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A seven year old boy dreams of one day becoming the greatest baseball player the world has ever seen. He practices and works on his physical strength every day, but he knows it won’t be enough to beat the best of the best. The long hours of practice are not as long as they could be if he had a little extra help. Does he let the dream die, or does he pursue his lifelong dream with the assistance of performance enhancing drugs? Is it right to punish him if he continues striving toward his goal? Performance enhancing drugs should not be prohibited in professional sports. Performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sports because permitting the use of performance enhancing drugs would reduce the black market monopoly of steroids, which in turn would reduce the risk of improper dosage and make steroids safer; it would create an equal opportunity for athletes; there are no proven long term health effects; using steroids does not lead to an addiction; and there would be no need to test for drugs, which would save a lot of money.
Norman Fost, MD, MPH
Professor and Director of the Medical Ethics
Program at the University of Wisconsin
Norman Fost, MD, MPH
Professor and Director of the Medical Ethics
Program at the University of Wisconsin
Sam Shuster, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Dermatology at
In 2007, the DEA’s “Raw Deal” enforcement action revealed a vast network of national and international suppliers producing all types of steroids, using the internet and U.S. mail system to consummate sales of, in many cases, impure injectable steroids. In sum, continued steroids enforcement currently costs the U.S. over $7 billion annually and has inadvertently fueled a large market of more dangerous drugs that are readily available to users.
Federal agents report that many of the underground steroid labs seized in are extremely unsanitary, further illustrating the danger in buying these products illegally (DEA).
Ex. Alcohol Prohibition
Alcohol prohibition did not deter people from buying illegal alcohol
In fact statistics of alcohol consumption/distribution increased.
Illicit production and distribution continued to expand throughout Prohibition despite the ever-increasing resources devoted to enforcement. That pattern of consumption is to be expected after an entire industry is banned as new entrepreneurs in the underground economy improve techniques and expand output, while consumers begin to realize the folly of the ban.
The average age of people dying from alcoholism fell by six months between 1916 and 1923, a period of otherwise general improvement in the health of young people (Thornton)..
Resulted in black market , the consumption of unregulated alcohol rose. By amending the Prohibition law, decreased the need for a black market, and alcohol is now one of the most regulated substances in the US.
Athletes with genetics potential are dealt
an “unfair” advantage at birth
Spirit of Sport
If steroids are made legal and all bans are lifted in professional sports, than is the spirit of sport, defined by The World Anti-Doping Agency Code, being violated?
Abusing steroids cannot lead to addiction. The evidence that abusing steroids creates dependence is inconclusive.
“Addiction is a biological and psychological condition that compels a person to satisfy their need for a particular stimulus and to keep satisfying it, no matter what.”
“Dependence is a physical state that occurs when the lack of a drug causes the body to have a reaction. Physical dependence is solely a physical state indicating that the body has grown so adapted to having the drug present that sudden removal of it will lead to negative consequences such as a withdrawal reaction. This can occur with almost any kind of drug.
Recent Studies show mixed data on Steroid dependence among abusers*:
*Published in Addiction Review, July 2009.
*Authors include Gen Kanayama1, Kirk J. Brower2, Ruth I. Wood3, James I. Hudson1 & Harrison G. Pope Jr1
Biological Psychiatry Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, and Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA,1 University of Michigan Addiction Research Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA2 and Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA3
Dependent AAS users also reported a much more frequent history of conduct disorder than non-dependent AAS users and a much higher life-time prevalence of non-alcohol substance dependence than either comparison group…"
New study indicates:
Specifically, dependent AAS users were:
“There has been no credible study for the long-term health effects of anabolic steroid use, not abuse… any evidence of long-term damage is purely anecdotal right now.”
-Charles E. Yesalis
Health & Human Development
Penn State University
The 15 leading causes of death in 2006 were:
Diseases of heart (heart disease)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Accidents (unintentional injuries)
Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
Influenza and pneumonia
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
Intentional self-harm (suicide)
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
Drug & Alcohol Review, Nov2008, Vol. 27 Issue 6, p679-686, 8p, 3 charts, 1 diagramChart; found on p68
by Melonie Heron, Ph.D.; Donna L. Hoyert, Ph.D.; Sherry L. Murphy, B.S.; JiaquanXu, M.D.; Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A.; and BetzaidaTejada-Vera, B.S.; Division of Vital Statistics. National Vital Stastics Report, Apr2009, Vol. 57 Issue 14.
