Often we’re aware of random drug testing among elite athletes and sports personnel; however, the anti-doping policies cut right through even to recreational athletes. Therefore, it has become increasingly common for all athletes, amateurs, and professionals to be targeted for drug testing.
However, it’s worthwhile appreciating the fact that safety, as well as the health of athletes, lies in the drug testing policy. Understanding the drug testing protocol helps to raise awareness in sport the risks of using banned substances.
But Why do Athletes Abuse Drugs?
As a rule of thumb, fans always expect much from an athlete. Hence, to meet those expectations, some go to the extent of using some banned drugs to enhance their strength and performance.
Some athletes suffer from sports-related injuries that are career-threatening. Therefore, some athletes would want to still play at the highest stage without losing their position by using drugs to speed up recoveries.
Moreover, some even use steroids in enhancing their performance in cases when they lose form (which is a common occurrence in sports). Unfortunately, such banned drugs have got consequences once they have been used. Some athletes have been found to submit synthetic urine for drug testing.
Benefits of Random Drug Testing in Sports
For an athlete on a personal level, using some drugs in sport to enhance performance is a good option. However, looking at the bigger picture, it can be unfair to others or even be unhealthy to the athlete’s body. Therefore, random drug testing has got several advantages which include:
Controls Health Risks
If you ask any sportsperson, the answer will almost be similar that some drugs such as steroids will surely enhance your performance. As much that’s the truth, later such actions often backfire, and most of them end up risking lives.
In the long run, using some drugs is harmful to the health of an athlete. Therefore, through doping tests, athletes who use drugs are eliminated and banned.
It Promotes Fair Play
Sports should always be a fair game whereby all the participants are expected to abide by the stipulated rules of the game. Unfortunately, some athletes use drugs such as steroids to enhance their performance, and such acts ruin the integrity as well as the reputation of the game.
Therefore, through random drug testing, fair play is promoted in sports. By doing so, it ensures that no one gets an unfair advantage over another.
It Stops the Use of Illegal Drugs
Most famous athletes will tell you that it’s challenging to handle fame as well as stress at the same time. However, others will tell you that to maintain that, it only requires a healthy diet as well as regular physical training to provide the strength to perform regularly.
Unfortunately, some turn to illegal drugs to ensure that they maintain their performance on the field. But some of the recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine can negatively affect the physical as well as mental health of an individual.
Although marijuana has now been legalized in most states in the US, still, it’s unsuitable for professional athletes. Therefore, random drug testing helps to determine those who have used illegal drugs, after which action is taken accordingly.
Fostering Safety during Training and Competition
Drug testing is now a sophisticated issue in sports, both domestic as well as international. However, most addict athletes now have gone the extra mile and have become cautious, trying everything possible not to be caught.
The main reason behind their actions is, of course, to enhance their performance. There are innovative techniques most athletes have uncovered help them avoid detection. However, what most of them avoid understanding is the fact that some of the drugs used eventually risk their lives.
Therefore, the increased random drug testing techniques are meant to take care of the safety of athletes entirely.
As an athlete, therefore, you’re required to stay clean at all levels by being familiar with WADA’s banned substances. Also, understand product contamination, minimize your risk, and remember that ignorance is no excuse. At the end of it all, drug testing in sports does its best in ensuring general standards in sports are maintained.