Effects of Doping in New Zealand Sports
New Zealand’s dominance in games such as rugby has made the country be termed as one of the world sports giants. Despite the many praises that sports have brought to New Zealand, numerous incidences of players being involved in doping have poked holes into the country’s good sports image. Doping involves the use of drugs, stimulants and procedures deemed to enhance the performance of players. This paper will take a look at doping and its effect on sports, players and the society in New Zealand. Every time a new case of doping is reported, the question that lingers in people’s minds is why players have to use the already banned performance-enhancing drugs despite the fact that they are very talented.
The physical condition of a player is also a key determinant to his/her success on the track or playground. Research shows that performance-enhancing drugs increase a player’s muscle mass and cognition. For players in games such as rugby, an increase in muscle mass boosts the players’ efficiency on the pitch. In addition to increased muscle mass and cognition, some of these drugs also enable players to recover faster from injuries (Nacer et al. Therefore, players who use performance-enhancing drugs are less likely to suffer long-term injuries, unlike their competitors who do not use the drugs. Therefore, despite their increased sexual drive, it is difficult for male addicts to be effective in their sex life and also find it difficult to get children.
Increased use of doping drugs also has the potential to cause physical conditions in the bodies of men. For instance, some men find themselves developing breasts a condition known as gynecomastia (Frank). This condition is particularly upsetting since, in normal situations, breasts are meant to be for women. In addition to this condition, male addicts often develop acnes that are in most cases painful and reduce the physical attractiveness of a man. Sex inefficiency in women is brought about by a hypertrophy that develops in their clitoris. Further, women who use doping drugs also suffer from irregular menstrual cycles. Challenges brought about by these irregular menstrual cycles are embarrassing and disappointing in some instances (Frank). The treatment of the challenges experienced by women is also expensive.
Put in a weighing balance, it is evident from the above analysis that the risks and disadvantage of doping on the athletes outweigh the benefits (Curtis et al. Another negative effect to the society is that doping may lead to family breakups. Addicts of doping drugs may at times suffer from reproduction related complication such as impotency, erectile dysfunctional, and hypertrophy of the clitoris which reduce one’s ability to get a child. These conditions in most cases result in conflicts which end up in unfaithfulness amongst spouses and even family breakups (Hernandez). In the case of a family breakup, children are the ones who suffer the most. The negative impact of doping on the economy of New Zealand is one that cannot be swept under the carpet.
Alarmed by the increasing number of doping cases in the country and with full knowledge of the negative impacts of doping, the New Zealand government formed the Drug-Free Sports NZ (DFSNZ) under a 1994 act of parliament that was later replaced by Sports anti-doping act 2006 (Curtis et al. The main mandate of the body is to implement and apply the World Anti-doping code in New Zealand. Among the body key functions include sensitizing players on the dangers of using performance enhancement drugs, conduct investigations of suspected cases of doping, punishing players found guilty of doping, and introducing laws and policies that help reduce and monitor doing in the country. New Zealand is one of the strongest supporters of the World Anti-Doping Code.
For this reason, successive governments have maintained a spirited fight in the war against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Over the last few years, cries have come from all quarters trying to discourage players from using performance enhancing drugs and for the government to put in more stringent measures to curb doping. Indeed, it is a general feeling for the lovers of sports in New Zealand that if something is not done now, the future of sports in the country will be in disarray. Therefore, the national government need to rethink on the measures it has put to curb doping with a view of improving them. For instance, the government should consider introducing jail terms in addition to bans for those found guilty of using performance enhancement drugs (Mazanov).
Indeed, players who use drugs to enhance their performance are enemies of the country's prosperity and therefore no mercy should be shown to them. Increased sensitivity on the negative effects of doping will no doubt go a long way in discouraging players from using performance-enhancement drugs. Despite the measures taken by government to curb doping, many young people in sports still have the desire to use performance-enhancement drugs. So, who really encourages these players to use performance-enhancement drugs? Is it the coaches or is it some external agents? And to whose interest does the people who introduce doping to players serve? These are some of the questions, though sensitive, that the government need to ask itself (Mazanov). Some quarters think that coaches are behind the doping scams in the country.
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