Athletes Harm Others with Performance Enhancing Drugs

Some people think that we should let athletes take performance-enhancing drugs because they think that these athletes can only harm themselves and do not harm others. We already know that anabolic steroids can cause liver damage, heart attacks and strokes, and that growth hormone causes heart attacks by causing the heart muscle to outgrow its blood supply. Now a two-year study of former East German athletes shows that athletes who take these drugs can harm their children.

In the 1970s and 80s, almost all government sponsored East German athletes were forced to take anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. A study of 69 children of 52 of these athletes showed that seven had birth defects and four were mentally retarded, an unusually high incidence for a group of this size. More than 25 percent had allergies and 23 percent had asthma. The women suffered 32 times the normal incidence of miscarriage and stillbirth, 25 percent suffered cancer and 61 percent had therapy for mental disorders. The study was conducted by Dr. Giselher Spitzer at Humbolt University in Germany.

Many people are not aware that at this time, there is no test to catch athletes who take growth hormone. The winner of the 2006 Tour de France and the leader of the 2007 tour were disqualified for allegedly taking performance-enhancing drugs. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Martial Saugy, director of the Swiss Laboratory for Analysis of Doping in Lausanne, Switzerland, told a Belgian newspaper that 47 of 189 riders raced on blood transfusions or EPO in the 2007 Tour de France. The tests did not meet standards necessary to disqualify the riders. He also suspects that the riders also took testosterone and growth hormone. More


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