Performance Enhancers can be Reputation Damagers – Increasing Doping Scenario in Sports

By at 30 March, 2010, 9:26 pm

Performance enhancement drugs

Today 13 out of the 29 probable Kabbadi players for the World Cup Kabbadi Punjab 2010 were tested positive of doping. The incidence once again proved that sports and drugs have a close nexus with one another. The issue of performance enhancing drugs has remained contentious throughout the globe. The primary rational behind prohibiting use of drugs is in sports was to prevent any deterioration of health. However the emphasis had later shifted to fair competition and professional ethics. The prohibition is mainly supported on two grounds i.e. moral and physical.

The doping test is conducted by detecting the presences of banned substance in the urine samples of the competitors. But it is argued that the dope test faces difficulties due to various reasons:

1. Substances like Human Growth Hormone (H.G.H) or erythropoetin (E.P.O) are also naturally produced by the Human Body. Hence even if the presence of these hormones is established it is very difficult to detect that the same were administered unnaturally.

2. The athletes usually switch drugs or consume unbanned drugs or even take help of masking agents to deceive doping tests.

3. Domestic Legislation and laws of various countries have proved contrary to the decisions of pioneer sports authorities like IOC, International Amateur Athletic Federation (I.A.A.F) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

4. The credibility of testing agencies has been questioned time and again.

5. The inefficiency of developing countries to have expensive testing regimes.

Categorization of Drugs

There are two types of drugs: the prescribed and the proscribed. The former being legal whereas the latter being illegal. Prescribed Drugs are not considered bad as they are taken under medical supervision and are less detrimental to health. On the other hand the banned drugs contain high health risks. However it is argued that many prescribed drugs may lead to cardiac problems, convulsions or even death in certain cases. They may have fatal consequences in the long term. It is observed that addiction may result if these drugs not carefully administered.


It is contended worldwide that over dose of any drug (including caffeine) may cause hazardous health consequences. Thus there must be a clear distinction between “medical treatment” and “medical abuse”. If it is possible to enhance the performance of an athlete by controlled administration of certain harmless or less harmful drugs it would definitely not amount to abuse but medication. Studies have demonstrated that medically controlled drug program would create a balance between health and sports. It would not only decrease the side-effects of steroids but would also enhance the performance of players. Moreover many people argue that Performance Enabling Drugs must be legalized as Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), which facilitates early healing in athletes.

Most of the athletes consume high dosages of highly refined dietary aids, vitamin and carbohydrate supplements which may cause substantial harm. The safe use of performance enabling drugs is essential. It must not be detrimental to the health of the competitor. As mentioned before the credibility of various testing laboratories still remain in question. Another concern in this regard is that status of legality of many drugs varies from one country to another. This definitely hinders the harmonization of rules related to drugs on a global level.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Categories : Health-Medical World | Sports | World

arayans April 4, 2010

any plans to discuss the ‘ethics’ part of the issue, in a later post? the moral side of the debate is much more difficult for persons lacking a legal background to comprehend and/or appreciate..

meghna April 4, 2010

Surely, I have discussed ethics and morality in many posts.. and will include them in future too… Thanks for the suggestion…

arayans April 4, 2010

was referring to the issue-at-hand, wrt performance enhancing drugs..
teenie communication-gap in there i s’pose – but i do get your drift. will look forward to ethical discussions in posts-to-come.

meghna April 4, 2010

Yes I will arayans

Leave a comment