The Cobra Chronicle

Dangers of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Sean McCabe, Online Staff Writer

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Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) lure in athletes looking to improve their ability to play, but lead them onto a dangerous path. PEDs have adverse effects on the body as well as providing an unfair advantage to players as they breech the moral integrity of sports and damage sportsmanship.

PEDs cause, acne, damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, male pattern baldness, liver damage and premature closure of the growth centers of long bones (in adolescents), which may result in stunted growth and disruption of puberty in children, according to the United States Drug Administration (USADA). Once the user stops, their body deflates like a balloon, causing new health problems such as impotence, and mental health problems such as depression, mood swings and aggressiveness, according to www.USADA.org.

PEDs allow the user to have an unfair advantage over the other players. The player can gain more muscle or water mass allowing them to weigh more, thus have more power behind their moves and plays. PEDs also supercharge muscle gained from a single workout. An example of this phenomenon is Barry Bonds, a retired baseball player, who used PEDs to set the home run record for Major League Baseball (MLB). Other people who worked hard to achieve that goal never could surpass him because he cheated.

“I’m not a big believer in them [PEDs]. They should not be allowed or encouraged,” said baseball coach Larry Greenstein.

Many players and coaches have negative views on PED use because they believe, other than an unfair advantage, it is morally incorrect.

“Taking anything to cheat and win does not make a true athlete,” said weightlifting coach Thadd Pokabla.

There is an expectation that players will play fair, and athletes that use PEDs are gaining an unfair advantage through cheating. The Florida High School Athletic Association adopted an official bylaw in 2014 to completely ban the use of any steroids, narcotics or anabolic agents of any type by student athletes, according to www.FHSAA.org.

There is no excuse for PED use, they are harmful and against the rules. Players have to make the conscious decision on if they should use them or not, but the consequences are dire for their health and well-being, and they have to live with them.

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Dangers of Performance Enhancing Drugs