Your Voice: A Student Publication


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Your Voice: A Student Publication


Your Voice: A Student Publication


Student Athlete Opinion Piece

I am a high school senior who is heavily involved with tennis and will be playing for the Connecticut College women’s tennis team in the fall. As an athlete, I have been curious about the topic of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports. This issue is important to me because as an athlete, I feel very strongly about fair and safe competition. 

There has been discussion regarding the legalization of PEDs in sports, and I am invested in this debate. I believe that legalizing PEDs in sports poses a huge problem for competitive athletes. As a high-school student athlete, I am concerned about the incoming generation of young talented athletes who, when feeling pressured, may turn to steroid use. Many of these athletes have potential, but when threatened by competitors who use PEDs, they may resort to PED use to be at a level playing field. However, the use of PEDs can have many consequences, mainly affecting athletes’ physical and mental health. There can be various physical side effects that can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term side effects include fatigue, mood swings, acne, loss of appetite, dehydration, and decreased focus. Although these are not detrimental, they pose unnecessary discomfort for athletes both on and off the court. These effects may seem understated because they aren’t as harmful as the long-term effects. Long-term side effects include the risk of heart attacks, stroke, hepatitis, cancer, and blood clots. Consistently taking PEDs can not only ruin your future athletic career, but also your everyday life. Mental health may be overlooked because it is less obvious than the physical effects, but there are several mental risks that come with taking PEDs, such as “roid rage,” paranoia, anxiety disorders, and depression. Having stable mental health is crucial for both competition and everyday functioning. Taking PEDs will make athletes’ mental health worse, which could affect their self-confidence and anxiety, ultimately distracting them during competition. 

Lastly, PEDs not only affect athletes’ health, but they also give unfair advantages to people who use them. Those who consistently use PEDs are at a greater advantage over those who rely on natural talent and hard work. This is not fair to many hard working and determined athletes who choose to follow the rules and maintain the integrity of competition, as they will likely lose against those who are artificially better. Not only will athletes who take PEDs be at an unfair advantage, but in the chance that they win, they would be receiving prizes and awards that they didn’t naturally work for or deserve.

Ultimately, legalizing PEDs in sports puts athletes’ health at risk and goes against the fundamental values of athletic competition. The meaning of sports would be ruined if PEDs were legalized, given that the purpose is to see raw talent and determination from athletes, instead of artificial performances. PEDs in sports do more harm than good, and athletic talent would no longer be as impressive if it is only fabricated through the use of drugs. 

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    Jane MerrittMay 24, 2024 at 1:38 PM

    Great job, Evin! Good luck at Conn College!