Why are performance enhancing drugs so prevalent in sport?

Not even in sport anymore but in your average gym goer?

In 1967 Dr. Gabe Merkin asked competitive runners at a road race the following question. If you could take a drug that would guarantee you the Olympic gold but you would die within a year of taking it would they still take it? 100 athletes responded with more than 50% of athletes saying they would take a drug.

There is something terrible wrong with that.

That was 47 years ago things are a lot worse now. Science has advance so much in the last while and doping methods are far more sophisticated now.

Everywhere you look in our society you see people taking the next big drug. All in an effort to be bigger and better than what went before them. Whether it is the local gym rat or the guy on the cover of your favorite fitness magazine!

Why is that?

Are we fueling this drug trade?

Everybody I know is completely against drugs in sport and hate them in everyday life. Yet we all take drugs for one thing or another. Whether it is that cold or flu you are struggling. The birth control pill that almost every woman has taken at some stage of their life. These are all drugs but because they are in a medical situation they are OK.

Anabolic steroids (testosterone and Human Growth Hormone) have been recommended in many medical situations also. Yet when it comes to an athlete they are deemed dangerous to health. But if they are so dangerous why on earth would they ever be used in a medical situation?

Yes of course there are side effects to these drugs. There are however side effects to every drug but there are no clinical studies to determine the side effects of these.

Probably because it would be a completely unethical study to undertake.

It is our money that is fueling this drug environment in sport.

We all pay money to watch these athletes perform for us. Then we go and buy merchandise associated with these athletes. This money is making the industry what it is and forcing it to reach bigger and better achievements.

Why is it that we are so obsessed with these athletes performing for us?

It is because we have a psychological need to have a super hero to look up to?

But where will they stop with this need for enhanced performance?

There are now studies being conducted in the US to alter your genes. This will result in you being able to grow more muscle to improve performance.

By the end of their work will we be human any longer?

Or will we be some man made genetic freak that resembles a human?

Are there no limits to what these guys will try to get the edge over their competition?

Why is it that we have created an environment where if you don’t win you are not good enough?

Are we no longer able to accept our limitations and accept who we are for who we are?

Why do we always have to try and find that extra edge over the next person?

Can this drug use really be regarded as cheating?

Every athlete in the field is using the same drug or a similar one. So is is not just leveling the playing field?

Personally I can say I have never touched a performance enhancing drug and never intend to. I am made the way I am and am happy with the way I am. I will never set the world record at a power-lifting meet nor I will ever set the 100 meter world record. What I do hope to achieve is to be the super hero that my children can look up and would one day aspire to be. For me that just means working hard with what I have been blessed with and making the most of my talents.

That does not require me to take a drug.