Drugs and sports have gone hand-in-hand for as long as winning has mattered. As far back as Ancient Greece, athletes were using other substances, such as ingesting sheep's testicles for a source of testosterone (Francis and Coplon). The International Olympics Committee in 1975 started the ball rolling when they banned steroid use by all athletes in its associations. Since then, organizations such as the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association have also put drugs on their lists of banned substances. The only two organizations that have not yet done the same are the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball (MLB). The ban on steroid use in sports must be continued and fortified, not only is the health of our athletes and upcoming athletes at risk, but it goes against the values of competition itself.
The issue of drug use is not a new problem, and for many it is not considered a problem, rather an integral part of athletics. Ken Caminiti, a former steroid user in MLB encourages drug use because it is necessary for ball players and other athletes looking for a competitive edge, and financial security (Verducci). Charlie Francis, a track coach banned for life from Athletics Canada for training Ben Johnson with steroids stated that, "An athlete could not expect to win in top international competition without using anabolic steroids" (Mehaffey). The issue of actually legalizing drugs has been a dilemma for a number of years.
"If they lowered entry standards, they"d be jeopardizing the sport's image by conceding that the records had been set by steroid users. But if they left the standards intact, they would force competitors to violate the ban to survive. Without staying on steroids, no athlete could hope to surpass a world record that had been legally drug-aided." (Francis and Coplon, 91).
Some argue that by allowing these athletes to use drugs, world records could continue to be broken, with faster and better results being seen.