The use of performance-enhancing drugs have taken over the Track and Field world, which led to many athlete’s records and medals being acquired through unorthodox and unlawful methods thus; tainting the sport forever.Track and Field is a sport which includes “athletic contests based on running, jumping, and throwing”( Jordan, paragraph 1). Performance enhancing drugs have corrupted the trust, the audience has with the athletes.
When there is new rising talent, new athletes who are setting records, representing amazing colleges or getting scholarships, nobody knows if it the result of drug use or the result of raw talent. Thus the sport has become stricter with it’s drug tests which have taken the spirit out of the sport.The “most famous 100 meter race in the history of the Olympics instantly took a bad turn and ended up as the most infamous 100 meter race”( Mann, paragraph 4), when the Canadian Sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold metal; guilty of using steroids. Ben Johnson from Canada and Carl Lewis from America were each others greatest rivals and battled out their competitiveness toward each other at the Seoul Olympics. This devastated the 100,000 fans that attended and retracted the memory that moments ago they were calling Johnson an Olympic hero as he set a new world record of 9.79 seconds.
Two days later the joyous atmosphere shifted when “Johnson’s urine test results came back and tested positive for banned anabolic steroid stanozolol. The IOC stripped Johnson of his gold metal and his world record giving Johnson’s rival Carl Lewis the gold and Britain’s Linford Christie the silver” ( Mann, paragraph 2). Many fans were outraged and Johnson was labeled as a disgrace and a cheater, but there were many other scandals like Johnson that shifted the atmosphere and culture of the sport. “When athletes use performance enhancing drugs do they not care about their careers or future?” ( Mann, paragraph 6).Performance enhancing drugs can be referred to as “substances and supplements that boost an athlete’s performance”( Moisse, paragraph 1). Mary Decker Slaney was found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs which cost her, her silver medal in the 1997 World Indoor Championships, she was also found guilty of using drugs during the 1996 Olympic trials.
Slaney not only lost her $20,000 prize money from the Indoor Championships but also gained a hatred from the International Amateur Athletic Federation. Many athletes when they have drug related scandals, reply back that they are falsely accused, these cases could go up to years, even after the athlete lose their metal and reputation. This remains an ongoing battle where both sides are fighting intensely. That is what Slaney and her lawyer did; they tried fighting back but got nowhere by denying the allegations. Most athletes do not accept their damaged reputations and the fans are not sure who to trust, this has become normal in the Track and Field world. “Currently there are hundreds of doping scandals in present day sports” ( Moisse paragraph 7). Justin Gatlin a 200 meter and 100 meter sprinter should have been banned for the rest of his life. Gatlin’s first ban in 2001 wasn’t as severe because he had claimed he tested positive because of “the medication he had been taking as a child, being diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder” ( Gatlin, paragraph 6).
Gatlin later got suspended in 2006 for testing positive for testosterone, but his suspension got shortened again because of the certain circumstances from his first case in 2001. The international Association of Athletics Federation “blamed the World Anti- Doping Agency and legal systems worldwide for Gatlin being able to return after two doping violations”( Coe, paragraph 1). Fans were resentful and engranged by the idea of Gatlin getting off so easy without any severe punishment. Coe the president of the International Association of Athletics Federation told the BBC’s Sportsweek program, “I’m not eulogistic at the thought of somebody who has served two bans in our sport walking off with one of the biggest prizes our sport has to offer”(Coe, paragraph 1). With this statement other fans had agreed with Coe. Gatlin had received a tremendous amount of backlash from his fans and others who were lovers of the sport. Many still struggle with the question, should athletes who used these performance enhancing drugs be banned for life or a certain amount of years based on the scandal and severity of the situation?Ma Junren turned “Chinese peasant girls”( Barker, paragraph 1), into “world record breaker runners” ( Barker, paragraph 1). It is said that “Junren took proviances from his hometown in Liaoning , he trained them to run marathons every day at a high altitude, fed them exotic tonic of turtle’s blood and caterpillar fungus.
Imposed military-style regime that outlawed boyfriends and long hair, and had 11 athletes’ appendix removed for toxicological problems” ( Barker, paragraph 2). Junren’s rough coaching led his runners to claiming the middle and long distance medals at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart in 1993. Junren and his female runners got the title Ma’s Army. “They were winning metals and setting records, nobody saw them coming. Junren’s abuse got to be too much for the athletes, the constant pressure they faced, the grueling practices, strict rules and tonics they were forced to consume” ( Barker, paragraph 4).
The athletes races got suspicious, it turned out “11 of his athletes had been tested positive for drugs, the woman were forced to take large doses of drugs over the years, if the athletes refused Junren would inject the drugs into them himself” ( Barker, paragraph 7). Junren’s cruel punishment went on for years until the athletes had told everyone what their coach was doing to them after they got tested positive for drugs, they had stated, ” Junren only worried about the money”( Barker, paragraph 10). No one had gotten to the bottom of why the athletes went through the years of his abuse but we know how they were treated. Junren had treated them like animals never caring about their physical or mental health. He was a sick man who needed to be stopped before he ruined the lives of his young athletes. All of Junren’s athletes left the team after they got tested and did not come back. Junren was left with nothing and was questioned after his athletes had written the letter about what Junren did to them and sent it to the sports newspaper in China.The next athlete is Tyson Gay, an American sprinter who got banned from Track for a year had his Olympic silver medal from the 2012 Olympic games acquired from the 4×100 meter relay for testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
” Gay the second faster sprinter in history after Usain Bolt had been facing the maximus two year-suspension but had his punishment reduced after providing substantial evidence to the United States Anti-Doping Agency during their investigation ( Hart, paragraph 1). There has not been any source from where Gay got it from, but the Anti-Doping Agency knows that Gay reported a cream that was supplied to him. “Many of the fans were wondering, if an athlete corporates does the number of years they are banned for reduce? Why does it seem like athletes aren’t being punished for their poor decisions” ( Hart, paragraph 3).Ultimately all the track and field athletes mentioned have abused the use of performance enhancing drugs and punished for their actions.
By consuming these drugs the advantages included were; “increased leanness and muscle definition, increased muscle mass, increased strength, increased effectiveness of training, improved recovery rate, and euphoria” ( Berkowitz, paragraph 1). Although the advantages may have seemed great at first, in the long run it damaged their careers and credibility, performance enhancing drugs have started to become big problematic part of the sport but it is a problem that one day can be fixed.