Every year athletes win medals and break records all while doping and getting away with it.
With today’s technology, athletes and doctors have outsmart the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and have been able to dope but still test negative. This is a hard feat to accomplish due to the strict testing that the WADA requires of athletes. Albeit with the right doctors, testers, and coaches, athletes are able to accomplish this crime. The idea to have athletes dope in athletics has been around since the time of the original Olympic games in 776 BC. Opium was the choice drug to use in the original Olympics because of the numbing effect it produces. Since the time athletes used doping in athletics, it has become more and more common for athletes to use and get away with. Lance Armstrong is the most famous doping case in the last 2 decades.
During Lance Armstrong’s professional career, he won 7 consecutive Tour De France titles. Amazed fans marveled how Lance Armstrong could dominate such a prestigious race year after year. The important fact that Armstrong’s fans were missing was that it was only when Lance Armstrong started taking banned substances when he started to win and perform at such a high level.
It took 19 years after Lance Armstrong started doing drugs for the USADA to catch on and press charges against him. Broken records and accumulated fame filled these 19 years were filled (Lance Armstrong, 2018). Since Lance Armstrong’s scandal with doping countless years and never getting caught, countless other athletes have had the same idea to dope and many have been successful in getting away with it. Because it is getting easier for athletes to outsmart the World Anti-Doping Agency, stricter testing is essential to prevent this unfair advantage of doping.RegistrationAthletes need doctors or testers on their side if they want to dope successfully; it is nearly impossible to have an athlete dope without aid. Doctors and testers previously have succeeded in helping an athlete cheat; this needs to dicontinue immediately.
It is crucial for doctors and testers to register with the WADA in order to work with athletes. If sports want to reduce the number of athletes doping, they first need to ensure that athletes are in the right environment where they aren’t pressured into taking banned substances to help them improve.Russian Scandal. Power and competition often lead to the idea to dope.
The sixth-place medal finish at the Vancouver Olympic games in 2010 crushed Russia’s dreams. This disappointment turned into a competition and the competition is what gave the Russian government the idea to have their athletes dope so that they could win more medals in the next Olympic games.The 2014 winter Olympic games were held in Sochi, Russia. Russian athletes dominated in every event and took home the gold for winning the most medals. A few years after this occurred, officials realized that many of these athletes were a fraud.
Athletes consuming banned substances throughout the games won a third of total medals. Russia had a state-run doping program used by several of the athletes to ensure dominance at the Olympic games. The director of the state-run program, Grigory Rodchenkov, spoke of the situation; “Russian anti-doping experts and members of the intelligence service surreptitiously replaced urine samples tainted by performance-enhancing drugs with clean urine collected months earlier, somehow breaking into the supposedly tamper-proof bottles that are the standard at international competitions” (Ruiz & Schwirtz, 2016).
These testers assisted the athletes to help them successfully dope undetected. There could have been the opportunity for this state-run program to not occur in the first place if the testers were registered. Athletes will do anything to improve, they do not need doctors or their country to pressure them to take banned substances.Therapeutic Use Exemption `The term Therapeutic Use Exemption or TUE came into effect in 2005 to allow athletes to take prohibited substances for medical purposes and not get in trouble with the WADA.
Some athletes have medical conditions that require them to take a prohibited substance. The TUE has allowed athletes who have filled out the needed paperwork to take their prescribed medication without breaking any doping laws. Many athletes have benefited greatly from the TUE, including the gymnast phenomenon Simone Biles. Simone, along with many other star athletes have medical conditions that require them to take a banned substance. If an athlete consumes their prescribed medication properly with a TUE, there is no advantage because their body needs that substance.
When someone takes a banned substance that is unnecessary, an athletic advantage is created. Taking advantage of a TUE. A TUE is approved for an athlete by the signature of three medical professionals stating that an athlete needs to take a banned substance. Although there are several athletes that legitimately need to take banned substances for their condition, many athletes take advantage of a TUE and have doctors diagnose them with a false medical condition.
Between the year 2014 and 2016, the WADA has increased the number of exemptions granted by 48 percent. “No rules have been broken. These people have gone through the correct channels to get these TUEs, but it does appear that a lot of high-performance athletes have serious medical conditions” (Strashin, 2016). Because so many exemptions recently granted to athletes, several people are questioning the legitimacy of a TUE.
David Millar is a former professional road racing cyclist and was one of the athletes to take advantage of a TUE. “On one occasion, I received a T.U.E.
for a fake tendon issue. A doctor simply wrote a prescription for an ankle injury that required an intra-articular injection” (Millar, 2016). It only takes a few athletes to use a TUE for their own advantage, to ruin this use for those with valid conditions. The WADA needs to make it harder for athletes to obtain a TUE so only athletes with illegitimate and proven conditions will have the ability to obtain a TUE. Disclose location of drug testersIn order to make drug testing equal, the WADA will do randomized testing. Although this testing is considered random, it still has the capacity to improve and actually be random. At the moment, drug testers will knock on your door without an athlete knowing beforehand. The flaw in this setup is that athletes know that the drug testers are in their city.
Because of this flaw, athletes have the potential to decamp for a few days, not answer to the knock on their front door, or not show up to an athletic event they were signed up for to avoid being tested. These strategies have occurred several times throughout history. If Lance Armstrong knew the drug testers were in the area, but recently took a banned substance he would merely hide from the drug testers. Armstrong and his teammates would make last-minute travel changes or skip certain races (Honan, 2012).
It is necessary for the WADA to disclose the location of their drug testers to ensure situations like Lance Armstrong do not happen. Disclosing the information of drug testers will also allow for testing to be completely random. The point of a random drug test is to allow officials to test athletes haphazard. An athlete will be caught in a drug test if they are doping out of the competition this way.Refutation Doping is constantly a debate in sports.
The majority of athletes believe in a level playing field, but the few who rationalize doping. Sports are a professional athlete’s full-time job; they get paid and supported by their sponsors. Fighting fires is a firefighter’s full-time job. Firefighters take major risks every time they run into a burning house about to fall to the ground and every time they run up a mountainside to stop the wildfire from reaching the proximate neighborhood.
If we allow firefighters to take risks for their job, then why don’t we allow athletes to take risks for their job? Although some people do argue that we need to allow athletes the ability to dope because they are just taking a risk like every other profession, this argument does not disregard the fact that doping is still indeed cheating. No matter the that sports are an athlete’s full-time job, that is no excuse for them to dope and be justified for their action because they are taking a risk for their profession. ConclusionIt is not only ethical to participate in sports in a clean way with fair play, but it protects the body from harm later in life. It is only fair to have a level playing field for all athletes. In the year 2017, various track and field athletes finally had their shining moment. Because urine samples were retested with new technology in the WADA, many athletes were caught after actively doping during the past 3 Olympics and several world championships. Kara Goucher, a track athlete recently posted on social media “it took 10 years for me to receive the medal I earned in 2007.
A doper not only stole financial opportunities from me but most importantly, the pride I could have felt in that moment” (Goucher, 2018). Many athletes along with Kara have felt this same way. Those who are actively doping rob clean athletes of their medals; this is unfair. Stricter testing by registering doctors and testers, making it harder for athletes to obtain a TUE, and require a drug tester to disclose their location is essential to prevent this unfair advantage of doping.