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“The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, the body and the mind. Doping is contrary to the spirit of sport, erodes public confidence and jeopardises the health and well-being of athletes,” (World Anti-Doping Agency). The doping that the WADA is referring to is the use of performance enhancing drugs, or PEDs for short. PEDs are substances that are intended to improve a person’s athletic performance. There are many different types of PEDs that all have very different effects on an athlete’s performance and health. Although they may boost your performance, they can also do damage to your body. The idea of whether or not PEDs should be allowed has been heavily debated. I believe the use of PEDs should not be allowed in sports because they have harmful effects on athletes health, they are immoral as they are considered a form of cheating, and as role models, pro athletes have a huge responsibility to make good decisions. First of all, using PEDs is immoral because by choosing to use substances to increase performance rather than working for it, you are cheating. Richard Pound, the former president of the WADA, believes that athletes “don’t take these drugs to level the playing field, they do it to get an advantage,” (Top 10). Using drugs to enhance their performance is a choice that an athlete makes. But what makes them turn to PEDs? The answer is simple; they view them as a way to get fast, easy results without putting in any effort. This concept of using substances to gain an unfair advantage over the competition is immoral, which is why athletes involved in drug scandals usually try to deny the accusations. They understand that using drugs for this purpose is immoral and they do not want to be looked down upon for taking part in such practices. However, many athletes continue to use drugs and as a result can influence others to use them too. As seen in the Morality Article, people like you and I are often easily influenced by the actions and thoughts of others. This idea is no different in how it relates to athletes using PEDs in sports. Pro athletes have a very large influence in today’s society. Many people have an athlete that serves as a role model to them. They look up to pro athletes and may even try to copy what that athlete does in an effort to be more like them. This is why athletes have a responsibility to make good choices such as avoiding PEDs. According to the HRF, 40% of teens that use steroids say that their decision to use drugs in sports was inspired by a pro athlete that is using PEDs (20 Incredible). This statistic proves how much of an impact a pro athlete’s decision can have on people. Pro athletes need to use their influence to get people to stop using PEDs, not the other way around. This also applies to how athletes affect other athletes. As said before, if one athlete starts using PEDs, other athletes may start using them too, and this in theory would eventually lead to many athletes using drugs to improve, and once they are all using drugs, they will begin to slowly take higher and higher amounts of PEDs in an effort to maintain their “advantage” over everyone else. As they increase the amount of drugs they are using, they also increase the number and severity of risks posed to their health. This takes me to my last reason PEDs should not be used in sports. The final reason I believe PEDs should never be used is simply because they are bad for your health. Using PEDs may help your performance short term, but long term, they can harm you greatly. There are many different types of PEDs, including anabolic steroids, beta blockers, stimulants, narcotics, hormones, etc., and according to the US Anti-Doping Agency, each type has many side effects. Some of the worst include heart attacks, strokes, tumors, loss of vision, blood cancers, and even death. And those are just the physical effects. PEDs also take a huge toll on users mentally with effects including impaired thinking, increased aggressiveness, depression, anxiety, and dependence/addiction (Effects). These are only a fraction of what you may experience after using these substances. Some may argue that PEDs only help your performance and they are not bad for your health. However, these people could not be more wrong. It has been scientifically proven through countless studies and tests by numerous organizations that they are bad for your health. Yes, they temporarily improve performance, but the long term effects are what really matter. You cannot argue that there are no health risks if the list of side effects includes types of cancer and death. Organizations such as the WADA and the USADA are against using PEDs for a reason. I believe athletes should never use performance enhancing drugs in sports because they are immoral and unfair, they can cause terrible health problems, and as role models, athletes have a responsibility to make good decisions. Overall, PEDs are doing more harm than good and athletes all over need to stop using them. They are ruining the competitive nature of sports by replacing hard work and dedication with simply taking a drug. If you care about sports, you should care about how the use of PEDs is ruining them.

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