Doping in Sports

Published: 2017-10-20 10:19:09
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Doping in sports research papers

Doping refers to the use of stimulants and hormonal injections by athletes to increase their performance in athletic competitions. Governments and sports federations have identified doping as a threat to the health of an athlete and the life of an individual. The development of doping dates back to the ancient Greeks when they use opium to increase their performance in the athletic activities (Hallmann, & Petry, 2013). The use of stimulants in competitions had the intent of ensuring that the athletes had the stamina to main a high tempo in competition besides being able to avert exhaustion doing a physically intense activity. However, there have been recorded cases of fatal accidents that have resulted from doping prompting for an investigation into the substances that could lead to the stimulation of the human body during competition. The international Olympics committee and world anti-doping agency are the lead organizations in the establishment of the substances that could alter the normal performance of the human body during competition (Hallmann, & Petry, 2013). This paper discusses the development of doping in sports by delving into the background of doping besides using a qualitative approach in proposing a study on the development of doping in sports.

History of doping in sports

Doping in sports refers to the use of performance-enhancing drugs by the athletes in competition. The athletic associations often ban most of the substances that are utilized by the athletes to enhance their performance. The use of the doping substances makes the athletes have unfair competitive advantage over fellow athletes. The intent of banning doping in sports is to ensure that no athlete gains an unfair advantage over other athletes in all the major competitions.

Doping can be traced in the Ancient Greek Olympic competitions that took place in 776BC to 393 BC (Hallmann, & Petry, 2013). The Ancient Greeks are known to have used opium and hallucinogens to enhance their performance in the races. The use of performance enhancement was legal, and the sports associations approved on their athletes to use them. The reward was cash and olive threats. Eating of the animal hearts and the testicles besides drinking of wine was also considered a form of doping by the ancient Greeks. The Roma Gladiators of 100 AD also advanced the use of hallucinogens to increase the intensity of their fights during the fighting competitions (Hallmann, & Petry, 2013). The hallucinogens also served the purpose of doing away with fatigue besides preventing injury in times of the fighting competitions. Hydromel was the major hallucinogen was issued to the horses. Strychnine is also a hallucinogen that was used to enhance the power of the horses.

The modern day doping is believed to have started in the late 19th century by the French Cyclists. The French cyclist used the coca leaves as the stimulant to prevent them from experiencing fatigue during the biking races. The Coca leaves are a source of cocaine that boosts the performance of an individual while participating in the sports. In the early 20th century, there were a growing number of athletes using the performance enhancing drugs (Paoli, & Donati, 2014). In 1904, Thomas Hicks was the first athlete to be singled out for using drugs to enhance his performance (Paoli, & Donati, 2014). However, no legal measure or disqualification was taken against him, as there were no anti-doping rules as at then. The common drugs that were used for enhancing the performance of Athletes included strychnine, caffeine, heroin, cocaine and brandy. The case of Thomas Hicks is singled out in the development of doping in sports as it almost claimed his life.

Performance enhancing drugs in sports

The case of Thomas Hicks is the trigger situation that has led to the development of legislation that can be used by the authorities to regulate the use of performance enhancing drugs in competitions. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) banned doping by athletes in all the competitions that were recognized by the Association (Paoli, & Donati, 2014). Despite the ban on doping of IAAF, some athletes defied the orders and used amphetamines to boost their performance during races. The cyclists using the drugs were of the opinion that the use of amphetamine would enable them to be comfortable during training and the cycling activities (Paoli, & Donati, 2014).

Doping became lethal in the 1960s following the death of Jensen Knut. Though he fell during the Olympic Games and fractured his skills, the report of the autopsy conducted on him proved that he was high on Ronicol (Nauright, & Parrish, 2012). Ronicol is a generic drug that contains amphetamine. The athlete to stimulate his body during the 100km race in Rome used the drug. Tony Simpson is another athlete to have died from excessive consumption of amphetamine despite being awarded the athlete of the year in 1965 (Nauright, & Parrish, 2012). Simpson died in 1967.The death of the two athletes acted as the trigger effects to the international Olympic committee to establish a medical commission to conduct drug testing (Nauright, & Parrish, 2012). Subsequently, athletes had an obligation to go through the test and prove that they were not using any performance enhancing drugs in the Olympic competitions. The primary mandate of the international Olympic committee is to discourage the athletes participating in the Olympics from using drugs that enhancing performance as they could deteriorate their health (Mallia, et al. 2016). The other mandates were equality in the competitions enforcement on sports. The International Olympics health committee first conducted a medical test to athletes in 1968 (Nauright, & Parrish, 2012). The listing of the substances that were banned by the committee preceded the testing. The banned substances included psychomotor stimulants, steroids, stimulants of the central nervous system and sympathomimetic substances.

Doping as sports has been a serious issue since 1988 following the stripping of the gold medal of Johnson Ben. Johnson was banned for life in 1993 (Keim, 2014). Though the Olympics committee first investigated doping, there has been good government will in the banning of doping in sports. The case at hand is the directive by President Reagan of the United States to ban the use of non-medical steroids.

The Words Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) being formed by the International Olympics Committee in 1999 has taken been tasked with the mandate of listing the substances banned from athletes use (Keim, 2014). WADA has been instrumental in informing federations of the measure of testing their athletes before going for competitions. WADA has representatives in all countries that participate in the Olympics. The doping tests have landed many people in prison as investigating authorities; take up the evidence produced by WADA as a platform to initiate their investigations (Gerlinger, Petermann, & Sauter, 2013). The success of WADA in doping has been the reduction in the number of athletes suspected and convicted of using drugs. WADA is known to recall the medals of the athletes proven to be using banned substances besides banning the individual athletes from competing in international competitions. WADA has further expanded its mandate to include the federations that do not conduct doping tests to their athletes before letting them participate in the international federations. 

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