Should We Legalize Performance-Enhancing Drugs In Tennis-Sports?

In the last 25 years the challenges presented by performance enhancing drugs in sports and the inadequacy of the drug testing agencies to deal with it, has come to a point that even high ranked officials are venting their frustration.

“There’s definitely a performance-enhancing effect if you use things that improve oxygen transport to the tissue,” says Larry Bowers, an expert on athletic drug testing and senior managing director of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He says anonymous surveys of athletes indicate that only a tenth of them use performance-enhancing drugs. But he acknowledges that doped Athletes may win most of the time.”

“Charles Yesalis, an epidemiology professor at Pennsylvania State University who has written extensively on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport over the past 23 years, believes a “large percentage” of record-holders probably doped their way to the finish line. “A lot of experts, at least in private, feel that way,” he says.”
“Yesalis maintains that drug testing, as practiced at past games, has been a “farce.” “Just because of my own value system, I have never seriously entertained legalizing drugs,” says Yesalis. “But the stench of the hypocrisy is starting to outweigh my hesitation to just throw up my hands and say, ‘Let everybody do whatever they want.'” Performance Drugs Outrun The Olympics – Matthew Herper, 02.15.02, 12:00 PM ET Forbes.com

As Charles Yesalis, of the US. Anti-Doping Agency, I feel like saying “‘Let everybody do whatever they want.'”, but perhaps it would be the wrong signal, so let us analyse, what might happen if performance-enhancing drugs were legalized for professional athletes:

– Young people would get the wrong message.

– Our general anti drugs laws would not make any sense because; athletes are users and abusers of illegal drugs such as;
Amphetamines, Diuretics, Growth hormone, Anabolic Steroids, Cocaine, Coca leaf juice, Cannabis even Monkey Brains and G.O.R.K. (God Only Really Knows)!

– All drugs would have to be legalized!

– We would have a quarter of the world taking speed, a quarter smoking cannabis another quarter snorting cocaine and the rest wondering what to take to look “Normal”! Kidding apart it would be a catastrophe! Or would it be?

– The already existing sports fanatics and wanabe champion dysfunctional and destitute of any talent would start taking drugs
in the hope it would work for them! (Even though it would not work, because you still need to be a pure bread/great athlete
to win.)

– Greedy parents would start pumping their children with all kinds of terrible things. (How naive am I, as if they were not
doing it now?)

– High school coaches of all sports would have a heyday!
“A 2005 survey of high school students across the country by the national Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 4.8 percent had used steroids without a doctor’s prescription.

Not that anyone needs a doctor. A 2005 study by monitoring the Future, a federally funded research organization, found that nearly 40 percent of high school seniors said steroids were “fairly easy” or “very easy” to acquire.” Impact of steroids felt across high school sports C.W. Nevius Wednesday, September 20, 2006 – San Francisco Chronicle

So if; At the Sydney Games, out of almost 3000 athletes tested, some 80 per cent of them admitted to taking at least one ‘legal’ drug or supplement. Over 500 admitted to taking more than five. It is clear that the ‘medicalisation’ of human performance, at least at the Olympics, means that sport could not, ironically, exist without drugs whether they are ‘legal’ or not.” Drugs in sport – a bitter pill to swallow Fri, Dec 8, 06 16:15

”No one wants to see me put the shot 65 feet or throw the discus 200 feet, and the only way I can make a big throw is to use steroids.” He said the competition would still be legitimate because he said 80 percent to 90 percent of the athletes he would face were using steroids. VIEWS OF SPORT; Liberate Track and Field From Steroids VIEWS OF SPORT; By EDWIN MOSES

Nicolas Escude former ATP player (Career High ATP Ranking – Singles: 17 (26-Jun-2000) at the French open 2002. In Paris, French Davis Cup player Escude said: “To say that tennis today is clean, you have to be living in a dream world.” By Piers Newbery – BBC Sport Online at Wimbledon Friday, 28 June, 2002, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK

Now the case for making it legal for professional athletes to take drugs:

– If the estimate is that around the 80% of the Athletes use some sort of performance enhancing substance, there is a strong case for legalization!

