Using performance-enhancing drugs to compete within competitions is not only ethically wrong, but so is lying about not using them.
In October 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France and Olympic titles, banned from competing and the cyclist stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong charity – rightfully so.
Armstrong has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs for years, and, until now, has always denied his use of these banned substances.
These substances have been banned from usage by cyclists and plenty of other sports in order to keep the playing field level, and because they are a risk to the health of the athlete.
Three months after the stripping of his titles, Armstrong came clean in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey on Jan. 17 and 18. He openly admits to Winfrey that he used banned substances, Erythropoietin (EPO) and blood transfusions in order to enhance his cycling performance during the Tour de France.
It’s great that Armstrong has come to terms with his problems and can go on television and admit that as he put it, is “flawed, deeply flawed, and we all have our flaws.” However, this does not excuse his actions and the behavior he conducted dealing with this problem for so many years.
Everyone always wants to win, but winning should not come at the cost of your health.
Armstrong explained to Winfrey, he would start doping days before the competition because by the time it came to compete the drugs had run their course and not detectable.
Earlier in Armstrong’s career it was easier to use the performing-enhancing drug, EPO, because there was not a test for the drug.
What makes it difficult to determine whether an athlete especially a cyclist is abusing drugs is because 180 – 198 cyclists compete in the Tour de France each July. Cyclists are tested randomly by checking up on an athlete at home or somewhere that substance abuse might be taking place.
Although some abusers have been caught by this method, it is not guaranteed to catch a cyclist that may be enhancing their performance through doping. The Anti-Doping Agency needs to look into coming up with a better was to keep drugs like EPO out of the hands of cyclists because using them not only destroys a person health-wise, but also ethically.
This case of substance abuse just goes to show you that the need to win can cause people to do things that are wrong and cause them to change as a person.