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The solution to doping in sport through removal, education and role models

In the last blogs we showed how doping in sport can be used without detection with the use of a placebo and this brought about the problem of ethics, if it is so easy to do what is there to stop us from doing it. The players have many influences and many if these influences drive toward winning no matter what and this may include taking drugs. Even with the known risks of drugs players still use them to get the edge they may need.

The possible solutions which were developed in the last blog include removing drugs from sport and using elite athletes as a role model for the junior players. Some other solutions may include could include education for all people involve, such as the coach, physician, athlete and parents if they apply.  This quote was used in the last blog “For athletes who want to compete clean, the threat that they may be beaten by a competitor who is not faster, stronger, or more dedicated, but who takes a drug to gain the edge, is profoundly personal” (Murray, 2009) The players that “compete clean” would be more inclined to help keep drugs out of sport and keep the sport as competitive as possible.  (Are AFL Footballers Positive Role Models, 2013)

With the solutions that available there are pros and cons of all. The first solution of removing drugs from sport has been tried before or at least the drugs that increase the performance the most have been banned. The positives with this method is that it detects some drugs cheats and removes them from the game. The negatives with this method is that as seen in the first blog, some may be able to get around the tests which are used. “WADA promotes global research to identify and detect doping substances and methods; exploring new models for enhanced detection; develops and maintains the annual List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; accredits anti-doping laboratories worldwide; monitors Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted by stakeholders.” (Priorities – World Anti-Doping Agency, 2013)

The second solution is to get the elite athletes to be a role model for other players looking to compete. One competition that has used this method already is the AFL that have recognised and that “young people can be influenced by the behaviour of high profile sports people. AFL players have volunteered to be at the forefront of the fight against the use of illicit drugs; their message is strong and clear: ‘say ‘no’ to drugs.’” (AFL, 2013) Even though the AFL is targeting illicit drugs, if they see it as something that can help the younger generation it could work for all drugs including performance enhancing. The positives is that it can get the message to the junior players and AFL players should be less likely to use drugs no matter what form. The negatives are that if not all the players are not on board and some set a bad example and the program may then be no use anymore.

The third solution of education is easy as it can be put into schools and stated from a young age. The negatives of this is that some people may not get this education or they may not listen and just want to win and it doesn’t matter how they do it.

            The priority of solutions would be to get as many people involved as possible in order to get the best results. The more people who are involved the easier it will be to implement. If players just wanted to compete for the love of the game and competition, it would be easy because the use of drugs would be minimal.

The removal of drugs from sport with banning certain drugs is a good solution as long as testing is conducted at random often intervals to catch those out who may be using a placebo or similar. Banning drugs make it less likely for someone to use in sport which is an amazing positive. (Stewart, 2008)

With more people and bans on drugs it could be a possibility that drugs in sport can be eliminated leaving only training and genetics to determine the winner of the game.

Education starting at a young age would be the optimal time and in order to get this to start, the education department, clubs and institutes would needed to be brought in and be responsible for their areas. WADA is another which could help in this with getting information out to those who need it.

The time in which it may take is a couple of years to get all that need to be involved, although some things may be able to be implemented straight away, similar to the AFL, if other sports could do the same this would show good examples in all sports and get the message out there. The message being that not only are drugs harmful but winning with the use of drugs doesn’t give the same satisfaction as winning without.

The benefits of getting drugs out of sport are vast and apply differently to everybody. The removal of drugs from sport will in general benefit the sport rather than the players as it will make it more competitive for all and the detriments to player’s health from drugs will also be minimised due to the decrease in use. Can this happen, even though it may take a few years there is still the possibility of drugs being completely removed from sport.

References

AFL. (2013, October 30). Say no to drugs. Retrieved from drugs.com.au: http://mm.afl.com.au/Portals/0/afl_docs/AFLPlayersSayNoToDrugs.pdf

Are AFL Footballers Positive Role Models. (2013, October 30). Retrieved from StudyMode.com: http://www.studymode.com/essays/are-afl-footballers-positive-role-models-119847.html

Beckett, A. H. (1981). Use and abuse of drugs in sport. J. Biosoc. Sci.(Suppl.),7, 163-170.

Murray, T. (2009). Drugs, Sport, and Ethics. Exploring Bioethics. 1-7.

Priorities – World Anti-Doping Agency. (2013, October 30). Retrieved from World Anti Doping Agency: http://www.wada-ama.org/en/About-WADA/history-mission-priorities-and-strategic-plan/priorities/

Stewart, A. C. (2008). Drug policy in sport: hidden assumptions and inherent contradictions. Drug and Alcohol review, 123-129.

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Author:

This blog was started for a Uni subject, and has since evolved into a place where I can voice my thoughts, typically about coaching and sport. I grew up in Sydney, then moved to Canberra for some further study in 2011 and when I finished in 2014 I moved up to Brisbane. I have played, coached and generally been involved with volleyball since 2013. As of 2017 I am now the QAS Volleyball Assistant Coach.

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