Should There Be Drug Testing in Sports?
However, McGwire admitted in 2010 that he used androstenedione, an over-the-counter muscle enhancement product, when he broke the home run record. At the time, the use of that drug had been banned by the National Football League, the International Olympic Committee, and the World Anti-Doping Agency, but not by Major League Baseball. It was also not federally classified as an anabolic steroid in the United States until 2004. Today, fans are still divided on whether he should remain in history as the home run champion of 1998.
With other incidents such as Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France wins or Wes Welker being suspended for four games for Adderall abuse, it is obvious that performance-enhancing drug abuse is not an issue isolated to just professional baseball.
With each of these scandals dividing experts and fans alike, the question comes down to not who is using, but whether or not drug testing should even be present in sports.
There are many pros and cons to testing in professional sports as well as in the amateur and collegiate levels, with both sides expressing valid opinions and ideas.
One major concern is whether or not performance-enhancing drugs pose a health risk. Horror stories of players going into “roid rage” and suffering horrible, long-term side effects are well known. Those who wish to legalize the drugs are quick to point out that only the players themselves take these risks and could be injured if they are not using due to the competition that does.
The debate comes down to where the line is drawn between sports technology and drug use. With the continued innovation of equipment and training methods, those who are in favor of removing drug testing feel that steroids are just another aspect of this technology that can be used within training.
Those who are opposed, however, want to maintain the sportsmanship of the athletic events. They feel as though drugs are an unfair edge that remove integrity from the game and give a clear advantage to those who use.
As long as this is an issue in the professional sports world, drug testing will continue to evolve and the debate on will continue to remain in a stalemate.
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