The Use of Steroids by Professional Athletes to Boost Their Performance Raises Research

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1731 Words
Date:  2022-04-14

Statement of Issue

The use of steroids by professional athletes to boost their performance raises concerns in professional sporting with questions on whether to legalize the drugs or not, frequently coming up. Steroids are artificial variations similar to testosterone which is a male sex hormone with health caregivers usually recommend them for treating hormonal challenges in humans like delayed puberty, and in also in treating illnesses that result in muscle loss like AIDs and cancer (Moran 24). However, professional athletes and bodybuilders abuse steroids with the aim of bettering their physical appearance or enhancing their performance. Professional sports bodies have declared steroids illegal around the globe as they are considered to give undue advantage to the users over their competitors. Sports organizations try to set a level playing ground through frequent tests for steroid use and suspension or expulsion of those testing positive for drug use in the strive to ensure that athletes adhere to the regulations (Lambelet and Coleman 1751). Although the ban on the use of steroids has tried to level the ground for sporting competitions, scholars argue that the measures have failed to cut down the number of drug users with studies showing the number of abusers goes up each year (Nitesh). According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the inability to cut down on users and the enormous time and money wasted in performing tests raises the question of whether the time to legalize the drugs is due.

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Importance of the Question

Understanding the issue of substance abuse in professional sports helps stakeholders understand the extent of managing sports ethics thus determining whether they have been successful or not (Lambelet and Coleman 1752). Also, it helps in understanding the reasons athletes abuse the illegal drugs towards determining interventions. The core beneficiaries in the understanding of drug abuse in professional sports include the athletes who get to understand the implications of doping in their careers, policymakers who evaluate the outcome of their policies, and policy enforcers who get to determine whether their approaches of maintaining sports ethics are effective.

Research Question

The research question is: Is it yet time to legalize the use of steroids in professional sports?

Paper Position

This research seeks to decide whether or not it is time to legalize steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs towards creating an equal field of play in professional sporting. I believe it is not yet time for steroids to be allowed in professional sports. Legalization will create self-centredness on athletes who would be striving to use all means to excel in sports which undermines the hard work by those athletes who do not use drug boosters. Despite legalization promising a leveled ground by allowing interested athletes to use drugs, the aspect undermines human dignity as it forces unwilling athletes into using drugs only to stay competitive against their will (Lee 5).

Ethical Theory Framing the Position

The Kantian theory of ethics forms the basis for the paper's position.


Kantian Theory of Ethics

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) a German philosopher formulated an ethical theory that other scholars would later classify it as the best-known moral theory (Belousek 9). In his approach, he established what a morally correct action was and provided reasons for his argument. Kantian approach concludes that the only thing seen as "good" without questions is good will. The Kantian approach thereby focuses on what people are expected to do and not the consequences of their deeds. In his construction of the moral law, Kant proposes a categorical imperative to which all people are subjects irrespective of their interests or desires (Belousek 17). The principle of universalizability as brought out requires that for an action to be considered permissible, all individuals must be subjects without the occurrence of contradiction. Moral worthiness according to Kant is the urge to do something since it is a moral duty regardless of personal interests or likes (McCalla and Shepherd 375). The Kantian theory prescribes to all members of an organized society guided by rules and regulations as it demands that each person act as expected regardless of personal thoughts or needs.

The most significant advantage of Kantian ethics theory is its consistency, with the basis of the argument being on rules and demand that people be morally consistent. Following the law is an obligation to be upheld if others are expected to do so (Belousek 48). However, the consistency demanded by the theory is a critical weakness as it results in the conflict of rules more so situational regulations that allow individuals to act depending on the situation at hand. Underestimation of consequences by Kant compromises the objectivity of the theory; by arguing that results are unpredictable for consideration, he overlooks conditions with well-known outcomes like those that cause more harm than good (McCalla and Shepherd 381).

The Kantian approach fits well into the research issue as the method advocates for the following of set rules regardless of self-needs. The question under study concerns ethical issues in professional sports where athletes go the extra mile of engaging in unethical activities such as drug abuse to outdo their colleagues, which connects well with the theory that advocates for moral and ethical conduct towards achieving fairness.

