PED’s; Acceptable or No?

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PED’s also known as performance enhancing drugs have been known to make their appearance throughout sport history, and recently we saw a case within IBJJF in regards to Felipe Pena, and in the past with Braulio Estima and Gaby Garcia.  They were found as early as 1886 when Welsh cyclist Arthur Linton died during a race from Bordeaux to Paris, allegedly from typhoid fever. Studies indicate he may have been a casualty of trimethyl (a combination of alcohol, strychnine, heroin, caffeine, and cocaine).I am very solid on my stance that I do not think PED’s should ever be used in reference to sports and competition. It is just an entirely unfair advantage to those who put in honest hard work. Needless to say PED’s can have some very serious side effects as well, which is why we have organizations such as the USADA and other anti-doping organizations.

The actual uses of PED’s are typically for delayed puberty, HIV and other issues that causes muscle to waste away. They should not be used to get ahead in competition providing assistance that others do not have. Being an athlete, whether you are a professional or just a local hero in your town comes with responsibility. We have children that look up to these athletes. What we should be doing is setting an example that you can achieve goals and succeed by honest, genuine hard work. Taking shortcuts and using PED’s is setting a poor example on how to achieve results using the easy route.

“Steroids have been clearly shown to increase muscle mass, and there’s a direct correlation between muscle cross-sectional area and the ability to produce force,” said Brad Schoenfeld, an exercise scientist at the City University of New York’s Lehman College. They are also known to leave a lasting impact. For example, the 2008 American Physiological Society Study found that the benefits of steroids in powerlifters can last several years beyond when the drugs leave their body.

PED’s are well-known for their undesirable side effects. Some of these can happen to anyone abusing them while others can be gender-specific.  Popular ones include Anabolic steroids.  Frequently, the anabolic steroids that athletes use are synthetic modifications of testosterone. The are actually known to help athletes recover from a hard workout more quickly by reducing the muscle damage, but can cause extreme aggressive feelings also known as “roid rage.”  All of them from hGH, to stimulants, to HCG have a variety of physiological side effects. There is even something called blood doping, which is used to increase the amount of red blood cells within the body. This results in increased endurance and aerobic capacity, along with the possibility of blood clotting, stroke, and increased stress on the heart. Is the trade off really worth it?

I feel as though many athletes assume that the worst case scenarios of using PED’s will never happen to them. We all think that in one way or another with some aspect in our life. “Oh that will never happen to me.” The enormous rewards for the winner, the effectiveness of the drugs, and the low rate of testing all together present a situation that is almost irresistible to athletes. The fact of the matter however, is that if your using them, experiencing any of the possible effects can happen.

I believe it is really good we have anti-doping associations. I am positive that people will debate with me on this topic. Some people will say that certain supplements are not as harmful as long as they’re taken in the right dosage amount.  The problem is people tend to abuse these substances, which leads to bigger issues. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you have two athletes and one is on PED’s and the other is not, I cannot fathom how that is putting them in a fair situation. Isn’t one of the main concepts of athletics, especially Jiujitsu, the value of hard work and dedication? What kind of example are we setting for younger generations by using PED’s to get to the top? Athletics and fitness are about improving the body, bettering your health. With the health complications that PED’s pose, taking them is doing the EXACT opposite. No one ever got hurt by using their natural talent and genuine hard work to reach their goals.

 

 

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