Drug testing of athletes has been a controversial issue since the dawn of sports competition. The use of performance enhancing drugs remains a heavily debated issue of sports policy that has reached the congressional and Supreme Court level. Athletes of all ages use performance enhancing drugs to gain an edge above their competition. Yet, the usage of drugs by athletes has an effect on all those touched by the industry. The effects are not limited to the athletes who are tested, and can reach many external parties including spectators, businesses, and fellow athletes.
Athletes may choose to take performance enhancing drugs for a plethora of reasons. Most take drugs and supplements in an effort to perform better. By taking the drugs an athlete can achieve feats that may not be possible for him to do naturally. The potential for success and for higher salaries and bonuses create incentives for athletes to take measures to gain a competitive edge. Yet, taking certain performance enhancing drugs is considered cheating, and organizations on all levels are taking measures to curtail the consumption of drugs.
[...] Some of the adverse effects are that it can also increase the size of athletes' heads and feet. Athletes can obtain illegal performance enhancing drugs from varying locations. The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform states that “illegal steroids are easily obtained over the internet and that law enforcement authorities face significant challenges in efforts to investigate, prosecute, and deter steroid trafficking.” Athletes with access to the right resources can beat the drug tests. Other athletes can not. The whole idea behind drug testing is to have a level playing field. [...]
[...] No substance belonging to the prohibited class may be used, regardless of whether it is specifically listed as an example. Example of prohibited classes of banned substances include: stimulants (such as amphetamines and ephedrine), anabolic agents (such as anabolic steroids), diuretics, street drugs (such as marijuana and heroin), and peptide hormones and analogues. Also, all types of blood doping (intravenous injection of whole blood, packed red blood cells or blood substitutes), is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, the NCAA Executive Committee bans the use of substances and methods that alter the integrity and/or validity of urine samples provided during NCAA drug testing. [...]
[...] In Earls, the court held that district seeking to impose a random suspicionless drug testing policy as a condition to participation in a school activity must demonstrate that there is some identifiable drug abuse problem among a sufficient number of those subject to the testing, such that testing that group of students will actually redress its drug problem.” The court noted that “unless a district is required to demonstrate such a problem, there is no limit on what students a school may randomly and without suspicion test, and without any limitation, schools could test all of their students simply as a condition of attending school.” The ruling in Earl modified the previous ruling of Vernonia, by stating that the school district must show a compelling reason for instating a drug testing policy. This ruling showed how drug testing infringes on individual rights, and made it more difficult for schools to impose random drug tests on students. IV. Economic Analysis of Drug Regulation Economically, it may be argued that it would be just as efficient for the usage of performance enhancing drugs to be regulated less, while increasing the costs of violating the regulations. [...]
[...] The National Football League Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse states: illegal use of drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol are prohibited for players in the National Football League”. The restrictions include the banned usage of drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and opiates, and well as the abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol. There is a medical director designated to oversee the drug testing of athletes, and there are several physicians employed by both the NFL teams, and the league, who oversee the administration of drug tests. [...]
[...] The primary legal question regarding the regulation of performance enhancing drugs is why should they be regulated, and if the government has the right to regulate a private industry. The usage of performance enhancing drugs is not limited to the sports world. Drugs and supplements are used by almost everyone in society. From the first time a young child takes his or her Flintstone's vitamin, society has taught our youth that supplements are good for them. When these individuals become adults, they learn to take vitamins once a day, but may also be taking other medications to help their health. [...]
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