Drugs and Sport: Professional Sportspeople and Drugs

Not only is it dangerous to ingest any chemical or substance regularly, risking addiction and other serious side effects, it’s unequivocally un-sporting to use a substance in order to win or perform well.

Away from the obvious health risks of substance abuse, sporting authorities consider the use of substances as an offense that is punished harshly due to the increasingly impressive methods of testing. So-called ‘doping’ is rampant in some sports and much less in others, but the rise of the use of these materials has a lot of people concerned.

Several high profile sporting personalities have been found to have been using banned substances and drugs as well as many other athletes and sportspeople across the world. Is winning really worth putting your body through all that? What is it that drives people to make these choices and chose drugs over simply ding their best and being content in giving a sporting-go?

Perhaps the biggest ‘doping’ case in recent times is the Lance Armstrong revelations. A former cancer sufferer who captured the heart of America and fans worldwide winning multiple Tour de France titles, founding the Livestrong foundation was found to have been a user of banned substances in competitive cycling. In a row that that is still rumbling on in the courts, Lance will have to pay out tens of millions of dollars in settlement.

But Lance Armstrong is not the only one who has pushed his body over the line to try and win. This month world tennis number four Marin Cilic was found guilty of taking a banned substance and given a nine-month ban from the sport. A story that has shocked many that were led to believe the Croat was injured for Wimbledon and the US Open.

Even in rugby drugs have reared their head as a young top flight Scottish rugby player told the BBC at least two players at every professional club take drugs to enhance their performance. The Scottish Rugby Union says any evidence of drug use should be brought to its attention. The player, who has not been identified, has not used drugs but says youngsters are being pressured to “bulk up”.

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