– Performance enhancing drugs should be legal for professional athletes only and above the age of 18 years old.

– Laws should be made to protect non-professional athletes and youngsters – No Tolerance on use or abuse.

– No tolerance for the use of performance enhancing drugs for non-professional until the age of 18 years old!

– Doctors and Medicine Sports Centres should be responsible for the Athletes medication.

– The Athletes and Doctors and labs should take full responsibility for their own decisions.

– Coaches should stay completely out of the equation, the professionals on the field; Doctors, Scientists and Labs should be the only ones making decisions with the Athletes.

There are a lot more issues, but to make this article shorter we have to understand that, the general public is well aware of what is going on and so do officials, sponsors and governments. There is too much money involved, billions and billions of dollars; we are no longer in the “Pierre de Coubertin” era. It is time for a change and everyone will feel better with the situation, the IOC, the governing bodies, the testing sites and the Athletes themselves.

Why are we then continuing this charade? Keeping on saying that our sports are clean when in any given Olympic games more than 8O% of the Athletes are “sick” or asthmatic, or have liver, heart or lung problems in order to be prescribed “legal” (Illegal) drugs and compete! And when almost every week there is a report about drug use by professional Athletes!

Remember in my last article; – “SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — John McEnroe has reportedly admitted he unknowingly took steroids during his tennis career.

“For six years I was unaware I was being given a form of steroid of the legal kind they used to give horses until they decided it was too strong even for horses,” McEnroe was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney on Monday.” [http://www.cnn.com/2004/SPORT/01/11/mcenroe.steroids.ap/] – CNN WORLD SPORTS Sunday, January 11, 2004 Posted: 8:52 PM EST (0152 GMT)

…and the ATP, the ITF and whoever else tests the players did not detect “HORSE DOSES of Steroids” in John McEnroe’s urine or blood tests? Definitely, “They cannot be serious!”

“In his book ”You Cannot Be Serious”, McEnroe said he suspected that steroids and amphetamines had made their way into the top levels of the sport in the 80’s. ” Why were steroids or amphetamines not detected on other players either, that is if players were tested at all?

The excuse, “the tennis authorities were testing for recreational drugs only”, oh!…and cocaine apparently stays in your body for the rest of your life in the roots of your hair. How come cocaine was never detected in any of the possible suspected culprits in the Tennis Tour then? Or is this a case of the whole world being “stupid” and these organizations know better?

We could go on and on citing more and more questionable actions by officialdom to no avail. The crux of all of this is; “Should we legalize performance-enhancing drugs in tennis/sports?” As much as I hate to say it, to bring this absurd hypocritical charade to an end, my answer is a redundant yes!

Saving Money Tips – Get Into Sports

Okay, we all know that we should exercise but what is it that gives us that extreme sense of lack of motivation? Interesting question this one isn’t it. I guess we are all rather prone to prefer to kick off the shoes, grab a cuppa and sit down in front of the TV / computer instead of grabbing out the joggers and pounding the footpath or running around a tennis court.

However, if you start to get into sports you will realise how much of a difference it can make to your whole well being. You will start to feel more enthusiastic and alive and this will flow across into other areas of your life. Your overall attitude to a multitude of things will be lifted up to new levels.

Being active also gives you additional benefits such as keeping your body healthy (saves on medical bills and doctors visits) and giving you something to do (saves you spending money on expensive forms of entertainment). Get into sports today by dusting off the joggers, digging out your swimming costume, grabbing a tennis racket or cleaning off your golf clubs. Participating in a sporting activity can not only keep you fit and healthy but provide you with hours of entertainment for generally a small fee.

