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This essay aims to discuss the possibility of legalising all performance-enhancing drugs. In order to provide a balanced argument, the main issues surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport must first be taken into account

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Introduction

Task Three The world of sport is becoming increasingly competitive. Every athlete wants to win, and none are content with losing. Many make great investments in specialist clothing and equipment which might put them ahead of their rivals. Swimmers have specially designed costumes which will increase their speed in the water. Cyclists remove their body hair in order to improve aero-dynamics. Some golfers even undergo laser eye surgery, regardless of already having healthy sight. Other athletes choose to take drugs in order to enhance their performance in sport. But where must the line be drawn? Which are classed as acceptable methods of improving performance, and which might be seen as taking it that one step too far? This essay aims to discuss the possibility of legalising all performance-enhancing drugs. In order to provide a balanced argument, the main issues surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport must first be taken into account. This will involve taking a closer look at doping in sport as a general issue, how sports bodies and organisations are trying to regulate athletes' use of drugs, how athletes who are found to have been taking drugs are disciplined, whether legalising performance-enhancing drugs would solve the problem, and what might be a bigger problem in sport than drug-taking in the future. ...read more.

Middle

They are of the opinion that the use of such drugs in sport would result in it being much more unpredictable and interesting. This argument would be supported by the fact that most fans want to see the best possible performance in sport, even if drugs have played some role in this. There is a view that that although fans are aware of widespread drug taking in a particular sport, they are still happy to go and watch. For example, in the 1998 Tour de France, fans knew of the wide usage of EPO (Erythropoietin-a hormone which increases the number of red blood cells in the body and delivers oxygen to the muscles) in the race, but this did not affect their attitudes towards the event. Many have come to accept that the different levels of sport require a different standard of athlete, and it is sometimes impossible for higher-class athletes to further improve their natural abilities without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. It is becoming more widely recognised that amateur sport is about participation, but professional sport is increasingly concerned with the quality of performance. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could be done by adopting a universal version of the system which exists in bodybuilding. There are two different categories in the sport, one for competitors who use performance-enhancing drugs, and one for those who do not. This could be achieved by allowing drugs at professional levels, but keeping them out of amateur sports. This essay has highlighted the issues which might arise from the legalisation of all performance-enhancing drugs, and the reasons why this might not be the best approach. It has also suggested the possibility of a compromise solution. In the same way that selective breeding exists in horse- and greyhound racing, it will not be long before scientists find an appropriate alternative for humans. Some Scandinavian scientists have emphasised how the issue of drugs in sport will be made to seem trivial when compared with implantation of performance-enhancing genes into athletes' bodies. The fact of the matter is that, regardless of whether the current rules should be changed, athletes have a responsibility to abide by them. Yet, at the same time, the rewards which are on offer for success in sport will remain to be, as they always have been, a sufficient incentive for some athletes to seek to use whatever method they can in order to gain a competitive edge. ...read more.

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