Drugs and Doping – Cheating or Dedication?

As I have always been a keen sports person, London 2012 was an amazing experience to be a part of. Dwain Chambers was a part of our athletics team having had his lifetime ban lifted so that he could compete. Was this the right decision? Is taking performance enhancing drugs simply a display of extreme dedication?

The immediate answer to this question is no. By taking drugs an athlete is cheating, even more so with the lengths that they go to in order to cover it up. Would it not simply be better to win fair and square?

But what if they feel the need to take the drugs to make people proud? We can only imagine the amount of pressure there must be on a world class athlete to perform well. Perhaps they see drugs as a way to guarantee the result that they and everyone else wants. The most recent and well documented example comes in the form of Lance Armstrong, the American Cyclist and 7 times Tour De France winner (however he has now been stripped of these wins). Armstrong has stated that doping was part of the process required to win the Tour. Whether or not you believe this, he did win, 7 times. Maybe it was his desire to win, his dedication to his country, and his hunger for success that lead him to making the choice to take drugs.

But why do some people take drugs and not others, surely if you are good enough at your sport to win then you will be able to do it without the aid of illegal substances. It also makes it unfair on the other competitors who have played by the rules. Are drugs the easy way to get the result without putting in the work? Why should someone like Dwain Chambers have had the opportunity to represent his country at London 2012 when he was meant to have a lifetime ban? There is no shortage of talent in this country, and even if it meant sacrificing a chance of victory perhaps someone else should have been on the team instead of him.

There are rules in every part of life. Be it a ‘no make-up’ rule at school, or a ‘no eating in the lecture room’ rule at Uni. Just like there is the ‘no drugs’ rule with sports. So is it acceptable to take drugs in order to win? Does it show extreme dedication to the sport and your team? Or is it simply cheating?

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