According to the Mayo Clinic website, performance enhancing drugs are anabolic steroids, androstenedione, human growth hormone, erythropoietin, diuretics, creatine and stimulants. (Mayo Clinic ) These drugs are products that help build up muscle mass. They are also used to increase the athlete’s performance levels. They can be taken as pills, injections or topical treatments. The drugs also have side effects that can be detrimental to the athlete’s health. In the article, “Listening to Steriods”, it states that “Their life expectancy is 22 percent below the national average.” Therefore, the effects that these drugs have on the body are severe. Blood doping is also an issue in sports because it is undetectable in drug test. Blood doping is when athletes remove some blood and reinject it after their body has made new blood to replace it. The introduction of current performance enhancing drug regulations and enforcement has become necessary after years of absent or lenient enforcement. Using these drugs in correspondence with sports is illegal. Therefore, according to the NCAA website, the current consequences for student athletes using performance enhancing drugs is losing one full year of eligibility for the first offense and is withheld from competition for a full season. (NCAA) The Olympic standards call for a two-year ban for a first violation, whereas Major League Baseball imposes 50 games suspension on the first offense. It has also been known for many athletes to lose their medals or titles or be sentenced to jail because of doping.
How have the consequences of drug use changed the way performance enhancing drugs are available? Certain drugs are for prescription use only like the human growth hormone or androstenedione, which are controlled substances. They are also making drugs that are undetectable in drug tests, such as designer drugs. These drugs have been created specifically for athletes and do not have a permitted medical use. Therefore, when athletes are being tested for drugs, how reliable are the tests that are being given? The detection of drugs in urine is more accurate than in blood, which can be more expensive. Urine tests do not provide whenever or not they are under the influence at the time or not unlike blood test. Urine drug test accuracy varies of how the test is performed. Drug testing is very accurate and reliable when all of the aspects are done correctly but they can also be very misleading and inaccurate when poor procedures of methods are used. Drug tests are given randomly or they can be set on a specific date. Each organization has its own timing for tests. For example, the NCAA gives drug tests randomly throughout the year and at the championship games. (NCAA) The Major League Baseball players are tested twice a year during spring training and at a random date. The National Football League test ten random players from each team once a week during season. Also, the Olympics players are eligible for random, unannounced tests on a 24/7 basis, but the rate of testing depends on the sport and athletic rank. Most of the tests are not during the competition. (Paine) The costs of all these organizations testing athletes can become costly. Alone the NCAA spends 4.5 million on drug test alone each year. So how is drug testing