Invasive and Non-Invasive Techniques for Athletes, Use of Surgeries and Steroids in Sports – Term Paper Example

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The paper "Invasive and Non-Invasive Techniques for Athletes, Use of Surgeries and Steroids in Sports" is an excellent example of a term paper on sports & recreation. Professional athletes all over the world use many techniques to enhance their performance in professional sports and contests in order to get an edge over their competitors. These techniques range from invasive to non-invasive and can be as minor as taking high protein diet to as serious as taking drugs or getting surgeries (Saletan). Generally, it is believed that such enhancement methods, those that do not fall into the category of natural, are unlawful and illegal as it relates to sports, and therefore, athletes should abstain from such tactics (Saletan).

One of the most common approaches of the athletes towards this issue is the use of steroids before games (Saletan). Medicinally, steroids have proven to enhance the muscle mass of the user (Saletan), and to some extent, also the stamina (Saletan). They are administered by clinicians in special cases to boost the body immune system in patients with diseases such as AIDS (Saletan), and to enhance muscle power in patients who suffer from wasting disorders (Saletan).

However, this use is strictly clinical; the use of steroids personally is not only unlawful in sports but also poses many health risks to the user (Saletan), such as overdose, medicinal mismatch, and other such problems. Therefore, such drug treatments should only be used under the supervision and recommendation of a physician (Saletan). The advantages of steroids do not make them legal for use in sports, as their use give an added and unfair advantage to the user over the other players.

Therefore, the player who is using them would be in a better position to perform superiorly to the other players (Saletan). This is unfair. Another recent development in the techniques of performance enhancement methods is the use of surgeries to make the athlete better suited for the sports (Saletan). One of such surgeries is the Lasik eye surgery which is used to enhance vision even greater than the normal 20/20 vision (Saletan) that is considered perfect by the physicians. An enhanced vision would mean 30/20 or 50/20, that is, the person would be able to see something from a distance of thirty or fifty feet what he should only be able to see from a distance of twenty feet.

Such an enhanced vision would give obvious advantages to the athlete over other players. Examples of athletes who have already made use of this technique include Tiger Woods and Gregg Maddux (Saletan). XYZ feels that “ These players have enhanced their game unfairly and so have got an unfair advantage over other players” .

Similarly, XYZ says, “ They have misused the medical and clinical procedure for their own benefit, which is unlawful and ethically wrong” . Further adding comments on the ethical grounds, XYZ says, “ Even if some people claim that it is not legally wrong, it is definitely ethically out of bounds, and such behavior should be checked and curbed” . Some people compare the Lasik eye surgery in sports with the use of this surgery in other fields, such as by pilots for the benefit of commercial flights. They maintain that if it is unfair in sports, it should also be declared unfair otherwise.

However, such an argument is weak and baseless. There is no comparison between sports and other fields such as flying. The most obvious reason is that there is no competition among pilots when they are flying commercial and passenger planes. According to XYZ, “ They are merely performing their duties and doing their jobs” . XYZ says, “ Comparing the two is silly” . Even if one pilot gains an advantage of a better sight over another pilot, it would not harm anyone, and at the end of the day, both pilots would have performed their duties sufficiently well, keeping other considerations constant.

Moreover, if they choose to undergo this surgery, it is for the benefit of the passengers and the public. When the pilot would be able to see better through clouds and fog, he would be in a better position to fly the plane safely. According to XYZ, “ The safety of the passengers will be enhanced, which is a good thing” . Adding to this comment, XYZ says, “ Also, there is nothing wrong with this procedure in this context on ethical grounds.

It is only providing benefit to the general public” . Therefore, the comparison between the use of surgeries and steroids in sports with those of their use elsewhere should not be made, as they are based on two very different purposes. In sports, such surgeries should be banned instantly, and strict action should be taken against the perpetrators. However, they should not be considered unlawful in other fields.    

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