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NCJ Number: 122030 Find in a Library
Title: Running Man -- Cheat or Scapegoat?
Journal: Drug Link  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1990)  Pages:16-17
Author(s): H Shapiro
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 2
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: British campaigners against the use of drugs to improve sporting performance argue in simplistic, crusading terms, but there is a case for saying that these arguments do not justify the restrictions imposed.
Abstract: Far from protecting athletes against drugs, the antidrug movement has helped create a climate of fear and mutual distrust between athletes, officials, and sports organizations. The issue is not whether drug use is good or bad, but rather whether it is sufficiently bad to justify authorities' reaction to it. Steroids undoubtedly cause health and emotional problems, yet there are inconsistencies in what is condemned. For example, anabolic steroids are banned, but corticosteroids are not. In addition, medical evidence suggests that only those already undergoing an intensive long-term training regime coupled with special diets will derive any benefit from drugs in terms of enhanced performance and the ability to participate in even more strenuous training. If sports constitute an integral part of society, the field should be subject to the same constraints on breaches of civil liberties that operate elsewhere in society. Also, the public presentation of sports as being contaminated by drug abuse risks undermining the campaign against drugs in general. At a deeper level, athletes may be scapegoated for sports' "loss of innocence" at the hands of multinational sponsors. Behind the emotion generated by the issue may be an attempt to compensate for England's loss of sporting prestige, as well as concern over tarnishing sports' image as a healthy alternative to drug abuse.
Main Term(s): Illegal sports activities
Index Term(s): Drug Related Crime; England
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