Performance enhancing drugs have been used to gain that extra edge. Athletes have been doping since Ancient Roman times. While performance drugs do have a long history there are ways to discourage their use. This paper will discuss the history of doping, why athletes use this form of cheating, and ways to prevent it. .
The only time that sport was thought to be truly pure was in early Greek. They were the only ones to follow the Olympic Ideals: excellence in oneself, respect to one another, balance of body and mind, and of course, joy in effort. Unfortunately, commercialization and professionalism led to corruption in sports (doping). In later ancient Greek times Olympic victory was worth a modern day equivalent of $500,000 to an athlete. Athletes used concoctions of mushrooms and plant seeds, consumed dog testicles, and ate bizarre diets of foods like dried figs and roots to gain an edge over their competitors. In ancient Rome, sports became a business. Athletes were payed and people payed to see them. The better an athlete was the larger his pay out would be. This desire to become the best athlete led the use of drugs to be stronger, faster, or have more endurance. .
The first recorded doping death occurred in 1886 when cyclist British Linton over dosed on tri-methyl during a race. During the 1930's and 40's amphetamines became popular along with other stimulants. In the late 1940's the first steroid, called aqueous, became popular. During the 1967 tour de France British cyclist Tommy Simpson died in a televised segment of the race. His death was the result of an amphetamine overdose. The public outrage lead to the Olympic committee to study doping in sports. The first drug test was held by the Olympic committee during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The result was one athlete testing positive for alcohol use. By the 1972 Olympics in Munich drug testing had become widespread and seven athletes tested positive for use of a banned substance.