Becoming an Olympian is the ultimate reward for any athlete. By Michael Diamond

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

We all have our favourite professional athletes and we all have our favourite sporting activities. For many, fans idolize these athletes where they become role models and inspiration for most people. But what happens when these athletes are accused of taking banned substances? Are the different sporting areas affected, and how can we erase or decrease athletes taking these substances that not only put a stain on their careers but also the sports they participated in?

For those who enter professional sport arena they have a huge responsibility. They are charged with the duties to remain clean – drug free, role models, and also to enhance the appeal of the sport by performing excellently. However, over the years many athletes have secretly used banned substances to cheat the sporting officials and the world by exceeding expectations. With these drugs injected and taken orally they (athletes) are able to perform above normal athletes who would not have been on drugs. The cases of drugged athletes are not contained to one sport, its spread across the board.

Personally, I have a problem with drugged athletes. Professional sporting bodies have formed boards and bodies to combat the use of drugs in sports. However, athletes seem to elude the officials and people set to investigate these occurrences. They put a taint not only on their successful careers but also the credibility of the sport itself. Promoters get millions of dollars for each meet, game, championship with years later hearing that the race, game you watched and adored will become null and void. The perception of having a clean drug free sport seems to be a fantasy idea today.

To remedy the situation the official bodies set to oversee this process have developed punishments. What is more surprising though is that in track and field there is a grading for banned substances. One would like to think that once a drug can advance or increase your abilities to exceed performance it would have the same rating like other dangerous drugs. This is the confused signal that the boards send and will motivate athletes to take drugs since all you will get is a slap on the wrist. Recently, five professional athletes in Jamaica was tested positive for taking banned substances. However, since the drugs taken have a Grade B rating all the athletes will get is a warning. Most argue that the athletes’ careers are tainted and get most of the slack. To this end, actually the sport gets most of the slack for not ensuring that the athletes are drug free and that the credibility of the race, game or championship is withheld.

If the boards set up to catch the perpetrators are doing so late then it makes sense to legalize banned drugs. It might seem ludicrous but when millions of fans take time out of their schedules to participate in events and then hear their favourite race, record set, game was scared by drugged athletes it doesn’t add up, it’s a failure. If sport administrators pledge to fans of their credibility, drug free athletes then they should be able to deliver on that target set. More must be done to ensure that athletes who participate do so drug free not damaging a sport’s reputation. These druggists must be stopped. They (athletes and coaches) know the rules and know which drugs are in products. They deliberately take drugs to outperform other legal athletes and get all the glory (awards, media coverage); which lasts only for a moment until what was done in the dark comes to the light of the world.

If they cannot guarantee drug free athletes to their millions of fans then they (administrators) should legalize banned substances. Whether it is Tour de France, Track and Field, Baseball, Tennis, Swimming, Horse racing you name it, they have a duty to ensure they live up to their set standards. I want to know that when I have watched a race, game, championship that the thought of an athlete being on drug is ludicrous, a non-issue, a dead story. It should be irrelevant. I should be able to trust the results and not think what I saw was a blatant lie.

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