Top Pro & Con Arguments
Despite any benefit in injury recovery, PEDs are dangerous drugs that can still yield an unfair competitive advantage.
Even if a PED is originally used for injury or surgery recovery, the drugs’ effects can be addictive and lead to more long-term use and unfair advantage in competition. While PEDs may seem like the quick ticket to athletic glory, they are deadly. They can shorten not only an athlete’s career but their lifespan as well. We only have to look at bodybuilding, a sport that has historically encouraged PED use, for proof of this fact.
Bodybuilders “stack various steroids and other muscle-building drugs, then add in compounds intended to burn fat, blunt appetite or sap water from below the skin,” explain journalists Bonnie Berkowitz and William Neff . “They might counteract the worst side effects with another arsenal of medications, vitamins and supplements. The result can be outlandish physiques that appear indestructible but are often quite fragile.” These drug combinations essentially send their bodies into survival mode: their bodies believe death is near and every bodily process slows to try to stay alive.
PED use can result in weak hearts with overly thick walls that cannot pump blood effectively, high cholesterol, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes, not to mention a complete shutdown of the reproductive system and severe mental alterations, including “roid rage,” mood disorders, depression, psychosis, and suicide, among other disorders.
Former champion bodybuilder and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says bodybuilding is “the most dangerous sport in the world. In MMA fighters, you’ve had four guys die in the last ten years. In bodybuilding you’ve had 14 guys [die] over the last ten years. So it just shows you how dangerous it is to take some of those medications and things that those guys take.”
The sports themselves are brutal enough, as seen in boxing and football and the rise of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease typically associated with repetitive trauma to the head. CTE can cause headaches, depression, increased irritability, decreased ability to concentrate, loss of short-term memory, and suicidal behavior, leading to headline-making tragedies as well as numerous lawsuits. Why would the sporting world want to compound such serious medical and mental afflictions by now allowing PEDs?
Moreover, as PED use gets more and more “cutting edge,” the dangers rise significantly. Jon Mannah was an Australian National Rugby League player when he died of Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013. The disease was in remission until his team’s “sports scientist” began giving him (and other players) peptides, a less-used variety of PED with little to no scientific study behind its use. His cancer returned, and he died at age 23.Read More