SPORT POLICY ISSUE
The drug issues in sports have been of major concern in the recent past. Various types of drugs have different effects on the body of a sportsman. Some drugs enhance their ability to perform well in sports and, therefore, giving the sportsperson an unfair advantage against competitors. For the reason of equal opportunity, most sports organizations subject their players to mandatory random drug tests. Drugs that most sports users use include human growth hormones. Human growth hormone is supposed to be taken only by a doctor’s prescription. Sometimes players use the growth hormone as a drug to enhance their performance even though evidence of this is limited. It works by increasing the muscles of the athletes and, therefore, increasing their abilities to perform much better. The other drugs include steroids and Benzedrine. A player would take drugs mostly to enhance or to improve their performance even though they would take the other hard drugs such as cocaine or marijuana for leisure purposes.
Sports organizations discourage doping in athletes mostly because the drugs have long-term health side effects on their bodies. Some of the side effects of taking hard drugs or performance enhancing drugs in athletes include impotency, growth of breasts, and impaired liver function in men. In women, it would cause barrenness, loss of hair, and irregular menstrual cycle. Competition in sports makes the player want to do better and may push them to take the drugs. Drug usage in sports is considered as cheating because it places the athlete at an advantage due to the enhanced ability. Players may also be pressured to take the drugs by the other players. Sport is meant to be a competition of abilities without any additives. The player ought to train himself both mentally and physical to play well and professionally.
The policy measures that I would take in this case include subjecting the players to random drug tests. Random drug tests would catch any player who is using drugs as opposed to planned drug tests. When drug tests are planned, the player may refrain from using the drug for some time so that they test negative for the drugs. Planning the drug test would not have the desired effect of curbing the problem. However, if the tests were done randomly, then it would be so much easier to curb the menace since the player is not aware of when they will be tested, and they will probably be caught unawares. This is the most effective ways of catching players who dope in sports. Drug testing is the surest way of deducing players who use drugs and those who don’t.
Another policy that would be effective would be to ban players who have been found to take performance enhancing drugs. Most players love the sports that they participate in. Furthermore, most sportspeople earn their living through sports and therefore taking it away from them may have detrimental effects on them. It is necessary for the players to understand that they are not supposed to take any drugs and that the use of drugs attracts severe punishment. If a player is caught using the drugs, they should be banned or suspended for a specific length of time depending on the number of times that they have used the drugs. They should also be considered if they took the drugs intentionally or not. When a player is caught using drugs, they should be banned for at least six games and without pay. If they repeat the offence the third time, then they should be banned completely from the game.
Another policy that would be of help is to hold classes and counseling sessions for the players. These classes will help the players to share their experiences with another and exchange ideas on how they can best play the game. In these classes, they would also be taught on the dangers of taking drugs and what the drugs do to their bodies. They would be advised on what drugs to avoid and what they can safely take.
These policies will work. Most sportspeople have a passion for the game that they play. Therefore, they would rarely do anything to jeopardize their source of livelihoods. Most of them just take the drugs so that they may perform better and earn more or just to be a good player. Therefore, if they knew the effects of taking drugs would get them banned from the game, then they would probably not take the drug. If the organizations keep testing the players regularly and randomly, players will not take the drugs since they know that they will be caught. They would not want to be associated with drug scandals since they depend on their fame to get extra money through endorsements and other welfare projects.
Another policy that would be of importance is to make the players aware of the side effects particular drugs have on their bodies in the short and long term. It would be more reasonable if they knew why they should avoid using the drugs than if they were just told not to use them. The side effects are dangerous and could kill them very quickly. Therefore, it is important that they take collective action to avoid using drugs. Educating players is a great and useful way of curbing the menace.
Various stakeholders will be required to make the policies work effectively. The players must consent to the plans. They must follow the regulations that have been set. Without the players, then the industry would not exist. Players are the most important component part of the industry and therefore they must abide by the rules. The other group of stakeholders is the managers. Managers usually work closely with the players. They would know if there is something wrong with any of the players. They, therefore, play a huge role in helping to stop the drug menace. The government must make all the necessary rules that would discourage players from using drugs. They could make the substances illegal and impose stiff penalties for those that will be found using and in possession of the drugs.
Doctors and psychologists also play a huge role in ensuring that the players are clean. They are the ones who carry out tests to ascertain that a player is using drugs. The doctors should be professional and not accept bribes from players to manipulate tests especially where the results are likely to be positive. Psychologists play a huge role in ensuring that the players are in the correct emotional state. Players experience a lot of pressure from their fellow players, from their teams and their fans. Pressure may push them to make wrong decisions such as taking drugs. The role of the counselor or psychologists is to ensure that players can effectively resist the temptation of taking drugs.