Here are some clues to get you started:

1. Choose what sorts of sports you might be interested in

  • Jogging / Running / Aerobics
  • Tennis / Squash / Badminton
  • Football / Rugby / Soccer
  • Basketball / Netball / Softball
  • Cricket / Hockey / Croquet
  • Lawn Bowling / Ten Pin Bowling
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming / Diving / Aqua aerobics
  • Golf
  • Horse Riding / Polo
  • Canoeing / Kayaking / Rowing
  • Yoga / Pilates / Tai Chi / Gymnastics
  • Track and Field
  • Rock Climbing / Abseiling
  • Boxing / Martial Arts
  • Fencing / Archery
  • Weight lifting / Wrestling
  • Skateboarding / Rollerblading
  • Skiing / Snowboarding

2. Think about who might be able to join you (often if you are committed to go somewhere with someone else you are more likely to do this activity than if you have to go alone)

  • Family member
  • Work Colleague
  • Friend
  • Neighbour
  • Business associate
  • Member of a club / group / church you are in

3. Check out your local area to see what sports clubs / associations are located in your area that offer your chosen sport?

  • Surf the internet
  • Visit your gymnasium
  • Read the local paper
  • Ask your local school
  • Check the advertising outside your local hall
  • Ask at your local sports centre / youth club
  • Check with your council
  • Visit your local community centre

4. Decide where can you participate in your chosen sport

  • park
  • cycle track
  • running paths
  • velodrome
  • sports field
  • council pool
  • gymnasium
  • bowls club
  • local hall
  • sports centre
  • dance studio
  • local school
  • ski fields
  • skating rink
  • bowling alley
  • squash / tennis courts
  • home
  • friends / neighbours home
  • work

5. Establish the costs for your chosen sport

  • Membership / club fees
  • Participation / entry fees
  • Sports equipment (purchase / hire)
  • Sports uniforms / shoes (purchase / hire)
  • Travel costs
  • Food / drinks whilst undertaking chosen sport

6. Consider organising a group

  • Get your work colleagues to accompany you on a walk / jog around the block at lunch time
  • Tee up your neighbours to all go for a walk / jog two or three afternoons / mornings a week
  • Advertise at your local gym / school / sports centre to set up your own running / cycling / walking / swimming group where you meet at a set location and all head off together for 30 mins / 1 hr
  • Look at the groups you currently belong to and can you add value to any of these groups by setting up a running / cycling / walking / swimming group as an offshoot
  • Talk to your local council / community centre / sports centre for assistance and promotion in kick starting a new group off in your area

7. Get out there and give it a go

  • Don’t procrastinate – start working on this today
  • Set up a routine for your sports activities
  • Commit to your routine by marking time in your diary / calendar
  • Consider hiring equipment instead of buying the equipment at the start, just in case it doesn’t work out for you
  • Set money aside in your budget to cover the costs for your chosen sport
  • Set a goal around your sport as this can keep you motivated to keep going e.g.
    • Build up to a certain speed with cycling / rowing
    • Swim a certain number of laps of the pool
    • Jog for a certain period of time
    • Learn a new dance routine regularly
    • Score a certain score
    • Touch your toes, do a back bend, do the splits
  • If you haven’t done much exercise lately, just ease into it gently – one step at a time

Sports Injury, Services Provided by Institutions

Heading to your local park, pitch, gymnasium or sports centre is a common form of staying fit. However injury which you bear due to negligence of due to someone else’s fault can be filed for compensation. Sports injuries are governed by sports injury laws. Any claim of a sports injury victim is bound to be compensated. Efficient practices will help you in seeking and compensation for sports injuries. This can be a frustrating experience as you suffer losses with your finances as well as the fitness of your body.

In case if you happen to play in a team, the injury caused due to lack of training is also liable for compensation. Playing areas which are damaged and faulty equipments is the carelessness on the part of the owners. Therefore, it is your right to ask for compensation under the sports injury law. Anyone who is injured playing the sport at professional, amateur or for recreational purposes caused due to the carelessness of another party is entitled to proper compensation. You are also bound for compensation if the sport injury has caused due to dangerous and reckless actions of someone during a regular play. This is also termed as contact sport, and it involves proving that the accused party has intentionally or wilfully caused the injury. Specialists help you in not only claiming hundred per cent of compensation but also additional compensation for all the medical costs which have been incurred after the injury. The best thing about this legal practice is that it works on the principle of no win no fee. This means that your interests are protected all of the time.

Maintain the details of the injury and collect as much information as possible as this will make your claim stronger. You should also keep any relevant documents to support the cost’s incurred while treatment. An efficient service will help you in getting your compensation and settling your claim. They will help you in making things easier.