Friday, August 05, 2016

Sports and Doping


I came by an article in The Huffington Post’s “The Blog” titled, “The Solution To Doping Is To Extend The Blame Beyond Athletes.”  The article underlines the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in Olympic and professional sports.  It goes on to say that the numerous bans (and potential bans) could make the Rio Olympics an event with the lowest number of delegations in recent history.

The article explains how the bans levied by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) work on the premise that the athletes are deemed guilty regardless of whether or not they were aware that they ingested a banned substance.  The article points out how, in professional sports, the sanctions that are imposed don’t seem to make a difference.  Some suggest that the solution is to legalize doping as long as PEDs are used under medical control.  Others say that this solution would not stop the clandestine use of PEDs.  Yet others say that assigning liability to those who wield power over the athlete(s), entourage, or team would be a good and practicable alternative.

An important question remains: Why is doping so prevalent?  The article offers an answer.  It indicates that researchers present how this is due to the “payoff matrix,” where the rewards such as prize and sponsorship money, records, fame, and the rest outweigh the risks of doping.  This includes not only being caught and punished, but also the physical harm that could occur following the use of PEDs.


I take the payoff matrix one step further.  I believe that doping in sports is but another manifestation of the distorted mentality that is prevalent in our society.  In fact, it’s its own sport; it’s a competition to see who can use the most PEDs without getting caught.  People want to win and get the better of others no matter the cost.  They want everything that’s coming to them, and they want it now.  It’s all at the path of least resistance because: Why work harder for something when you “don’t have to”?  There’s nothing better than getting something without having to work for it.  For this shameful character trait found in people today, you know who is to blame: blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

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