Regardless of one’s stance on the topic, drugs are an important issue in sports. Sports pages in newspapers around the globe routinely report on athletes at every level ofcompetition using performance enhancing substances to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors. The level of sophistication in beating drug testing, and developing “next-generation” agents continues to raise. The relative paucity of well designed research has been an additional factor impeding attempts to adequately address the problem. Very limited funds are currently available to conduct the necessary research. Without credible data, athletes are more vulnerable to the claims made by those benefiting from the sales of these compounds. Many younger fans and those dreaming of a similar future admire highly successful professional athletes. A strong, consistent statement admonishing drug use is needed. Actions speak louder than words. Every time a successful athlete is caught using PE drugs, every effort to diminish drug use is negatively impacted. The “win at all cost” and “second place is the first loser” mentality needs to be continually challenged by words and actions in youth sports at every level of competition. Finally, the war on drugs in sports needs to be a coordinated, well organized international undertaking as sports play an important role in virtually every culture. If we are to maintain the integrity of competition and protect the health of the athletes, we must dramatically increase our efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs as an acceptable option for any athlete. Sports science professionals and sports psychiatrists need to work with coaches, trainers, athletes, and national governing bodies to educating athletes on the effects of performance enhancing drug use. To achieve this important goal everyone involved in sports needs to be knowledgeable on the negative impact this has on all aspects of organized sports. It is a difficult challenge, but one that must be addressed.

Key words: Doping, sports, athletes.

D.A. Baron, T. Foley (page 336) - Full article