|Drugs and the Olympics|
The use of Performance Enhancing Drugs, or doping, in sport and the Olympics has become a big issue, and big business, through the 20th and into the 21st century. However, this is not a new problem, and indeed is more complicated than many people think.
For centuries, mankind has sought to gain an advantage over their competitors through nutrition and remedies, either to be more productive at their work or on the battlefield. This has continues throughout the ages, and its migration into competitive sport is only natural. When people are in competition, either by force of voluntarily, they will seek to gain an advantage to come out on top.
The question is; when is a sporting advantage by taking a substance acceptable, and when has it crossed the line into doping?
The Olympic movement, and professional sport in general, lives and dies by reliability of the competition results. Making sure that the paying public know, and perhaps more importantly believe, that the result is down to the ability of the athletes and not tainted by an unfair advantage is key to that sports survival. With the Olympics being the standard barer of fair play and purity of sport, the importance for ‘clean’ athletes is even greater.
A battle has therefore commenced between those who will seek to win at any cost, and those who strive to keep the ideology of sporting contest based on athletic ability alone. The World Anti Doping Authority (WADA) is the national body tasked with keeping drugs out of sport, and maintaining the integrity of competition.
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Bsc Physical Education, Sports Science and Physics, Loughborough University
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