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Drug Use in Sports

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2019 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 999 times Debate No: 119746
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
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[First round is for stating your position, Proposition of fact, And clarifying anything you think needs it]

I think that drug use in sports is a bad idea because of the health risks involved and moral and ethical issues in play.

Drug use in sports poses a negative effect on the user's health. Enacting the legalization of drug use in sports seeks an unfair advantage towards other athletes and sets a bad perception on how athletes should compete in sports.

Drugs I am talking about are: stimulants, Anabolic-androgenic steroids, Erythropoietin, And 'blood doping' (practice of increasing the number of red blood cells in one's circulatory system). But I'm open to HGH (human growth hormone) ONLY if it is prescribed to them and they do not use it with anabolic steroids or testosterone.


Since I am going to argue for the use of drugs like stimulant, Anabolic-androgenic steroids, Erythropoietin and Blood Doping in sports events. I hereby list out my arguments:

C1: Drugs like stimulant and etc. Are performance boosting drugs during sport events:
Drugs like stimulant and also muscle/hormone growth are common practice in some sport areas, For example: it is common knowledge that the fighters in AFL or other television events use these drugs before the event happened. Despite many arguments that these drugs are harmful to human body, Body stimulant drugs are used in many normal competitions.

C2: The current technology is expensive, And also inadequate enough.
One of the most famous quote in the tour of france is the following:
You have no idea what the Tour de France is", Henri said. "It's a Calvary. Worse than that, Because the road to the Cross has only 14 stations and ours has 15. We suffer from the start to the end. You want to know how we keep going? Here. . . " He pulled a phial from his bag. "That's cocaine, For our eyes. This is chloroform, For our gums. "
"This", Ville said, Emptying his shoulder bag "is liniment to put warmth back into our knees. "
"And pills. Do you want to see pills? Have a look, Here are the pills. " Each pulled out three boxes.
"The truth is", Francis said, "that we keep going on dynamite. "
Henri spoke of being as white as shrouds once the dirt of the day had been washed off, Then of their bodies being drained by diarrhoea, Before continuing:

"At night, In our rooms, We can't sleep. We twitch and dance and jig about as though we were doing St Vitus's Dance. . . "
"There's less flesh on our bodies than on a skeleton", Francis said.

This might be a joke, But the truth is, These long range races are suffering to the people who are participating in them. Also, Lance Armstrong, A legendary doping figure in the Tour De France had also talked about 1 single thing: "It is impossible to go on without drugs. "
Debate Round No. 1


Responding to C1: Just because drugs like stimulant and muscle/hormone growth are common practices does not justify or prove that it is not harmful or promotes a good perception on how athletes should compete in sports. They have a negative effect on long-term health. Athletes would be proned to use those substances to relieve many stressors like pressure to perform, Physical pain, Injuries, And retirement for the sport. Growth hormone are banned by the WADA because it increases muscle mass and decrease adipose tissue. Athletes use those because of their anabolic effect on muscles. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Half of all recently surveyed athletes admitted they would be willing to take a drug even if it would kill them eventually. They would only focus or care about winning events and makes athletes feeling coerced to use those drugs in order to compete or win. Just because on average the athletes want to use these drugs or do use those drugs does not make it okay. For example (hypothetical) if on average or majority of people support slavery that does not make it okay or provide any proof of it "goodness. " The WADA, USADA, And I. O. C. All work collaboratively in sharing information to keep an eye on doping agents, Retains ownership of blood and urine samples, And work together efficiently to enhance testing effectiveness. Abusing drug to increase athletic abilities is definitely an unfair advantage. Not to mention the "blood doping" they use, It increases the risk for heart disease, Stroke, And blood clot in the brain or lungs because it boosts the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. The other PEDs, Increase the risk for high blood pressure, An enlarged heart, Heart attack, Stroke, Irregular heart rate, High blood temperature, And paranoia.

Moreover on C2: [USADA]
--- Anabolic-steroids effects on health;
- (physiological) liver damage, Premature closure of the growth centers of long bones (adolescents) which result in stunted growth, And disruption of puberty.
- (psychological) increased aggressiveness and sexual desire. Sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual or criminal behavior.
- (males) breast tissue development, Shrinking of the testicles, Impotence, And reducing sperm production.
- (females) deep voice, Cessation of breast development, Growth of hair on face etc, Abnormal menstrual cycles.