Steroids have not been proven to have devastating long term side effects
Injecting risk Behaviour % Ever Engaging % engaging in
In Risk Practice risk practice over
last month of use
Re-using injecting equipment 4.2 2.1
Use of injecting equipment after someone else 0.0 0.0
Use of injecting equipment before someone else 2.1 0.0
Dividing AAS doses using syringes 17.0 17.0
Using a multi-dose vial 61.7 21.3
Sharing a multi-dose vial 23.4 19.1
Observing others sharing injecting equipment 4.8 0.0
Midgley, S. J., et al. "Risk behaviours for HIV and hepatitis infection among anabolic-androgenic steroid users." AIDS Care 12.2 (2000): 163-170. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2010.
Joyce, B. Matthew, Paul E. A. Glaser, and Greg A. Gerhardt. "Adderall<sup>®</sup> produces increased striatal dopamine release and a prolonged time course compared to amphetamine isomers." Psychopharmacology 191.3 (2007): 669-677. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2010.
Athletes are more likely to be harmed from use of Adderal and Ritalin
Leads to vomiting, increased
blood pressure, paranoia,
irregular heart beat.
Alcohol Use in Sports
Fost,Norman. “What should professional sports organizations do about players who use steroids?” Washington Post TIMES SUNDAY READ; Pg. 11 October 18, 2009 Sunday
Search for the Competitive Edge: A History of Dietary Fads and Supplements1
Elizabeth A. Applegate and Louis E. Grivetti2
Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
Role Models: model of a specific “role”
“Athletes display the athletic virtues: diligence, perseverance, the value of training, fair play and sportsmanship, grace under pressure, the pursuit of excellence.” –Jeffrey Standen, Sports Law Professor
“My one son loves watching Pujols and he swings exactly like him. He likes to play the game like he does, but that's where it stops. He might want to shoot the ball like Kobe, or tackle like a line-backer, or run like Walter, or pass like Vick, But I never hear them say....I want to be just like Vick....or I want my life to be just like Walter.” -
“Athletes are models for their roles, and like any role model they can succeed or fail at that role. But it is on that singular and limited dimension, as an example or model of the specific role of the athlete, that we should judge our professional athletes, and no more.”-Jeffrey Standen, Sports Law Professor
Actresses, actors, musicians encourage drugs/drinking through their music, movies, and lifestyles. Why are athletes held to a different standard?
Akunyili, Dora Nkem and Ijeoma P.C. Nnani. "Risk of medicines: Counterfeit drugs." The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine 16.3 (2004): 181-190.
Alfano, Peter and Michael Janofsky. "Drugs That May Build Bulk Pull Weight on Black Market." The New York Times (1988).
Black, Terry. "Repeal the Ban on Drugs in Sport for Fairer Contests and Reduced Health Risks." A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform (1996): 101-106.
Burge, John. "Legalize and Regulate: A Prescription for Reforming Anabolic Steroid legislation." Loy. L.A. Ent. L.J. 15.33 (1994-1995): 33-62.
DEA, U.S. DEA Announces Largest Steroid Enforcement Action in U.S. History. 24 September 2007. 23 April 2010 <http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr092407.html>.
Evans-Brown, Michael, Andreas Kimergårdb and Jim McVeighc. "Elephant in the room? The methodological implications for public health research of performance-enhancing drugs derivedfrom the illicit market." Wiley Interscience (2009).
Group, Steroids Working. "The United States Sentencing Commission." 2006. 2006 Steroids Report. 2010 25 2010 <http://www.ussc.gov/USSCsteroidsreport-0306.pdf>.
Kayser, Bengt, AlexandreMaucon and Mtah Andy. "Viewpoint Legalisation of performance-enhancing drugs." Lancet (2005): 21.
Thornton, Mark. "Prohibition's Failure: Lessons for Today." USA Today 1 March 1992.
Berry, Donald A. “The science of doping” Nature. 454.7205 (2008): 692. Web. 28 April. 2010.
Sekera, M. H., et al. “Another designer steroid: discovery, synthesis, and detection of 'madol' in urine.” Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 19.6 (2005): 781. PubMed. Web. 28 April. 2010.
Handelsman, D. J. “Designer androgens in sport: when too much is never enough.”
Sci. STYKE. 2004.224 (2004): 41. PubMed. Web. 28 April. 2010.
Catlin, D. H. “Tetrahydrogestrinone: discovery, synthesis, and detection in urine.” Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 18.12 (2004): 1245. PubMed. Web. 28 April. 2010.
HBO :Real Sports. (2007, November 4) from http://dailymotion.com/related/1946654/video/xkv7_steroids/1. 27 April 2010
Somers, K. (2005, February 27). Roid Rebel. The Arizona Republic. http://www.azcentral.com/members/blog/kentsomers. 27 April 2010