Monday, August 09, 2004

A plague on sport

Over at CT, Kieran Healy raises a subject that has always worried me. The use of performance-enhancing drugs appears endemic in athletics, not to mention other sports.

The way I see it, the problem isn't so much to do with pressure to compete, but that the use of illegal supplements and drugs has become an acceptable risk in the eyes of coaches and athletes alike. From my limited experience in high-level sport, almost everyone takes some form of (legal) supplement, not through personal choice, but because it is expected by managers and coaches. Protein supplements are incorporated into an athletes training regime and provided free of charge after training sessions. I can see that it can only be a short step between this and being persuaded to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Despite the fact that I'm usually really careful about what I put into my body, I'm ashamed to say that I've been persuaded to take the supplements provided without knowing exactly what was in them. Mind you, it didn't do me much good...!

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