Proponents of accepting performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports argue that their harmful health effects have been overstated, that health risks are an athlete’s decision to make, that using drugs is part of the evolution of sports much like improved training techniques and new technologies, and that efforts to keep athletes from using PEDs are overzealous, unproductive, unfairly administered, and bound to fail.
Opponents argue that PEDs are harmful and potentially fatal, and that athletes who use them are cheaters who gain an unfair advantage, violate the spirit of competition, and send the wrong message to children. They say PED users unfairly diminish the historic achievements of clean athletes, and that efforts to stop PED use in sports should remain strong.
Sports and Drugs ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements on questions related to the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. This website uses the term "performance enhancing drugs" to mean legal and illegal drugs that are considered to enhance performance in sports. The term "performance enhancing" is sometimes spelled with a hyphen and sometimes without. We have opted for the unhyphenated spelling.