Athletes from all countries united in Sydney, Australia this summer for the year 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Personally, I enjoy watching the Olympics and seeing athletes from all different backgrounds competing against each other, striving for the gold medal. It’s amazing how hard all of the athletes have worked for this one time to shine. Unfortunately, not all of these athletes have achieved this opportunity honestly. Some athletes have become accustomed to using performance-enhancing drugs, in order to push themselves to the top in their respective fields. Performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids have been abused in sports for a long time, and this year’s Summer Olympics in Sydney underscored this continuing problem.
One of the most popular performances enhancing drugs in sports today is steroids. Steroids are performance-enhancers, helping modern athletes perform at a greater ability. Athletes choose to use steroids to push themselves a little harder in training or during competition. The result from steroid use is rapid muscle growth in a short period of time. Steroids aren’t magical; you cannot simply take dosage and then notice muscle growth immediately. “Simply taking performance-enhancing drugs will not benefit performance. They are effective only when combined with rigorous training.”(Olympic Glory 1). In order to see physical results, one must train extremely hard. “Steroids can be taken orally or they can be injected in to an athlete’s system.” (Wadler 1). It takes a few months to notice physical changes from steroid abuse. The difference will not be that the athlete can all of a sudden think faster or improve skillfully, the difference will bet hat they will have more muscle mass. The only benefit from steroids is that they enhance muscle growth for the athlete.
Steroids have always been that gateway drug to success in America. It has been that one “golden ticket” to take an athlete straight to the top of the world rankings. “Since the 1950’s, some athletes have been taking anabolic steroids to build muscle and boost their athletic performance.”(Leshner 1). In the past, many were oblivious to Steroid use and did not take into consideration that many athletes were doping their way to gold medals. “In Sydney, though the athletes will be performing in new venues, they will sense the ghosts of former champions.”(Williams 65). Past champions might have been drug free, or might have been doping, however, no one will ever know. The process for drug testing was very lenient until a few decades ago. Olympic records might have been set by those athletes who cheated the game, therefore ruining the competition for future athletes. Many countries could care less about their honor and respect for the sport, they merely want to win and be the best by taking the easy road to success.
“Government, sporting associations and the athletes themselves are pursuing victory with a hardening disregard for the integrity of the sport.”(Williams 64). The Games have turned into “chemical battlefields.”(Williams 64) Steroids are out of control and it seems as if athletes are disrespecting their country, in order to gain recognition that they don’t rightfully deserve. The Olympic Game’s have always been about national pride and personal achievement, however it seems as the years progress, steroid use increases.
Steroid use has gone sky high mainly due to the advances in technology. Christian Science Monitor magazine states that, “modern drug technology has made engineered athletic performance a temptation to contestants and coaches.”(8) If the temptation is there, athletes will more than often then not cave in and begin to dope. The Olympic Game’s are centered around skill and raw ability to perform against the best in the world. However, the best in the world might not be the best in the world, they might be the best at doping to success. This problem will not stop until every athlete is examined and the International Olympic Committee takes charge. Christian Science Monitor stated that, “The International Olympic Committee has formed a new World Anti-Doping Agency to eliminate drug use.”(8). This agency prevents any athlete from competing in the Games if their body has been chemically altered in any way. Slowly but surely, the Olympic Committee has been taking charge and showing the world that they have a no tolerance policy for all athletes who cheat themselves and their country.
Doping will cease as more athletes realize that what is being gained doesn’t outweigh the long-term effects of steroid use. Steroid use will always be a part of the Olympic Game’s. As long as they are available and the temptation is there, the drug will be used. However, the Olympic Committee will take affirmative action and do their best to cease the use. This year’s Games had its flaws, just like previous Olympic competitions, however the committee is becoming stricter so those athlete’s who have been doping for a while, have been uncovered. The more attention and press that this issue is given, the more an athlete will think twice about their reputation and respect for their country.
Leshner, Dr. Alan. “Steroid Abuse and Addiction.” NIDA Research Report. April 2000. 4
Oct. 2000. http://www.nida.nih.gov/Research Reports/Steriods/Anabolic Steroids.html
“Olympic Glory.” USA Today. 8 Jan. 1999. 4 Oct. 2000.
“Toward Dope-Free Games.” Christian Science Monitor. 11 Sept. 2000: 8-10.
Wadler, Dr. Gary. “Anabolic Steroids.” http://www.espn.com/special/drugs and sports
Williams, Daniel. “Olympiad” Time. 18 Sept. 2000: 63-65.
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