Essay on Drugs: Anabolic Steroid and Athletes

Submitted By Michael-McGarry
Words: 1777
Pages: 8

Michael P. McGarry
ENG 123
April ’15 Term
Student ID: 2167022
Performance Enhancing Drugs Major League Baseballs Barry Bonds denies ever knowingly using steroids and has never tested positive for steroid use, however, many people believe that Bonds has been using steroids and other PEDs for years. Because of the suspicion of PED use, these fans discredit Bonds’ baseball accomplishments. In 1998, Mark McGuire broke Roger Maris’ record for most home runs hit in a single season. Despite his record-breaking performance, many people are vehemently opposed to McGuire ever being inducted into the Hall of Fame because they believe McGuire’s incredible hitting power was fueled by PEDs. Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist and seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has been repeatedly accused of using performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping. These accusations have been proven to be true, and Armstrong’s reputation has sunk from being an American hero to being a despised cheater. Many people believe that the use of PEDs is morally wrong and ought to be banned from sports. Is there a good argument for this conclusion? There are three main arguments for the view that using PEDs in athletic competition is morally wrong. The first argument is based on the idea that the use of PEDs, such as anabolic steroids, is currently against the rules. The second argument focuses on the unfair advantage PED users have, regardless of what the current rules happen to restrict. The third argument is based on the health risks of PEDs to athletes. "The Against, the Rules Objection, " is very simple and straightforward. Many PEDs are banned. Currently, players can be fined and suspended for using PeDs such as steroids. Athletes are tested for steroid use, and if they test positive, they can be punished and prevented from competing. Shawne Merriman, a San Diego Chargers linebacker was suspended for four games in 2006 after testing positive for steroids. Athletes who use banned PEDs, and who either are not tested or who find a way to disguise their steroid use and trick the test, are cheating. Using PEDs is a violation of the rules of the game and thus using them is of course morally wrong. While this argument is a very strong case, it captures the reaction many people have to Barry Bonds “beating” Hank Aaron’s record. Mark McGuire “beating” Roger Maris’ record, does not show as much as some opponents of PED might want to show. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it would show only that using PEDs is wrong given the current rules. That is, the argument shows that using PEDs are wrong because it is against the current rules, but it does not demonstrate that using PEDs should be against the rules because using PEDs is fundamentally wrong. Should the use of performance enhancing drugs be banned? This deeper question, which is not answered by the Against the Rules Objection, is whether the rules are morally justified. Perhaps the rules are unjust. An athlete with a headache or inflammation in a joint could legally and morally take some ibuprofen before a competition. The use of ibuprofen in such a case might very well enhance an athlete’s performance. An athlete suffering from depression might take an anti-depressant, and that might improve his or her performance. Is that morally wrong? What, if anything, makes anabolic steroids and other banned substances morally wrong for athletes to use? Suppose that sports did not ban the use of steroids. Would using steroids be wrong then? This argument does not address this deeper question. The second argument will address this deeper question, and it attempts to provide a reason to think that using PEDs is wrong, not just because of the current rules, but because of the inherent unfairness PED use brings to athletic competition. The rationale is based on the fact that PEDs such as anabolic steroids, amphetamines, human growth hormone, etc., can help athletes get