Even if you’re not a sports fan, you’ll recognize the names of some of the professional athletes that have admitted to, or tested positive for, performance enhancing drugs, aka “doping”. The list includes tennis player Maria Sharapova ; baseball players Alex Rodriguez , Barry Bonds , Manny Ramirez , and Mark McGwire ; Olympic athletes Marion Jones  and Carl Lewis ; and in one of the most infamous sports scandals of the century, cyclist Lance Armstrong, who admitted both to doping  and being a d#%& .
There is some nuance to the concept of doping; for example, 12-time Olympic swimming medalist Ryan Lochte was banned from competition for more than a year after his Instagram post showed him taking legal vitamins, but using a banned delivery system (IV injection) . Yet for many, even minor violations of the rules are unfair and show a lack of sportsmanship, while major rule breaking could have ripple effects throughout our society. For example, professional athletes “are often the role models of adolescent and young adult populations, who often mimic their behaviors, including the abuse of drugs” . Scientific studies seem to support this assertion, as at least 1 in 16 high school students admits to using performance-enhancing steroids, and users rarely take just one kind of drug .
 ABCNews: Maria Sharapova speaks out about returning to tennis after doping ban: ‘It’s time to move on’
 CNN: Report: Alex Rodriguez admits to using performance-enhancing drugs
 Washington Post: Lawyer: Bonds didn’t know he used steroids
 NY Times: Manny Ramirez Retires After Testing Positive
 ESPN: McGwire apologizes to La Russa, Selig
[6} Washington Post: Marion Jones Admits to Steroid Use
[7} The Guardian: Lewis: ‘Who cares I failed drug test?’
[8} ABCNews: Lance Armstrong Admits to Doping
[9} The Independent.ie: ‘I was such a d%$&’ – Lance Armstrong admits he regrets press conference rows with journalists in revealing interview
 USA Today: Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte banned 14 months for IV infusion
 Doping in sports and its spread to at-risk populations: an international review
 WebMD: Doping With Muscle-Building Drugs: FAQ
What feelings or questions did this topic evoke? Do some research and then post your thoughts about performance enhancing drugs. You may want to research or ponder the following areas:
- Have you ever taken a performance enhancing drug, or considered it? Or, do you know someone that has, or were their rumors in your high school or here at Sierra College?
- Does caffeine enhance performance on athletics or exams? What about nicotine? Are these drugs banned in any situations? Is that fair?
- Often athletes argue that the banned substances they take have not been scientifically proven to have an effect on performance. Do you think athletes should be allowed to take these drugs? Why or why not?
- We are learning about the muscular system in this Unit of class. Some drugs definitely affect muscle – how do they do this? Other drugs enhance performance in other ways – how do they do it?
- Should athletes be stripped of their titles, awards, or sponsors, if they are caught doping? Do the circumstances matter? Why or why not?
- How has this class helped you better understand the anatomy or physiology of the human body, and the effect of performance enhancing drugs?
Remember that in addition to your discussion post, you must converse with at least one other student by replying to their post with your own question or comment.
Please visit this link to view our netiquette standards for appropriate online dialogue, the grading rubric for your posts and replies, and a sample post and reply to help you learn how to write a response that will earn you full credit.
Reply to this students post please: I have not taken or considered performance-enhancing drugs. Also, I am not aware of any rumored drug use in high school or college. Caffeine and nicotine affect the brain by increasing focus and physiological arousal. They both increase blood pressure, causing a temporary feeling of alertness. Additionally, they both have several common side effects, including insomnia and an increased heart rate. Allowing everyone to use performance-enhancing drugs levels the playing field and eliminates the effects of genetic inequality. Allowing performance enhancement promotes equality. Chronic use of these drugs can cause seizures that can damage the muscles through violent controllable movements. Chronic drug use impairs judgment and motor coordination, which can lead to accidents resulting in muscle damage. Getting caught doping can result in sanctions such as disqualification from an event, including forfeiture of a medal. In repeat or serious cases, an athlete may be banned from all sports (competing, training, and coaching) for up to four years. As a student in the class, I gain an understanding of the anatomy of the human body, as well as how performance-enhancing drugs affect the body.