Doping in swimming
by Glen Ong
Doping is the use of performance- enhancing drugs to improve athletic performance.There are many reasons to why athletes resort to doping.One reason is to pursue their own glory like in the case of Irish swimmer Michelle Smith who won three gold medalsand one bronze medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Her sudden improvement led to suspicion and two drug testers appeared at her house to get a urine sample. At that time, Michelle Smith was wearing a bulky sweater so the testers could not see what she was doing. When the results came out, the testers were shocked. The sample contains an alcohol level that is so high that it would be fatal if consumed by a human. Fina then concluded that the sample was manipulated. The alcohol added was a masking agent to hide all the potential drugs that she might have used. She was then suspended for four years.
However, doping might not be the decision of the athlete. Some athletes were forced to take such illegal drugs. In East Germany from 1970to 1980,many athletes were given performance- enhancing drugs. Some were forced to take them while others thought they were taking vitamins. Such drugs sometimes ave undesirable side effects. Only after the fall of the Berlin wall then the truth behind this was revealed. East Germany's quest to become a sporting power has directly led to doping.
Doping is illegal but what really is doping. Can enhanced swimwear be considered as doping? Doping is illegal because it lets an athlete win not through his or her ability but through other means. If that is the case, why are enhanced swimsuits legal? In our present era, swimwear can improve one's timing by quite a lot. If that is the case why do competitions, like the Olympics allow such swimwear? Therefore, I feel that in the case of swimming, swimmersshould be given a standard type of swimwear to ensure fairness in this sport.
Doping in track events
by Ang Hong
The use of performance enhancing drugs amongst track and field athletes has begun since the 1800s where athletes use them to improve their athletic abilities, providing for them an unfair advantageover their fellow spotsmen in the same playing field. This has lead to the banning of doping in sports and athletes found guiltywould be banned from the games andhave their records stripped. However, not all doping cases in the track area are intentional on the athletes part. The most famous case of doping in track eventsis probably the case of East Germany inthe 1960s where athletes were forced to take drugs. Many of them did not even know that they were consuming drugs, taking them as legal pills which will help them improve their performance. Such as in the case of Renate Neufeld in which she was tricked into doping and ran away later after her body undergone weird changes. Most of the doping cases are state-endorsed meaning that the government fully backed the move. Most athletes in Germany then were involved as they were drugged since a young age, causing them to face many physical and health related problems as they grow up. Here, the athletes involved are victims of a conspiracy of the country which shows that not all doping cases are directly interlinked with the athletes.
Other than that, ther are obviously cases of doping where athletes confessesd to taking drugs and escaping the drugs test which might have prevented them from participating in the Olympic Games. In the track and field area, some famous cases are Marion Jones, Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and many more. They have taken illegal drugs, competed and won gold medals. It eas not till years after that they were found to have taken drugs but were still cleared for the games. In fact many athletes have failed drug tests but were still cleared.
Today, it has been said that doping in athletes wre both the work of the governing body and the athletes causing a large contriversy over these matters.