potentially be putting your life at risk. In hindsight, there are
some PEDs that do not have life-threatening side effects, but still distort the
users body in some type of way.
Stimulants are one of the addicting drugs that athletes take, according

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to Brazier. Along with this statement she goes on to explain why athletes use
stimulants. Stimulants increase alertness and ability to overcome fatigue by
raising heart rate and blood flow. In training, they are used to increase the
intensity of a session. They also induce aggression, which may or may not be
an advantage during competitions. Many stimulants, including
amphetamines, ephedrines and cocaine, are banned in competition.
Research suggests that deaths have occurred in sports, due to amphetamine
misuse. (Brazier) As a professional athlete, I see why someone at this level
would want to take this drug, but the side effects shadow the positive effects
of stimulants. Especially because these types of drugs are addictive and
have caused deaths, it makes it more dangerous.
Anabolic steroids are probably the most known PED in todays society.
From my own experience, I have known about this drug since I was in
elementary school. As a drugs that is commonly used in professional sports
(mostly baseball), it has been in the schools curriculum and in the news
since I can remember. Teachers always make sure to emphasize on the fact
that people should not be taking this drug, yet they still do; even teenagers.
It is so popular in professional sports because it allows its user to get bigger,
increase strength, and it helps them train harder, according to Brazier.
In almost any professional sport, strength and training is an extremely
large factor to success. Anabolic steroids give its user an easier way to reach
this, but in the same token, the side effects should steer the user away.
Risks include kidney damage, increased aggression and disturbing the

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natural balance of hormones. Testosterone is the main anabolic steroid
hormone produced by the body. It has anabolic effects, which promote
muscle building, and androgenic effects, which are responsible for male
characteristics, such as facial hair and a deeper voice. Anabolic steroids can
lead to baldness and low sperm count in men and increased facial hair and
deepened voices for women, as well as other serious health consequences.
(Brazier) Although these are not life threatening side effects, the fact steroids
are banned in almost all professional sports should give these athletes more
of a reason to stay away from them.
Referring back to the Armstrong case, it is said that he used
corticosteroids, testosterone, and was blood doping as well. The most
notable of the three is blood doping. Yvette Brazier defined it as, WADA
define blood doping, or blood boosting, as the misuse of techniques and/or
substances to increase one's red blood cell count. The practice involves
removing blood from the body and returning it later. It started in the 1970s
and was banned by the IOC in 1986. It can lead to kidney and heart failure
(Brazier). Brazier also explains that there are two type of blood doping,
autologous and homologous blood doping. Autologous blood doping is when
blood is removed from the body and put back into. This increases the amount
of hemoglobin in the body. Homologous blood doping is when blood from
another person is infused into the body of the blood doper. This just shows
the extreme measures that athletes take in order to do well in their particular

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In my opinion, I do not think it was worth it for Lance Armstrong to take
these performance enhancing drugs. Not only was he stripped of all of his
awards, but he was shamed by almost of all of his beloved fans. He is a
cheater, and deserves every consequence that came with the news of him
taking PEDs. He made a bad example for those looking up to him.
In today's society, most children look up to certain professional
athletes, and aspire to be just like them. Depending on who they look up to,
this could be a good or bad thing. If the professional athlete takes
performance enhancing drugs, this could lead the youth to partake in this as
well. These drugs have indeed begun to become somewhat popular in youth
sports, giving them hope to be just like the professional athlete that they
look up to, according to Anita DeFrantz. DeFrantz also goes on to say, Last
month, ESPN reported that the same Biogenesis clinic in Florida at the eye of
the storm in the Ryan Braun and Rodriguez controversies also provided
performance enhancing drugs to teenagers. Whats more, the clinic admitted
that many of these youngsters were brought in by their fathers (DeFrantz).
Therefore, not only are professional athletes cheating, endangering their
health, and endangering their career by taking PEDs, but they are potentially
influencing youth athletes to take these drugs as well. The young athletes
look at these drugs as a way to make it to the professional level, but are not
realizing the severe effects that these drugs could have on their life.
In 1904, a man named Thomas Hicks won the Olympic marathon.
According to Brazier, Thomas Hicks took raw egg, injections of strychnine

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and consumed doses of brandy during the race to help him win the 1904
Olympic marathon (Brazier). Although this may seem strange, it was the
norm in 1904. Moving forward in the years, Doping tests were introduced for
the cycling and football world championships in 1966, and 1968 saw the first
Olympic testing. By the 1970s, most international federations had followed
suit (Brazier).
Nevertheless, that was the past. Doping in sports have come a long
way since then. Many people are trying to find ways to hide the fact that
they are indeed taking PEDs by taking certain drugs that would be hard to
detect. As the years go on, there might be an innovation of a drug that is
truly undetectable, and I truly hope this does not happen. I am fan of
professional sports because I admire the talents that these select few people
have been born with. I admire the fact that they spend most of their lives
working diligently towards one goal. Seeing my favorite athletes break
records, or even get injured is intriguing to me-it is all part of the game. For
someone to take performance enhancing drugs takes away from this. As a
professional athlete, they should cherish the opportunity that they have been
blessed with, and go on with care. In the long run, PEDs just makes the
athlete a cheater, and it is not fair to anyone that doesnt take PEDs. Anyone
that actually cares about the sport they play should never partake in doping
in sports.

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Works Cited
Brazier, Yvette, Doping in Sports: is it Worth it?, Medical News Today. Web.
21 January 2016
Brennan, Christine, "Sharapova must pay price." USA Today n.d.: Academic
Search Complete.

Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Wilson, Jacque, "Lance Armstrong's Doping Drugs", CNN Health. Web. 18

January 2013.