Literature Review

Problem Recognition

The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports dates back to the origin of Olympic Games between 776BC to 393BC when doping was prevalent (Nitesh 295). The name doping was from a Dutch word "doop" referring to a viscous opium juice, a drug of preference for the Greeks. The considerable prizes to compete for and fame, and the lack of regulations prohibiting cheating in sports was a motivation for doping at the time. In the late 19th century, French cyclists ingested coca leaves and wine to endure fatigue and hunger. In the modern Olympics, 1904-1920, marathon runners used a mixture of brandy and strychnine and boosters (Nitesh 297). Mixtures of heroin, caffeine, cocaine, and strychnine were also familiar, with athletes and coaches developing secret formulae towards outdoing competitors. In 1928, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) was the first sports body to ban doping by athletes (McGrew 237). In 1958, Dr. John Bosley Ziegler invented the anabolic steroid known as Dianabol circulated in the market by Ciba pharmaceuticals after the approval by FDA. The US weightlifting team won the sport after using the drug (Nitesh 299).

The first doping test was in the year 1968 during the winter Olympics in France and summer Olympics in Mexico (Moran 20). However, despite the urge to end doping, the testing methods at the time were inefficient and insufficient for all performance-enhancing drugs to be in the banned substance list. Hass-Gunnar Lijenwall was the first athlete to be stripped of a medal for testing positive for alcohol with the entire Swedish team to which he belonged losing all their medals (Nitesh 298). In 1975, the Olympic committee added anabolic steroids to the list of banned substances and the first steroid testing conducted in the Montreal Olympics for the first time. Ben Johnson was stripped of his Gold medal in 1988 in the Olympic Games held in Korea after testing positive for drugs, and it was at this point that the fight against drug abuse in sports became evident (Nitesh 301). Since then many other athletes have tested positive for drug use resulting in stripping of medals, suspensions, and others sentenced to imprisonment. Various laws and regulations have been enacted over time to increase the strictness in the fight against drug abuse with the core aim being the provision of a leveled ground in sporting competitions (Lee 24).

Currently, the abuse of steroids is significant in the society with abuse noted to have been increasing over the years as a result of the availability of steroids and related products (Moran 26). Unlike in the past where steroids were common among adults and majorly sports people, the problem of steroid abuse has spread to school-aged children, business professionals, fitness buffs and athletes. Research estimates that half a million children between the 8th and 10th grades are into performance-enhancing drugs with senior schoolchildren in high school believing steroids are safe for their health. 0.5% of the American adult population confesses that they have used anabolic steroids at one point in their life. The statistics confirm how widespread the problem is as highlighted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The enactment of the Anabolic Steroid Control Act in 1990 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reduced the abuse of drugs in sports. However, it has resulted in the acquisition of unsafe steroids through the black market by other steroid users for recreational or professional reasons has dramatically affected the well-being of the users (Savulescu, Foddy and Clayton 668). Overall, the strict adherence to legislation prohibiting the use of steroid s and other performance-enhancing drugs remains the necessary approach towards curbing the vice. Various stakeholders are interested in the issue of steroids and their use. Sports organizations and bodies are against the use of steroids in the sport as it gives the user undue advantage over the others (Belousek 15). The government is another crucial stakeholder concerned with the well-being of its people and aim at protecting its people from the adversities associated with drug use by setting and supporting laws against the production, unauthorized circulations and use of performance-enhancing drugs. The users of the steroids also comprise the stakeholders with their position being that the legalization of the drugs with the purpose of use being a personal choice.

Problem Solution


Showalter is against the making of policies on the use of steroids by the Congress and recommends that the role remains with the individual sports bodies and leagues (676). He argues that the leagues and players can only achieve the formulation of appropriate standards, as collective bargaining is possible towards the achievement of a common goal. By implementing drug policies by collective bargaining, articles in the administration will be immune to judicial challenge as compared to federal law. Also, the use of mass bargaining through leagues and sports associations enhances specific and rapid response to enraging trends in doping and associated technologies compared to congregational acts. Also, Showalter argues that drug regulations in sports are an unnecessary burden to the Congress, which has pressing issues to handle (677).

Collins and Associates highlight the urge by most athletes to avoid substance abuse towards enhancing their performance (11). However, they blame the policies in place for focusing on anti-doping tests and punishments rather than adopting preventive measures. They recommend that anti substance policies should broaden their awareness education to i...

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The Use of Steroids by Professional Athletes to Boost Their Performance Raises Research. (2022, Apr 14). Retrieved from

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