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Paper Topic:

Ethical issues in sport regarding the taking of performance enhancing drugs and whether drug testing infringes on a persons moral autonomy and privacy.

What are the ethical issues related to the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport ? Does testing infringe on one 's moral autonomy and privacy


Utilization of performance enhancing drugs by an athlete truly brings biasness to the game the consumption should be restricted by the law and further reinforced . There is a desperate need to understand that such medications bring about a fairly temporary enhancement in performance alongside it has a long term negative impact particularly on the sexual life of individuals

This elaborates on the utilization of

performance enhancing drugs in sports and the pertinent sports ethical issues . It is a firm belief of many sportsmen that in the true spirit of sportsmanship performance enhancing medications should not be allowed . There are several arguments in favor of and against this issue that would be discussed in the next of this assignment however , the arguments in-favor of the issue are all present as a counter towards those in favor of , assisting the fact that performance enhancement drugs should not be allowed for the sportsmen . The major backing of the facts remain that these are the unfair means of winning-the-race and alongside , these have negative long term impacts on human fitness and abilities


Sports Ethical Issue in Using Performance Enhancement Drugs

Utilization of performance enhancement drugs has always been a debatable issue across the world of athletes ever since its inception . However with the creation of anti-doping committees and other consortiums that prevents athletes from taking such drugs , alongside the advent of such testing facilitation has further added fuel to the fire and it is now probably the most widely discussed among athletes . This section discusses the ethical issue in sports pertinent to utilization of such drugs . Initially , before moving on to ethical issue in sporting world it is important to define what ethics are

Defining Ethics

While addressing any ethical issue , it is important to highlight and unleash the true definition of what ethics actually are . In simplest terms of layman language , ethics can be defined as the socially accepted norms and values . These may vary from society to society based on cultures , traditions , etc . Ethics can also be called as the unsaid un-written and understood laws that prevail in the society . Ethics cover what is right and what is wrong in a society . Ethics teach individuals to act in a right manner and also to remain committed towards it Generally , ethics and laws and confused by several individuals and entities it , therefore , becomes crucial to highlight the difference between the two sets of rules and regulations

Ethics and Law

Ethics are , as mentioned previously , the laws in non-writing and prevail in different societies . On the contrary , laws are the nationally prevailing government set rules and regulations that are binding on all individuals and entities in a state . There are several differentiating features between laws and ethics three most common ones are as follows

Laws are in writing , ethics are not

Laws are binding , ethics are not

Breach of law is associated with predetermined punishments , while failure to follow the code of ethics has not as such penalties associated

It is not mandatory by any means that ethics and laws follow the same line of opinion and degree of meaning there may be situations giving birth to ethical dilemmas , which means a position where it becomes difficult to decide on which path to follow

After the definition of ethics and its differentiation with laws , it is also important to elaborate on the ethical issues pertinent to the world of sports Sports Ethical Issues

Likewise all walks of life , sports also follow some ethical codes and standards . There are many ethical codes conducted with sports and some laws as well . One of such major codes is the fact that each athlete should participate in the sport with the best possible fitness measure and should compete based on their true fitness , caliber , and abilities alongside , it is also important to appear and participate in sporting actions without utilization of any unfair means . Many sports count this as a law , while others keep it as an ethical code and thus , giving it birth as an ethical dilemma at times . Based on this code , performance enhancement drugs should not be allowed as these alter the true position of an athlete pertinent to his performance and gives the user an unfair advantage on the other

Based on these facts recently , the International Olympic Movement (IOM imposed a ban on the usage of performance enhancement drugs and medications . With the inception of this rule , there were testing centers established alongside penalty structure for the guilty . In 1967 , the fundamentals of anti doping principles pertinent to sports were laid down by the International Olympic Committee , these were

Health care and protection for the athletes

Sports and medical pertinent ethics be respected as that stand

Equality of opportunity assurance in the course of any competition

Setting the above-mentioned points as a benchmarking guideline , it is clearly visible that performance enhancing drugs such as Steroids are hazardous for health and have dangerous side-effects . Alongside ethically , a physician may never recommend a performance enhancement drug as it would be unethical with the profession . And of course taking enhancement drugs actually allow inequality of opportunity , allowing the user to have a much better performance than the competitors . From this discussion , it becomes crucial to define what performance enhancement drugs are in a layman 's terminology

Performance Enhancing Drugs

Performance enhancing drugs and medications can be defined as the medicines that temporarily increase the ability of a person to perform well this enhanced performance is mainly by means of increasing resistance to exhaustion so that the player /athlete can stretch farther and lessen the quickness of tiredness . The few general classes of performance enhancement drugs are

