Seyda Belfin Aydin*
Department of Physical Education and Sports, Turkey
*Corresponding author: Seyda Belfin Aydin, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Turkey
Submission: June 28, 2022;Published: July 22, 2022
ISSN: 2640-9666Volume5 Issue2
This article has been released to explain and question the drug usage and critical drug usage cases in athletics and to visualize how the lives of athletes changed after they are being diagnosed as drug positive. Drugs are so common among the athletes who want achieve a better run and also a better career. The drug types can vary among athletes and listed as they give different reactions for different athletes. The issue has been controversial for a long time. Although most people argue that drug usage is unacceptable and unethical; some people say that drugs can be used to be more successful in sports performances. However, athletes who have been detected drug positive in competitions as they want to get higher performance scores, leaded an unsuccessful career for them. This article would explain these critical drug cases and incidents and athletes’ changing lives while it would argue different types of drugs and the effects of drug usage in athletes.
Keywords:Drug types; Afterlives of famous athletes; Critical cases
Abbreviations: IAAF: International Association of Athletics Federations; WADA: World Anti-Doping Agency
Doping has been defined as the substance usage which is actually drug usage to enhance performance. It has become so popular among athletes, as they hope to gain performance boost and have medal for sure in very brief time. The drugs have been used by athletes for various reasons: they want to enhance their performance at the competitions and they want to calm down injuries, ease pains and solve mental and psychological problems. It has been argued by some scientists that doping is acceptable as they think athletes feel more secure and healthy. However, it is banned in competitions and most athletes who have used drugs have been suffering painful disadvantages sides. The results can be damaging for athletes both psychically and psychologically. The athletes who have been found guilty are condemned from competitions for a long time or they end their career. They have to deal with some cases and trials and they pay back what they earned in the end. Thus, they lose their popularity and fame, indeed, they end up being poor or sick.
For this research, internet sources are identified and literature research has been done. Keywords that were used during the searched were used individually and in combination: “definition doping”, “doping in athletics”, “drug abuse”, “mental illness”, “drug testing”, “addiction”, “drug history”, “side effects”, “drug testing”, “treatment”, “drug types’’. The internet and literature research have been restricted to the English language and there was not any date restrictions. The articles discussing drug abuse in athletes have been retrieved. The revision of the findings of each article has been shown also by graphics. Totally, many articles have been defined as to create a new discussion for the further research.
What is doping?
In competitive sports, doping refers to the use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors, where the term doping is widely used by organizations that regulate sporting competitions. The use of banned drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical, and therefore prohibited, by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. Furthermore, athletes (or athletic programs) taking explicit measures to evade detection exacerbates the ethical violation with overt deception and cheating (Wikipedia). There are five classes of banned drugs, the most common of which are stimulants and hormones. There are health risks involved in taking them and they are banned by sports’ governing bodies (Wikipedia).
The history of drug usage: The use of stimulants and strengthbuilding substances in sport is dating back as far as Ancient Greece, but it was during the 1920s that restrictions were made. In 1928 the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) - athletics’ world governing body-became the first international sports federation to ban doping. In 1966, the world governing bodies for cycling and football were the first to introduce doping tests in their respective world championships, with the first Olympic testing in 1968, at the Winter Games in Grenoble and Summer Games in Mexico. By the 1970s, most international federations had introduced drug-testing. A major drug scandal at the 1998 Tour de France underlined the need for an independent international agency to set standards in anti-doping work. The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) was established the following year. In January 2013, the retired American cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and banned from sport for life. In December last year, a German TV documentary alleged as many as 99% of Russian athletes were guilty of doping, although the Russian Athletics Federation described the allegations as “lies”. Since then, there have been numerous further allegations of doping in athletics (Wikipedia).
What are the types of drugs?
(Table 1) Blood doping is injecting blood that has been removed from the body a few days earlier, enabling the blood to carry more oxygen. It is banned as it’s a form of cheating. It can cause kidney and heart failure.
Table 1:Types of drugs.
Beta blockers are banned in archery and shooting as they keep the heart rate low and reduce tremble in the hands.
The critical drug usage cases in athletics
It has been critical denials over drug usage cases. However, not strictly following the advices of the doctors; athletes have been taking drugs to increase their performances in races. The most common examples are seen throughout the athletics history are shocking. Some famous athletes were found guilty in drug tests and they lost global attention. Their cases were shocking to the world. They were loved and supported but they were banned for the next records. Some of the popular athletes are as follows; Andre Russell found guilty of doping and violation. He has played in World T20 and five tournaments since he was being charged. Tyson Gay is tied for the title of the Second Fastest Man Alive. However, after drug test has resulted positive, he stripped of his silver medals and suspended for two years. He came back to win the Premontane Classic event in Oregon. Justin Gatlin was twice banned for testing positive before returning to sprinting and running faster than ever. The US sprinter almost beat Usain Bolt at this year’s World Championships. Marion Jones & BALCO was a huge scandal. This world champion American track-and-fielder achieved stardom in the USA by winning 3 gold medals at the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney. But she was stripped of these after she was proved to use steroid, traced back to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative. BALCO supplied performance enhancers to a number of athletes over the years, including the NFL’s Bill Romansky. Ben Johnson’s victory in the Seoul Olympics was a proud moment for Canada before six of the eight 100-metre finalists in that race were found to have taken anabolic steroids. Dubbed the “dirtiest race in history” for precisely this reason, Johnson’s coach later admitted all his athletes took steroids. An institutional pattern was beginning to emerge [1,2].
