Doping is a serious offense in the sporting world and could have dire consequences that could result in the denouement of an athlete’s career. It is also something that is highly frowned upon today and may lead the athlete to the subject of public contempt. Doping not only has some catastrophic effects on an athlete’s career but also has the same if not worse effects on the health of the athlete. Doping has led to numerous deaths, both during on and off participation of any sporting event. Doping is hazardous in any form one chooses to focus on it; it may have some quick improvements on one’s body and mindset but in the long run it will end up killing everything one has ever worked for.
Doping was originally not illegal in sports. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically used doping to boosts their chances of winning, fight fatigue and prevent injury. Doping was also present in the early Olympics—for example in 1904, a marathoner used a stimulant fatally high in doses and almost died. In 1928, the first rule against doping was introduced with the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAAF)—the governing body for sport of track and field—being the first to prohibit doping by athletes.
It was not until 1999 when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) produced the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport. This document created an independent international anti-doping agency to be fully operational for the Games of the XXVII in Sydney in 2000. This was a bit too late as several incidents had already occurred with various athletes passing away because of using performance enhancing drugs.
The incidents did not come to a halt when WADA was formed. It was as if it just shed some light into the already dark world of doping. Superstars, icons, legends and role models all from different sporting fields tested positive for doping brought nothing but ruin to both their lives and careers. Some cases proved more serious than others with repercussions proving to be stricter. A good example is track star Marion Jones whose admittance to using steroids not only led to her medals being stripped away from her and her records being wiped from the books, but also six months in prison. Baseball was also under the same category with a former baseball player admitting that over 50 percent of players use steroids back in 2002. This did not stop here as over the year’s numerous baseball layers tested positive for using steroids with Mark McGwire, a baseball hero, admitting that he used steroids in 2013.
The stories all fell like re-runs, where the end is never pleasing in any scenario. In my perspective, athletes should be banned from participating in sports entirely and not just stripped of their medals and titles. Doping goes beyond sportsmanship and accounts for toying with one’s health. Even though sometimes it may be offered as an option to an athlete and they may not keenly consider it, the punishment should be very strict.
If one is willing to put their life on the line to get ahead of other in a competition that everyone trains for equally then that individual is not worthy of participating in any given sport. Sports is about fair play, equal opportunity and level playing ground. Doping goes against all the norms of sports and health and therefore is a risk to any individual that is willing to indulge in it.