History of the use of Performance Enhancing drugs in Sports

History of the use of Performance Enhancing drugs in Sports
13/04/2011 Comments Off on History of the use of Performance Enhancing drugs in Sports Academic Papers on Sociology,Sample Academic Papers admin

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The history of the use of performance enhancing drugs can be traced back to Ancient Olympics where Olympians use to eat specially prepared lizard meat in hope that it would enhance their athletic edge. However, it was during the 20th century that many Olympic athletes discovered ways to chemically enhance their abilities. For example, in 1904 Olympics Games, Thomas J. Hicks was given brandy and strychnine, even during the race by his coach (Sports Reference, 2009).

Another athlete, Knut Denmark Jensen, who participated in the cycling road race, fell from his bicycle and later died. The autopsy report of this body revealed that Jensen was under the influence of amphetamines which caused him to lose consciousness. Jensen’s death also pointed out how the use of drugs had became an endemic among the elite athletes. The first Olympic athlete to test positive the use of performance enhancing drugs was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, who was ripped off his bronze medal after testing positive to Alcohol use (WADA, 2009). The most outrageous and systematic use of performance enhancing drugs for achievements in sports was that of the team of East Germany, which later revealed to have user anabolic steroid during Olympics of 1970s and 1980s (Longman. 2001).

Even after the use of performance enhancing drugs was banned in 1976, the usage of drugs among athletes has still continued to be a major threat to the competition. A largely publicized disqualification resulting from the use of performance enhancing drugs at an Olympic games was of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who after winning the 100 meters race at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was disqualified after testing positive to a steroid Stanozolol. His gold medal was awarded to Carl Lewis, who himself has tested positive for the use of banned substance but had not been banned due to inconsistencies in the rules (CDC, 1988). In 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics as well, several medal winners in skiing and weightlifting were disqualified after testing positive in the drug test. In 2006 Winter Olympics, only one athlete failed the drug test while in the Beijing Olympics, six athletes were found using the drugs during the games.

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