--- HGH (human growth hormones)
- (physiological) hypertension, Blood cancers/leukemia, Anemia, Heart attacks, Thyroid problems, Severe headaches, Loss of vision, High blood pressure and heart failure, Tumors and diabetes.

--- Stimulants
- (physiological) insomnia, Anxiety, Dependence and addiction, Weight loss, Dehydration, Tremors, Increased heart rate and blood pressure, And increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

--- Blood doping
- (physiological) increased stress on the heart, Blood clotting, And stroke.

Responding to C2: Yes the technology is very expensive and doesn't produce the same effects for performance as drugs. Again that does not justify or prove that it's healthy or promotes a "good" perception on athletes competing. You mostly use quotes, I don't really see how this one was an actual argument.


My last round arguments was seen mostly jokes, But however in this round I will get more serious.

The use of performance enhancing drugs in the modern Olympics is on record as early as the games of the third Olympiad, When Thomas Hicks won the marathon after receiving an injection of strychnine in the middle of the race. 1 The first official ban on "stimulating substances" by a sporting organisation was introduced by the International Amateur Athletic Federation in 1928. 2

Using drugs to cheat in sport is not new, But it is becoming more effective. In 1976, The East German swimming team won 11 out of 13 Olympic events, And later sued the government for giving them anabolic steroids. 3 Yet despite the health risks, And despite the regulating bodies" attempts to eliminate drugs from sport, The use of illegal substances is widely known to be rife. It hardly raises an eyebrow now when some famous athlete fails a dope test.

In 1992, Vicky Rabinowicz interviewed small groups of athletes. She found that Olympic athletes, In general, Believed that most successful athletes were using banned substances. 4

Much of the writing on the use of drugs in sport is focused on this kind of anecdotal evidence. There is very little rigorous, Objective evidence because the athletes are doing something that is taboo, Illegal, And sometimes highly dangerous. The anecdotal picture tells us that our attempts to eliminate drugs from sport have failed. In the absence of good evidence, We need an analytical argument to determine what we should do.

We are far from the days of amateur sporting competition. Elite athletes can earn tens of millions of dollars every year in prize money alone, And millions more in sponsorships and endorsements. The lure of success is great. But the penalties for cheating are small. A six month or one year ban from competition is a small penalty to pay for further years of multimillion dollar success.

Drugs are much more effective today than they were in the days of strychnine and sheep"s testicles. Studies involving the anabolic steroid androgen showed that, Even in doses much lower than those used by athletes, Muscular strength could be improved by 5"20%. 5 Most athletes are also relatively unlikely to ever undergo testing. The International Amateur Athletic Federation estimates that only 10"15% of participating athletes are tested in each major competition. 6

The enormous rewards for the winner, The effectiveness of the drugs, And the low rate of testing all combine to create a cheating "game" that is irresistible to athletes. Kjetil Haugen7 investigated the suggestion that athletes face a kind of prisoner"s dilemma regarding drugs. His game theoretic model shows that, Unless the likelihood of athletes being caught doping was raised to unrealistically high levels, Or the payoffs for winning were reduced to unrealistically low levels, Athletes could all be predicted to cheat. The current situation for athletes ensures that this is likely, Even though they are worse off as a whole if everyone takes drugs, Than if nobody takes drugs.

Drugs such as erythropoietin (EPO) and growth hormone are natural chemicals in the body. As technology advances, Drugs have become harder to detect because they mimic natural processes. In a few years, There will be many undetectable drugs. Haugen"s analysis predicts the obvious: that when the risk of being caught is zero, Athletes will all choose to cheat.

The recent Olympic games in Athens were the first to follow the introduction of a global anti-doping code. From the lead up to the games to the end of competition, 3000 drug tests were carried out: 2600 urine tests and 400 blood tests for the endurance enhancing drug EPO. 8 From these, 23 athletes were found to have taken a banned substance"the most ever in an Olympic games. 9 Ten of the men"s weightlifting competitors were excluded.

The goal of "cleaning" up the sport is unattainable. Further down the track the spectre of genetic enhancement looms dark and large.

People do well at sport as a result of the genetic lottery that happened to deal them a winning hand. Genetic tests are available to identify those with the greatest potential. If you have one version of the ACE gene, You will be better at long distance events. If you have another, You will be better at short distance events. Black Africans do better at short distance events because of biologically superior muscle type and bone structure. Sport discriminates against the genetically unfit. Sport is the province of the genetic elite (or freak).

