Doping And Its Effect On Athletes

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Doping has been present in sport since professional competition began and can be traced back to Ancient Greece. In the last century, doping has escalated as a problem due to physical advantages it gives athletes and health risks associated with long term use (Derse & Wilson, 2001). For doping prevention to be successful support staff must establish boundaries and understand motives behind an athletes’ decision to dope, including ethical considerations. Ethical decision-making is the ability to distinguish morally what is right and wrong (Brand, Melzer, & Elbe, 2010). Doping can be defined as use of a substance or method to enhance appearance and/or performance to gain an unfair advantage in competitive sport. For a drug to be banned in sport it needs to be evaluated as being harmful to the human body, have potential to enhance performance, and violate sporting ethics (Novick & Steen, 2014). Social networks within the sporting community have an effect on athletes’ perception towards doping, influencing athletes’ ethical views. Testing systems are used to deter athletes from doping; however, undesirable attitudes towards testing methods developed by Anti-Doping Personnel (ADP) exist due to inconsistent and unreliable practices. Sporting ethics are expected to be maintained through excellence, hard work, and ‘fair play’; however disparity exists towards what is perceived as ‘fair play’ regarding Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs). Professional athletes feel
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