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Drug Abuse in Athletes

Horia Gazdovici, 9F

From the very start of the Olympic games in ancient Greece, there have been different instances of doping. As there were no syringes and special powders at the time, athletes that wanted to enhance their performances were left to gorge on animal hearts and testicles, as they contained testosterone.

In our days, less illuminated athletes take it upon themselves (or it may be forced on them) to take performance-enhancing drugs, in order to run faster, lift heavier dumbbells or jump farther. And only in the last 50 years has this way of cheating been punished, starting with the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, which makes some of the people who have won medals in the years prior to that unworthy of their titles.

Drug abuse in sports doesn't only refer to doping, but to every kind of drug that might interfere with the performance in any way, shape or form, whether to make it worse or better, as it wouldn’t be fair for the opposant of said participant or team either way. But some athletes, granted it is less common for them to do so, take cannabis or opioids or any other type of drug for a number of reasons. It could be due to depression or to them partying all too much, but this is considered a great offence too. As a matter of fact, the first-ever drug-related disqualification wasn’t related to doping - it was the Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall tested positive for excessive alcohol. The most infamous example of drug abuse is Maradona himself, one of the greatest football players in the history of the sport, who was heavily addicted to cocaine.

The most frequent categories of sportsmen that use doping are professional American football players and competitive powerlifters, for quite obvious reasons. This remains an incessant issue in the sports world, since many still struggle with vicious drug addictions or are disqualified due to it.

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