The starkest example is the Finnish skier Eero Maentyranta. In 1964, He won three gold medals. Subsequently it was found he had a genetic mutation that meant that he "naturally" had 40"50% more red blood cells than average. 15 Was it fair that he had significant advantage given to him by chance?

The ability to perform well in sporting events is determined by the ability to deliver oxygen to muscles. Oxygen is carried by red blood cells. The more red blood cells, The more oxygen you can carry. This in turn controls an athlete"s performance in aerobic exercise. EPO is a natural hormone that stimulates red blood cell production, Raising the packed cell volume (PCV)"the percentage of the blood comprised of red blood cells. EPO is produced in response to anaemia, Haemorrhage, Pregnancy, Or living at altitude. Athletes began injecting recombinant human EPO in the 1970s, And it was officially banned in 1985. 16

At sea level, The average person has a PCV of 0. 4"0. 5. It naturally varies; 5% of people have a packed cell volume above 0. 5, 17 and that of elite athletes is more likely to exceed 0. 5, Either because their high packed cell volume has led them to success in sport or because of their training. 18

Raising the PCV too high can cause health problems. The risk of harm rapidly rises as PCV gets above 50%. One study showed that in men whose PCV was 0. 51 or more, Risk of stroke was significantly raised (relative risk R02;=R02; 2. 5), After adjustment for other causes of stroke. 19 At these levels, Raised PCV combined with hypertension would cause a ninefold increase in stroke risk. In endurance sports, Dehydration causes an athlete"s blood to thicken, Further raising blood viscosity and pressure. 20 What begins as a relatively low risk of stroke or heart attack can rise acutely during exercise.

In the early 1990s, After EPO doping gained popularity but before tests for its presence were available, Several Dutch cyclists died in their sleep due to inexplicable cardiac arrest. This has been attributed to high levels of EPO doping. 21 The risks from raising an athlete"s PCV too high are real and serious.

Use of EPO is endemic in cycling and many other sports. In 1998, The Festina team was expelled from the Tour de France after trainer Willy Voet was caught with 400 vials of performance enhancing drugs. 22 The following year, The World Anti-Doping Agency was established as a result of the scandal. However, EPO is extremely hard to detect and its use has continued. Italy"s Olympic anti-doping director observed in 2003 that the amount of EPO sold in Italy outweighed the amount needed for sick people by a factor of six. 23

In addition to trying to detect EPO directly, The International Cycling Union requires athletes to have a PCV no higher than 0. 5. But 5% of people naturally have a PCV higher than 0. 5. Athletes with a naturally high PCV cannot race unless doctors do a number of tests to show that their PCV is natural. Charles Wegelius was a British rider who was banned and then cleared in 2003. He had had his spleen removed in 1998 after an accident, And as the spleen removes red blood cells, Its absence resulted in an increased PCV. 24

There are other ways to increase the number of red blood cells that are legal. Altitude training can push the PCV to dangerous, Even fatal, Levels. More recently, Hypoxic air machines have been used to simulate altitude training. The body responds by releasing natural EPO and growing more blood cells, So that it can absorb more oxygen with every breath. The Hypoxico promotional material quotes Tim Seaman, A US athlete, Who claims that the hypoxic air tent has "given my blood the legal "boost" that it needs to be competitive at the world level. "25

There is one way to boost an athlete"s number of red blood cells that is completely undetectable:26 autologous blood doping. In this process, Athletes remove some blood, And reinject it after their body has made new blood to replace it. This method was popular before recombinant human EPO became available.

"By allowing everyone to take performance enhancing drugs, We level the playing field. "
There is no difference between elevating your blood count by altitude training, By using a hypoxic air machine, Or by taking EPO. But the last is illegal. Some competitors have high PCVs and an advantage by luck. Some can afford hypoxic air machines. Is this fair? Nature is not fair. Ian Thorpe has enormous feet which give him an advantage that no other swimmer can get, No matter how much they exercise. Some gymnasts are more flexible, And some basketball players are seven feet tall. By allowing everyone to take performance enhancing drugs, We level the playing field. We remove the effects of genetic inequality. Far from being unfair, Allowing performance enhancement promotes equality.
Debate Round No. 2


EJR925 forfeited this round.


Oh great. . . . . Again. . . . . .
Debate Round No. 3


EJR925 forfeited this round.


Oh great. . . . . .
Debate Round No. 4


EJR925 forfeited this round.


