As I embark on my journey of college swimming, there are several things to expect. There is what many believe to be, glamour's that come along with being a Division I collegiate athlete. The state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the top of the line gear and endorsements, availability to tutors and academic support, and on-campus housing are just to name a few. However, some of the less-than glamorous aspects of being a Division I athlete are early morning practices, balancing a demanding schedule and drug tests. What many amateur athletes do not know is that as a Division I athlete, you are subject to these randomized drug tests.
I first learned about these drug tests when I spent a week at the Olympic Training Center for an altitude training camp. At the camp there were mandatory information sessions. The information sessions were all on the subject of our sport, swimming. We were informed on the topics of nutrition, proper warming up and warming down for competition, and most importantly, drug testing.
[...] The use of these performance enhancers will create level playing field” among sports and elite level athletics. This playing field can be considered equal and level if the use of performance enhancers were allowed. Due to the fact that technology is ever-changing and that there will always be athletes and trainers continuously searching for the latest enhancers, the use of performance enhancers should be legal. If the use of such enhancers were legal, sports today would turn into “super-sports”. Records would continually be broken and new statistics would always be posted. [...]
[...] This mental need is just one of the many psychological affects of the use of steroids, stimulants, and other illegal performance enhancing supplements frequently used in sports and athletic competitions today. There are many sports that benefit from the use of performance enhancing supplements. Swimming is a sport that is specifically targeted in drug testing. Due to the high levels of endurance demanded in order to perform well, training for swimming is one of the most grueling of all sports. [...]
[...] The uses of performance enhancing supplements have psychological affects on athletes that can become very addicting. A few of these effects are the feeling of euphoria, invincibility, calmness, and anxiety relief. Athletes feel a sense of euphoria when training intensely at difficult levels and there is a sense of ease in the exercise. This ease will cause the athlete to feel invincible, able to do the impossible. For example, when an athlete is running faster, lifting more, and exerting more power, they feel an ego boost that nothing can stop them. [...]
[...] Elite athletes use illegal recreational drugs simply because they appear to be glamorous, they have “benefits” such as no weight gain, and they are considered to be A recent controversial piece of news in performance enhancing drugs is in regards track star and Olympian, Marion Jones. Marion Jones won five medals at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Jones turned herself in for use of illegal performance enhancers. She used several illegal substances in her training. In the memorandum, federal prosecutors claimed, “Jones took steroids, erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone knowingly and with intention of furthering her career” (Shipley). [...]
[...] There are many pain relievers, energy boosters and muscle- building supplements that contain banned ingredients that are easily available at many grocery stores and pharmacies. As an athlete, I have to be careful when purchasing and consuming energy bars and vitamin supplements. It is crucial that I check to see if the supplements I am using are still permitted, by looking them up online. I also would have to check the supplements given to me by my coach or trainer. [...]
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