Growth enhancers

Oxygen enhancers


Blood doping

These major categories have been derived from the major bifurcations of drugs from the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency ) list . There is a huge list of names however , majority lie within a certain range of classes

There might be some names in these classes that would attract the masses in terms of their potential benefits . Following section , presents the arguments in favor of allowing the usage of these drugs

Arguments in Favor of Allowing Performance Enhancing Drugs

In the world today , performance enhancement drugs are considered as food supplements add-ons that allow athletes to stretch . The prime reason given for allowance of these drugs is a question that `Should pain-killers be allowed for athletes suffering from pain during the course of the game ' Here the issue to consider is that pain-killers in such a scenario can be considered as performance enhancement drugs because these alter the true state of an athlete . With these arguments standing on one side , following section presents the arguments against the notion

Arguments against Allowing Performance Enhancing Drugs

Performance enhancement can be considered as cheating due to several reasons the prime reason being that using such drugs may actually lead the athlete into not putting any additional hard work for beating the competition and emerging as the champion

Breach of Moral Autonomy Privacy through Testing

Along-with all other arguments in favor or against the usage of these drugs , there have been constant debates highlighting the importance of moral autonomy and privacy two phenomenon that are debated to be violated through testing of these drugs . This section highlights the issues pertinent to the same debates

Autonomy and Risk

It is assumed that utilization of enhancements has a propensity to violate athletes ' autonomy . In one way or the other , athletes do lose their autonomy by giving up relations , relaxation , recreation , certain diets , sleep , etc . to stick to their thorough training schedules Through the utilization of such drugs , some athletes enjoy the autonomy that others don 't as the later put in their hard-work and efforts to compete in competitions . Another perspective of autonomy is the fact that testing actually hampers a person 's morale autonomy however , it can simply be argued by stating the reason as mentioned in this section that no testing would otherwise put at stake the autonomy of others and actually degrade their hard-work

Alongside autonomy , the risk associated with the utilization of such drugs is that they give birth to a particularly destructive loss of self-sufficiency , eventually leading towards inutility Noticeable here is the fact that given the same relative abilities , if all the concerned athletes use enhancement drugs , the net impact would be almost nil . Though this would lead into no superior /inferior positioning of the athletes however , the exposition to the health hazards remain at their place . Therefore , in the best spirit of sportsmanship , it is always better to play by the rules

Playing by the Rules

Rules and traditions of the game develop sense of expectation among all the pertinent stakeholders including athletes , coaches , crowds , etc . It is understandable that there are bumps and dips in the course of a game and there are the lows and the highs . Furthermore , athletes are the idols for the youth . Enhancements , especially those that are illegal and are banned can be considered under the consumption of illegal drugs This can mould the shapes of young followers of these icons

Due to these and many more reasons , it becomes fairly valid to impose a ban on such hazardous practices . As in majority of the cases enhancements have unsafe and uncertain side effects therefore , the imposed ban shall also bring athletes out of the danger zone . It is also worth-mentioning that there can be high costs associated to the ban enforcement primarily due to the expensive testing programs . Therefore it can be stated that physicians play a critical role in such programs as most of such drugs are given based on prescriptions only

The Role of the Physician

Physicians face the most problematic scenario in case of athletes being their patients they can be considered as the prime source of the banned substances . A Romanian team physician , in the Sydney Olympics of 2000 gave a banned OTC (over-the-counter cold remedy to a gymnast , and consequently , was asked to leave the Olympic village . The role of physicians is thus quite important in such scenarios as the FDA has not approved any enhancement drugs . Therefore , any physician who prescribes banned drugs to athlete patients can be subjected to disciplinary action by state medical boards and professional societies . If a physician comes to know about the potential usage of banned drugs by an athlete , it should be reported on an urgent basis to the sponsoring sports organization . However , this stands as a violation of confidentiality to do so . Thus , there is a dilemma an issue with no best way out . The best way out , yet could be to follow the law to be on the safest possible side

Canadian Laws on Sports

As per the Canadian laws , the doping convict has to be publicly disclosed by the body that conducted the tests . The disclosure should include the pertinent dates , material /substance used , etc . Further more a history of such convicts shall be maintained with the CCES

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom gives autonomy constrained by certain boundaries and prescribed laws , to all individuals illustrating the presence of a free and democratic society

