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The term “doping in sports” refers to the sudden outbreak of recent performance-enhancing drugs used by professional athletes. Steroids, the most commonly used drug, promotes protein and growth of the muscle tissue that can help the athletes build muscle far bigger then any workout could (Bosshardt). Even though each professional league has their own drug testing policy, no league is clean of the drugs. The benefits of taking performance-enhancing drugs ranges from not only gaining stamina, but also strength you can’t get by just working out.

Although in my eyes, the risks in taking steroids outweigh the benefits, by causing infertility, psychological changes, and even cancer. With the use of technology these days, most people assume the using performance-enhancing drugs are just the next step in athletic training, but it shouldn’t be. Training for sports requires not only a tremendous amount of effort, but also a lot of discipline and consistency. In professional level sports, your abilities are explored and maximized to the fullest degree possible, and by taking steroids it artificially enhances them.

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Once you start enhancing your performance artificially, it’s no longer just you and your natural ability. Doping isn’t only just an unfair advantage, it can also cause more damage then you know to your health. Steroids, which produce massive muscle growth, are also linked to a wide range of cancers, premature heart disease, and many mood disorders (Bosshardt). Not only is using dope in sports an unfair way of “cheating” it also takes the pride and dignity out of the sport itself.

Young kids look up and aspire to be professional athletes, but when they find out they’re on steroids it’s making it seem okay. It setting an example saying it’s okay to use dope when playing sports. Chemistry and using different performance-enhancing drugs should be kept out of sports. Playing a sport and being physically fit is a natural ability, that doesn’t need to be chemically enhanced, and if you believe it should, you shouldn’t be playing professionally.

I believe once you test positive for any type of performance-enhancer you should be banned from the sport for life. The professional leagues should be a lot more strict on their drug testing policy, rather then banning the athletes who test positive, for one to two years, they should be banned for life. For instance, in recent news cyclist Lance Armstrong’s world has come to a stand still. Armstrong’s career included seven victories in the Tour de France, chairman of Livestrong, and an endorsement deal with Nike, all of which as been erased.

After Armstrong retired from his 15-year career, The US Anti-Doping Agency brought formal charges of doping against him. Instead of fighting the charges and protecting his career, he finally came clean. He stated, “There comes a point in everyman’s life when he has to say ‘enough is enough’. For me, that time is now” (Editorial Opinion). Since he has come clean, his entire career is gone and he has been banned from cycling for life, and has also stepped down as chairman of Livestrong. This is just one example on how doping in sports just doesn’t fit.

Eventually the truth comes out, and in my opinion losing everything I’ve earned over my past career over something that can and should be avoided in every sport just isn’t worth it. Performance-enhancing drugs have no place in sports and drug testing should be taken more seriously. It not only cheats the sport and makes it unfair for the players, but it takes the natural ability out too. Sports are suppose to be a good, healthy escape for your body, and when people start mixing in drugs it takes away the positive effect for yourself.

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