DOPING in sport has become a global topic of conversation since the cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to using prohibited substances in an effort to increase his sporting performance.
So why the fuss? Why is everyone so upset? The use of drugs or blood products to enhance performance is cheating, and athletes are regularly tested and disqualified from their sport if they are found to be ‘doping’.
New chemicals and sophisticated methods of cheating means that the authorities struggle to keep up with the trends, so many athletes get away with their behaviour.
These individuals are taking a huge risk, both with their health and their reputation. Physical side effects can include heart attack; stroke; cancer; diabetes; growth problems; erectile dysfunction; infertility and kidney damage.
There is also the risk of losing the respect of friends, family and the public and being banned from the very activity you love doing. Doping isn’t just an issue reserved for elite sports personalities.
It is suggested that amateur athletes and even teenagers competing in school sports competitions can fall into the temptation of cheating to enhance their performance.
Young Motswana athletes have been inspired by this year’s Olympic Games which saw Nijel Amos bringing home a silver medal and establishing a new World Junior Record.
It is important that we protect the next generation of athletes from the dangers of doping and encourage them to take pride in their sport and abilities.
Like any other substance abuse, it is important that the youth are made aware of the dangers and encouraged to speak out if they feel pressured to do something illegal.
If you would like further information about doping in sport or substance abuse in general, you can contact BOSASNet on 395 9119 or 72659891; visit us at www.bosasnet. com or find us on Facebook