This can take implications that each person has the freedom to act as per the respective wish and will unless he /she enters the boundaries of harming anyone else 's rights or freedoms . Doping or enhancement drugs can be taken as a violation of this act . Though its consumption would depict the freedom of individuals however , would be harmful for the competitor , competitiveness , and competition in terms of gaining unfair advantage


People are generally concerned with the fact that their performance has been enhanced by that short spam of time however , it is up to the physician who is subscribing that drug to notify the athlete of all possible drawbacks possible in the near or late future . It is quite similar to the fuel performance upgrading oils that one puts in their cars . The car might give an awesome mileage per kilometer but truly it is making its roots stronger within the car engine and once that supplement is dropped , the mileage goes down drastically . There might be arguments that these performance enhancing drugs actually deteriorate the long term performance and cause addiction to the athletes

Alongside the long-term health issues , allowance of such drugs shall prove to be de-motivating and demoralizing for majority of the athletes as it destroys a sportsman 's dignity . Usage of such acts will not just harm the individual himself but also to his followers and believers as well . The person is bound to lose trustworthiness in this case . Blood doping is cheating and has several unhealthy side effects . Injecting blood doping chemicals can cause kidney damage , jaundice (the skin , eyes and body fluids turn yellow ) and blood clots . Re-injecting blood from an athlete 's own body can cause blood infections and heart problems . For example there are substantial differences in the physiologic properties of oral versus injectable anabolic steroids . Of equal or greater importance is the dearth of knowledge of the long-term health effects of most performance enhancing drugs . A number of performance enhancing drugs are not euphorigenic or mood altering immediately following administration . Instead , the appetite for these drugs has been created predominantly by our societal fixation on winning and physical appearance

In the past , the long death row of best athletes due to drug abuse stirred a lot of debate both in public and politics . Although some high privileged athletes confess to have taken doping substances to enhance their physical efficiency , only in a few cases death as a drug abuse consequence could be proven . Not only substances are used to enhance physical performance in competitions but also innovative methods which were used to enhance the oxygen transport capacity by itself or which can cover for example the EPO induced increase of hematocrit by changing blood viscosity . Therefore , blood doping is used especially in endurance sports to achieve the physiological effects , which are normally the result of hypoxy training at high altitude . It is argued that the widespread doping of elite athletes , as is now common , cannot easily occur without government collusion that is either overt or covert . There is also evidence that a number of international sporting bodies have followed the same principle . Furthermore , since their products are so readily available to influential athletes , those pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the most popular performance-enhancing drugs would appear to be indifferent to the misuse of their products by athletes for non-medical purposes . Moreover transmissions of infectious diseases like viral hepatitis or AIDS are possible . Because the normal values of hemoglobin and hematocrit were exceeded by blood doping , an overload of the circulatory system and an increased risk of blood clots for these athletes were to be taken into account

The question remains . People have reason for doping as well . One can dispute with some force that baseball should do nothing about the current disagreement except adopt a policy that players may use any drug that is not illegal under either federal or state laws . The only point in the case of non-natural substances is that using them poses a health risk to the athlete in future years and it is not suitable to create a culture where in to be triumphant one has to do something that is potentially very harmful to him


BBC Education - AS Guru , 15 April 2007 ,Ethics Defined , 15 April 2007 ,The Difference Between Ethics Laws , 15 April 2007 ,Bioethics Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports , 15 Apr . 2007Only Performance Enhancement Substances on the Doping List , 15 April 2007 ,Judgment of Fairness of Using Performance Enhancement Drugs , 15 April 2007 ,Performance Enhancement Drugs in Sports , 15 April 2007 ,To Dope or Not to Dope , 15 Apr . 2007 BBC Education - AS Guru , 15 April 2007 , Ethics Defined , 15 April 2007 , The Difference Between Ethics Laws , 15 April 2007 , Bioethics Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports , 15 Apr . 2007 Only Performance Enhancement Substances on the Doping List , 15 April 2007 , Judgment of Fairness of Using Performance Enhancement Drugs , 15 April 2007 , Performance Enhancement Drugs in Sports , 15 April 2007 , Performance Enhancement Drugs in Sports , 15 April 2007 , Performance Enhancement Drugs in Sports , 15 April 2007 , To Dope or Not to Dope , 15 Apr . 2007 Performance Enhancement Drugs : History , Medical Effects Policy , 15 April 2007

Performance Enhancement Drugs : History , Medical Effects Policy , 15 April 2007

Performance Enhancement Drugs : History , Medical Effects Policy , 15 April 2007



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