The most reviled drugs cheat in athletics was unbelievable. The Canadian was found to have taken steroids to win the 1988 Olympic 100 meters title in a world-record time of 9.79secs. Ultimately, six of the eight finalists from that race tested positive for banned drugs or were implicated in a doping scandal in their careers. Athletics doping cover-up was bigger than anything that has come before due to an event for total elimination of athletes. Including former IAAF president Lamine Diack - being charged with criminal offences after allegedly taking of bribes from Russian athletes, who were found to be part of a state-sponsored doping program that “sabotaged” London 2012. Russia became the first country suspended for drugs offences.
The famous athletes using drugs and their lives
Unfortunately, when drug tests are proven positive on the
athletes, their lives can become a nightmare. They expect to enhance
their performances in the competitions but rules and regulations
are so strict that in a second their lives can change immediately
from expected to unexpected. The famous world champions whose
medals were suspended as they are tested drug positive now try
to survive. A nightmare began for Ben Johnson when he was tested
drug positive after his victory in September 24, 1988 at Seoul
Olympic Stadium. For Johnson a comeback was still possible from
the eyes of him after he again failed drugs test in 1993 and was
banned for life. He spent the next few years drifting from job to
job, at one point even working as a personal trainer in Libya for
Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saadi, who had pretensions of becoming a
professional soccer player. Today Johnson seems to have found a
home and some stability. He now coaches soccer stars at the Genova
International Soccer School in Italy. He still says he was wrongly
accused while others were not punished. However, his latest theory
is that he was sacrificed because of a dispute between rival shoe
sponsors. Johnson will always be a question. Yet the incredible
experience hasn’t diminished his belief that he still deserves a place
among the greatest .
i. The runners today can’t compare to what I was running 25 years ago, he claims, citing better, harder tracks more suited to the modern generation of sprinters. He believes he would break the 9.5 second barrier if running today.
ii. No sprinter today could bench-press 395 pounds. In 1987 to ‘88, I won 25 finals against the best sprinters and that never happened today. Unbeatable.
iii. I mean the doctors back then and now there’s no difference. If you know what you are doing, these athletes can bypass the detecting at the front gate, he again claims conspiratorially.
iv. I know people are taking a lot of different drugs at the same time.
v. And they’re still running slower than me.
Another dramatic life change is Marion Jones. Marion Jones admitted she used drugs on her way to three golds in Sydney at the 2000 Olympics sprinter Marion Jones raced into the history books as the first woman to claim five medals in a single Games, three of them gold. Overnight she became athletics’ golden girl. She appeared on the cover of vogue and got a cash to become one of the sport’s first female millionaires. However, she was sentenced to serve six months in jail for lying to investigators after admitting her golden achievements in Sydney were fueled by steroid abuse. Jones had tested positive for blood-boosting drug EPO at the US trials in June. Jones said she was “shocked,” but her luck appeared to have run out. As it was, a negative “B” sample saw an ecstatic Jones cleared. Life went on; Jones married Barbadian sprinter Obadele Thompson and the couple had their first child in July 2007. But in October again an emotional Jones was found guilty for lying about her steroid use to US investigators, admitting that she had taken steroids ahead of the Sydney Games. She retired from the sport and the IOC stripped Jones of her five Olympic medals and erased the American’s results dating from September 2000. In 1984, a nineyear- old Jones had written “I’m going to be an Olympic champion” on her bedroom blackboard. But for jailed Jones her Olympic dreams, past and present, are completely and truly over [4,5].
As it is clearly seen taking drugs to boost up performance in athletics does not guarantee to be a champion but reversely athletes may end up in disappointment. Drugs does not only harm the body and cause stress and scars inside but it also destroys the aspiring lives in seconds. Drug taking and drug abuse can vary among the athletes and most common types are anabolic steroids. The types of drugs can bring out different consequences for the athletes’ attitudes. They break world records on one side but on the other side they seriously have gloomy lives as they are found guilty if they are caught up doping positive. The Olympics committee should be more alert and should take serious action against the drug usage. As more and more athletes seem to have been using drugs and seem to be banned from the races and even seem to be banned forever, the committee has to motivate the athletes through fair competitions. In this study, the meaning of doping, the types of drugs and the history of doping are discussed and some famous drug usage cases are given as examples to be more prominent throughout the critical issue. As it is seen and mainly obvious, famous athletes have crashed down to earth while they were too close to hit the sun. The cases and the afterlife story of the athletes can be noticed in working routines of the athletes. Thus, it is hoped that they can change their attitudes towards drug tests and drug taking for breaking new records.
© 2022 Seyda Belfin Aydin. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.