Performance Enhancements in Sports

The quest to be the best in your sporting code normally lead to seeking stimulates and other illegal substances to enhance the performance of the athlete. This unfortunate action by some of the top athletes with a global presence and following; tarnished the image of the sport they participate in and sport in general. It has become so widespread; the public/fans are more sceptical. Especially in instances where a sportspersons has attain an unexpected outcome/result/achievement amongst their peers. Another example is their performance have been consistent over the years, which leads to more questions and doubt by the general public and their competitors.

These sporting fraudsters were given a warning and possible ban from the sport depending on the country of origin or the seriousness of the transgression, Most of the individuals who are embroiled in using performance enhancement are role-models, parents, influencers and viewed in high due to their public persona and achievements.

"In recent times we have also witnessed how kids at school are taking to performance enhancement drugs to better their changes to be selected for the first schools A and B teams."

There were widespread reports about Russian athletes being exposed, introduced and ultimate participation in their countries doping interventions. Most recently we have witnessed in athletics, where athletes from their country were stripped of their medals because of the presence of performance enhancements substances.

A recent article in the Sunday Times, September 24, 2017 by Prega Govendar touched on the increase of performance enhancements drugs in schools. The stats are alarming and according to Prega the trainers are being blamed as the culprits who are supplying these illegal substances to the kids to better their performances.

The biggest doping cheat’s fines vary from six months for a cyclist to eight years for a runner. It also mentioned the top five types of drugs in the following order according to Govendar:

1. Testosterone

2. 19 – Norandrosterone

3. Methylhexanearnine

4. Stanozolol and

5. Metandienaone

Some of the sporting codes who have been identified as culprits with relation to where performance enhancements drugs are prominent:

1. Rugby

2. Athletics

3. Powerlifting

4. Mixed Martial Arts

5. Boxing

Online shopping in the form of buying these drugs is making it easy for the perpetrators to access these illegal drugs. This channel because of its global accessibility makes it easy for the access these items on the web, despite its classification and distribution regulations.

Ultimately, these interventions are geared to be selected for provincial teams with the end-goal in most cases to become a springbok rugby player. So how do these learners get the money to afford these stimulants? In most cases their parents are aware that they use their pocket money to purchase these illegal substances. There are reports that both parents and teachers are aware of these activities and either turn a blind eye or they continue to administer and encourage the youngsters to take the drugs. At school levels the boys are more likely to participate in performance enhancements activities.

Some of the more high profile sporting personalities include Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, Maurice Green, Alex Rodriguez, CJ Hunter and Ben Johnsonn and most of the Russian athletics team who took part in the London Olympics have been shamed and stripped of their titles. Although these and other reported cases have made the international headlines, it seems insufficient to deter others from taking substances to enhance their performances.

Cheating is should be discouraged at home, our schools and communities at large...

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