The Pros to Permitting Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Lifting the ban on performance-enhancing drugs and supplements in professional sports would be an overall advantageous decision by major league commissioners internationally. Some nations do not enforce these bans, and others define performance-enhancing very differently. In the end, ceasing the ban would allow for regulation, education, less crime, healthier athletes, and a more fair arena for athletes to compete within. If any individual athlete was against the use of performance-enhancing drugs or supplements, they could obviously still choose to do train and compete drug-free.

History continues to show from Prohibition to current performance-enhancing regulations, to narcotic laws, that simply banning a substance will never completely stop individuals from attaining and using it. However, when such substances like steroids, human growth hormones, or other performance-enhancing drugs are banned or illegal, any regulation of the sale, dosage, authenticity, and patient’s medical history and current condition, cannot be made. This puts athletes at a much higher safety risk all across the board in virtually endless, yet very avoidable ways. The risk of violence surrounding the transaction of the illegal substance goes hand-in-hand with the actual trail of the money paid for the drug, which beyond being simply untaxed, is often filtered into supporting extremely violent criminal activity from gangs or cartels. Also, athletes illegally self-dosing performance-enhancing drugs are at a highly elevated risk of overdose due to lack of education from a licensed doctor or pharmaceutical professional. The inability to chemically test and approve the actual substance purchased that the athlete is possibly directly injecting or ingesting, is a critical concern that for most athletes, is left to blind trust in a drug-dealer. Finally, the unlikelihood that the patient’s medical and vital signs are being regularly monitored for reaction by a medical professional specifically trained to diagnose and instruct patients should also be cause for grave concern, as it would never be recommended in any legal pretenses.

If a professional athlete makes their own decision regarding their own body, which harms no one else in the process, they cannot be at fault for doing everything they can to simply reach the physical peak of endurance or strength in their sport. Just like any professional would enhance their athletic performance by consuming a flawless diet, using cutting-edge gear, or cross-training, adding performance-enhancing drugs or supplements is simply another avenue for athletes to utilize towards gaining success. Their body and performance is essentially the full-time career and livelihood of any professional athlete. Just like a full-time student who utilizes several studying methods such as attending class, taking notes, reviewing material, and preparing for an exam, any top-performing student would make legitimate and ethical academic success their priority. If one student was allowed to use the Internet or a textbook during an exam and the rest of the students competing for the same grade could not, it makes comparing a hard-earned perfect score to an “assisted” perfect score like comparing apples to oranges. In order for competitive performance to be measured, it must be consistently fair.

Any unnatural circumstances or extreme stresses that a person puts their body through can be considered unhealthy or dangerous. Running marathons, throwing 100+ mile per hour fastballs, shooting below par on a PGA course, or even diving hundreds of feet deep on a single breath are all unnatural stresses that seem almost super-human and unfathomable. However, professional athletes have dedicated their lives to achieving and improving these record-breaking physical feats. It is with the careful insight and individual approval of professionals, several decades of close scientific observation and study, as well as gradual guided assistance or training that allows such athletes to improve their athletic ability and continue to train and build their bodies to perform and exceed such levels. Introducing the presence of performance-enhancing substances in the few athletes willing to risk using them only separates athletes with an unfair advantage. In order to curb the strategic edge, making the drugs legal and available to all athletes, since banning them does not stop every athlete from using, is undoubtedly the answer.

In conclusion, if performance-enhancing drugs are legalized and accepted in athletics, our sports will ironically become a safer arena for all athletes. With regulation comes safety, education from licensed professionals, FDA approvals for safety and dosage, less violence, and even increased tax revenue. Any decision regarding one’s own body that in no way physically harms any other person in the process, should be left up to the discretion of the individual to make their own individual health and athletic choices, much like their choice in diet or exercise regime. All professional level athletics are very high-performance, and at the peak of the sport’s achievement. If the playing field is leveled for all athletes to evenly and fairly compete without an advantageous edge from a drug over another athlete, any sport can only continue to improve and break records.

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