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Human Awareness Essay

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Year 12 Biology Human Awareness Essay Should the use of performance enhancing drugs be permitted in professional sport? C12: Chemicals can interfere with cell metabolism C12.1: Discuss possible benefits and/or harmful effects of chemicals that human being use. By Caitlin Somerville Due date: Wednesday 17th June 2009 Word Count: 998 The use of performance enhancing drugs in sport is very controversial and has been debated for decades. The first major scandal was at the 1998 Tour de France when a cycling team was expelled because the coach was found with four-hundred vials of performance enhancing drugs. In 1928 the first official ban of "stimulating substances" was introduced by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. Should the use of performance enhancing drugs be permitted in professional sport? Both sides to the argument will be voiced with mention to the biological relevance and the ways these drugs are policed. One of the main concerns identified is the health issues that are linked with the use of most performance enhancing drugs. ...read more.


Professional sport is for the genetic elite. An example of this is Finnish skier Eero Maentyranta whom, thanks to a natural genetic mutation, had 40-50% more red blood cells than average. He won seven Olympic medals. Some would argue that his mutation was unfair, if he had more red blood cells, so should everyone else. In having a higher red blood cell level, more oxygen can get to muscles in the same amount of time, meaning he would have had greater stamina than the other competitors. However, nature is not fair. Athletes in different sports have specific advantages, in netball some players will have a distinct height advantage, in cricket some wicket keepers will be able to jump further. Erythropoietin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body that acts on bone marrow to stimulate the production of red blood cells. Having excess amounts of this hormone does have horrendous ramifications. In the 1990's several Dutch cyclists died in their sleep of inexplicable cardiac arrest. ...read more.


Sample 'A' is tested and if it comes out negative then sample 'B' will be disposed of and the athlete is free to compete. If sample 'A' comes out positive, sample 'B' will be tested at a different laboratory to make sure the results are correct, then a provisional or temporary suspension will be enforced. The main reason for policing performance enhancing drugs is for the safety of the athletes, if the use of these drugs went unnoticed many athletes would ignobly be dying just trying to further their careers. The use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sport has a serious impact on the lives of all the competitors. It places pressure on clean athletes; can they beat the people who took drugs? It places pressure on up-and-coming athletes and poor nations who want to compete against people with drug enhanced abilities, or promotes the taking of drugs to young children who look up to athletes as role models. On the other hand, it does level the playing field for the people who do not have the genetic advantage that other athletes do have. ...read more.

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