But before we get to far into it let me make one thing clear. In no way, shape or form do I condone or support the use of illegal performance enhancers, this post is designed to merely highlight the issues that athletes face in the race to remain at the top of their game.
One of the major arguments against the legalisation of drugs in sport is the unfair playing field it will create. Those that choose not to use certain aids or cannot afford them will be left to struggle behind. However, we already have these situations existing in elite sport today, in a legal manner. There are many countries that put a lot more funding into their athletes through talent identification schemes, sports institutes & sponsorships ensuring that athletes that come through these systems are far better prepared to compete at the highest level of competition.
Just look at the British cycling team at the last Olympics, heavily funded through the support from the British lottery system they absolutely dominated the track cycling events. The funding they received surely far surpassed that from any other cycling team giving them the unfair advantage they needed to get themselves to the top. Hardly a level playing field.
The pressure placed on our great athletes to perform from the public and the media can also be overwhelming. They are treasured as national heroes when they win or perform well but if they are unlucky enough to have an off day and not perform well then they are ridiculed relentlessly. There is also great pressure to perform from sponsors who want to be associated with the best. Pressures to perform such as these may lead many athletes down the wrong path to avoid this ridicule and stay on top of their game and in favour with the media, fans and sponsors.
Another sad fact we must face is that some athletes crave the feeling they get from winning and being successful so badly that they do not care what they have to do to keep on winning even if it means breaking the rules. The buzz they get from being ‘the champion’ is far more important than the morals of winning legitimately.
We would love to know your thoughs on this topic or any suggestions you have to improve current drugs in sport policies.