Local Event Sports Association

Drugs In Sport: The Unwinnable War?

By Duncan Scott On July - 17 - 2009

One of my early Bleacher articles was about Tommy Simpson, an English professional cyclist who died while competing in the Tour de France, and who was found to have taken banned amphetamines.

I had starting researching Simpson's death with the belief that he was a druggie and a fool, who had knowingly pedaled to his early death. But I finished feeling very sympathetic to him, and confused about my views on drugs in sport.

The confusing question I could not answer was this; If an athlete knows he cannot reach the top of his sport without using drugs, is he a hero or a fool to spurn them?

In some ways my question is naive, for in many sports the athlete will know from the very outset, before they have reached the first rung of the competitive ladder, that they are committing to a sports career based on drug use.

Few could look at modern bodybuilders, men and women, and believe that such development is possible by entirely natural means; by pumping iron and eating food supplements. It is widely recognized that steroid use is rampant, and it is easy to find photos on the web showing the extreme effects.

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