Many had never heard much about the term “doping” until recently when big names in the field of sports were accused (some found guilty) of using drugs that enhanced their endurance, strength and general performance on the field. As the number of sportsmen and women entangled in doping allegations grow, Adam’s blog asks the question about who is responsible for this growing habit in the field of sport. Is it the coaches, sponsors or the players themselves?
If one is to carefully look at the core of sport itself, the urge for sportsmen and women to be faster, stronger, among other attributes takes center stage. The ultimate award of a gold medal or a trophy in effect goes to the fastest athlete, the strongest weightlifter, the enduring marathon runner which triggers a race among athletes to become stronger, faster and more enduring lest they lose.
And the objective of winning brings with it other demands, winning by greater margins. Like they say, Records are made to be broken. For sportsmen, breaking or setting a record is always just around the corner and to some players, if the only thing standing between breaking or setting a record is an injection or tab, the choice maybe obvious. So are players solely responsible for doping? That’s for you (reader) to decide.
“You either run fast or your off the team”. It is common for coaches to direct such statements to their players. To some it’s a form of motivation but to others it’s an ultimatum with real consequences for the athlete. Some coaches demand a lot from their players, most of which maybe unattainable under normal circumstances. And since the coaches are in charge, they are in the perfect position to provide the “solution”.
Some athletes may not be aware that the injection or tablet that “coach” advised them to take is banned by sports federations and may have dire consequences for the player once discovered. In recent times we have heard of athletes (charged with doping) claiming there was a “mistake in the blood test”, or “I have never taken such drugs” and such claims may be true as the athlete could have taken the drug on the coach’s advice.
Sponsors come in all calibers. It could be a private company or the government, and to the sponsors, their investment should be met with remarkable results and performance. Besides the pressure sponsors put on players, some sponsors take the extra mile by getting directly involved in doping the players.
Recently, the Russian government was named for sponsoring the doping of hundreds of its athletes in the lead up to the Olympics in Rio which resulted into a ban of the athletes, some of whom may have been innocent or coarced into the doping activities.
As the quest for speed, strength and top performance ensues among sportsmen and women, the world of sport continues to get more entangled into the massive spiderweb of doping scandals that is being laid down by some athletes, coaches and the sponsors.
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