Vote pro everyone.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by PerezA 3 years ago
I think it should be allowed. But in a separate category where any drugs are allowed. Personal rights of a person how to live and let everyone see what this leads to.
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
@Leaning, Yeah. So i just go ahead and put it in the google doc.
Posted by Leaning 3 years ago
Putting this here since I don't like seeing posting right after myself in the forums, Though I do it fairly often. If you use the Reply & Quote function it can glitch and not actually post what you tried to post. It will work if you delete all of the previous persons text, When you're writing your reply.
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
https://docs. Google. Com/document/d/1EArWLs98l8aGMWRlIU6Q7V1_ypLPENzrN-dNEFf7hW4/edit? Usp=sharing
Citation on all researched website conducted by my friends and me.
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
Seems like I can't post my links. I will get them in a google doc.
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
Sometimes, The treatments for these conditions will raise the performance of an athlete beyond that which they could attain naturally. But safety should come first. If an archer requires ^6; blockers to treat heart disease, We should not be concerned that this will give him or her an advantage over other archers. Or if an anaemic cyclist wants to take EPO, We should be most concerned with the treatment of the anaemia.

If we are serious about safety in sport, We should also be prepared to discuss changes to the rules and equipment involved in sports which are themselves inherently dangerous. Formula One motor racing, Once the most deadly of sports, Has not seen a driver death in over six years, Largely because of radical changes in the safety engineering of the tracks and the cars. Meanwhile, Professional boxing remains inherently dangerous; David Rickman died during a bout in March 2004, Even though he passed a physical examination the day before
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
ar from harming athletes, Paradoxically, Such a proposal may protect our athletes. There would be more rigorous and regular evaluation of an athlete"s health and fitness to perform. Moreover, The current incentive is to develop undetectable drugs, With little concern for safety. If safe performance enhancement drugs were permitted, There would be greater pressure to develop safe drugs. Drugs would tend to become safer.

This is perhaps best illustrated by the case of American sailor Kevin Hall. Hall lost his testicles to cancer, Meaning that he required testosterone injections to remain healthy. As testosterone is an anabolic steroid, He had to prove to four separate governing bodies that he was not using the substance to gain an advantage. 33 Any tests that we do should be sensitive to the health of the athlete; to focus on the substances themselves is dogmatic.

Not only this, But health testing can help to mitigate the dangers inherent in sport.

For many athletes, Sport is not safe enough without drugs. If they suffer from asthma, High blood pressure, Or cardiac arrhythmia, Sport places their bodies under unique stresses, Which raise the likelihood of a chronic or catastrophic harm. For example, Between 1985 and 1995, At least 121 US athletes collapsed and died directly after or during a training session or competition"most often because they had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or heart malformations. 34 The relatively high incidence of sudden cardiac death in young athletes has prompted the American Heart Association to recommend that all athletes undergo cardiac screening before being allowed to train or compete. 35
Posted by LOL98700z 3 years ago
I shall continue my argument here:
Should there be any limits to drugs in sport?

There is one limit: safety. We do not want an Olympics in which people die before, During, Or after competition. What matters is health and fitness to compete. Rather than testing for drugs, We should focus more on health and fitness to compete. Forget testing for EPO, Monitor the PCV. We need to set a safe level of PCV. In the cycling world, That is 0. 5. Anyone with a PCV above that level, Whether through the use of drugs, Training, Or natural mutation, Should be prevented from participating on safety grounds. If someone naturally has a PCV of 0. 6 and is allowed to compete, Then that risk is reasonable and everyone should be allowed to increase their PCV to 0. 6. What matters is what is a safe concentration of growth hormone"not whether it is natural or artificial.

We need to take safety more seriously. In the 1960s, East German athletes underwent systematic government sanctioned prescription of anabolic steroids, And were awarded millions of dollars in compensation in 2002. Some of the female athletes had been compelled to change their sex because of the large quantities of testosterone they had been given. 32

We should permit drugs that are safe, And continue to ban and monitor drugs that are unsafe. There is another argument for this policy based on fairness: provided that a drug is safe, It is unfair to the honest athletes that they have to miss out on an advantage that the cheaters enjoy.

Taking EPO up to the safe level, Say 0. 5, Is not a problem. This allows athletes to correct for natural inequality. There are of course some drugs that are harmful in themselves "for example, Anabolic steroids. We should focus on detecting these because they are harmful not because they enhance performance.
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