There are a lot of role models in this world. To you, they might be your parents, your teachers, friends, family, celebrities, even athletes. Times are changing, fast, and new athletes are going to need to replace athletes now when they’re ready to retire. But a lot of things get in the way of that and sometimes people are never able to live out their dream of getting a scholarship to college for sports. One of those main examples that I will be talking about is drugs and how student-athletes should be drug tested for their own good.
In my opinion, drugs are a serious thing to handle, and should not be used in certain circumstances. Sports takes a serious role to the body and your health system, and if you’re putting drugs into your system, you’ve got jeopardy at work here and it’s a dangerous game to be played.
If one player on a team is taking drugs, not even for the purpose to “play better”, that circle of drug use is going to get bigger. That player probably does drugs in the first place because they know how to handle themselves from being used to it already. But if that student happens to influence another player that isn’t very used to being on drugs, then that kid will stick out like a sore thumb and most likely get kicked off the team. These things do happen and it is right under the noses of coaches.
A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, titled Winning At Any Cost: Doping in Olympic Sports, wrote that an athlete’s decision to use “performance enhancing” drugs also takes a powerful effect on other athletes in competition. As reported by Sports Illustrated, “half of all recently surveyed Olympic athletes admitted that they would be willing to take a drug, even if it would kill them in the long run, as long as it would let them win every event they entered five years in a row”. This type of ‘win at any cost’ mentality is pervading sports at all levels of competition and results in athletes feeling coerced to use substances just to remain on par with other athletes.
There are many reasons why performance-enhancing drugs should be banned: respect for the rules and precautions of sports, recognition of natural talents, their honesty to the team, their effort in putting their all into the team and the game, and so on. Thomas H. Murray, President of the Hastings Center, wrote, “Sports that revere records (think of baseball and home runs) would become unmoored by drug-aided athletes obliterating old standard. Athletes, caught in the sport arms race, would be pressed to take more and more drugs in even wilder combinations and at increasingly higher doses…”.
Sportsmanship is very important when it comes to fair play and honesty. It is the ‘spirit of sports’, and it is how we play true and honest, not only to ourselves but to everyone else around us. The spirit of sports celebrates the human spirit, body, mind, and is valued by the following characteristics: health, fair play and honesty, excellence in performance, character, teamwork, dedication, commitment, self-respect, respect for others, respect for rules and laws, and lots of courage.
Athletes as role models play a big role in our student players, and for them, pro athletes are major influences. When joining a team, our student-athletes choose the jersey number of their favorite professional player, they study and observe their style of how they play (I’ve seen it happen with many friends of mine), and maybe, just maybe they could be influenced by the drug use of that professional player if being used in any manner. When pro athletes admit to using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, young athletes believe it’s also okay for them to use it “for the better” as well. They come to believe that it should be done in order for them to be good enough for the team when what they’re missing is most of the characteristics listed before.
It’s good for coaches to randomly bring up a drug test because if the players know that a drug test is to be coming up, they tend to cheat their way in passing that test. It’s simple really but at the same time very awkward in the process. Some ways the athlete would secretly bring urine in some kind of container or bag already. Some ways of getting clean urine would be from another teammate, a neighbor, or even from the internet. Athletes would do anything in order to stay on the team, and they call that commitment! But it’s the wrong kind of commitment.
When coaches randomly ask for a drug test that would be containing their player’s urine, the players would be able to say no, wanting respect for their “privacy”. Usually, athletes joining a team have to sign a contract to submit to the terms and regulations the coach requires of them. And when a player says no to his coach, when asked for a drug testing, that immediately sends a red flag that he doesn’t want to get caught in his act of drug use.
When taking these performance-enhancing drugs, athletes aren’t competing with the opposing team, they’re competing with themselves; themselves from yesterday, the day before, the day before that, and so on. They feel the need to be better than themselves, to strive farther than their limitations. We are only human and we have our limits to what our bodies can contain whether it’s specific food portions, medications, antibiotics, exercise, vitamins, etc. Most of the performance-enhancing drugs aren’t considered to be addictive, but the person using them constantly for a long period of time will end up abusing that drug to a harsher rate.
Over the past several years, statistics have dropped drastically. NCAA Articles states that since 2005, the percentage of male-student athletes who reported drinking excessively dropped from 63% to 44%, and by excessive, they recorded based on 4+ drinks per sitting. For females, the reported rate dropped from 41% to 33%. A majority of student athletes, approximately 60%, reported that they believe drug testing should continue because it is a fair and appropriate requirement. They believe that the tests helps them to stay away and refuse to do any drugs to begin with. About 80% of student athletes believe that pro-athletes should be drug tested, while 60% believe that only college students should be drug tested.
In conclusion, I support that drug testing should be allowed on student-athletes, not only our students, but all athletes. Whether that be in the Olympics, gymnastics, class sports, or even on free time. We should all be true to ourselves and learn to practice and play to the best of our abilities, not the drugs capabilities. With that, we would be able to play better with each other as a team than competing with ourselves, have better relationships within our team, honesty and loyalty to the coaches and players and even the audience. You never know, let’s say you’re a high school basketball captain and you’re in the middle of a game, someone in the audience could be another coach willing to give you a deal or scholarship for college because he admires and is mesmerized by the way you are playing. He’s watching how you control and take part in your team. He thinks you’re really good and about a week later you get a letter from him saying that he would like you on your team next year for college..AMAZING NEWS! Now maybe it wouldn’t be such great news because the reason he enjoyed your sportsmanship and how you played was because of the performance-enhancing drugs you had been taking. See there are different scenarios for situations like this. Be honest and loyal to the audience, your fellow teammates, your coaches, and especially yourself!