Term Paper: Supplements in Sports

Pages: 6 (1882 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

Sports Business and Ethics Issues

The Use Of Supplements

ethics - theoretical framework

ETHICS - DIFFERENTIATION AMONG THEORISTS

RESPONSBILITY OF EDUCATORS AND COACHES OF ATHLETES

SPORTS Business AND ETHICS ISSUES

THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTS

The objective of this work is to research the issue of the use of supplements by athletes and how society views and deals with this issue including the moral theories and implications of this issue. This work will finally explain this stand on this issue and why it is morally defensible under "The Golden Rule" principle or the principle of (Life, Goodness, Justice, Honesty and Freedom)

The use of supplements by sports athletes is a highly controversial subject and one that Tommy Boone, Professor and Chair of the college located in Duluth, MN, feels strong about. Boone (2003) states that: "Athletes have taken performance-enhancing drugs since the beginning of ancient sports. So, what is the deal? In short, aside from the winning of trophies, sports is also about teaching athletes the right and wrong behavior (ethics) of dealing with life's challenges and problems to being successful." (Boone, 2003) Boone (2003) states that often the use of supplements is only viewed as an ethical problem when "the supplement becomes illicit or banned or when an athlete dies..." The problem according to Boone is that too many times instead of being viewed as the ethical question that it certainly is that the focus is on "competitive advantage" and "leveling the playing field" (Boone, 2003)

Kelly E. Flanagan, DSM in the journal article entitled: "Can Sports Management Stop Steroid Use?" writes that, "The professional athletes themselves have an obligation not to encourage steroid use to younger athletes..." And as well writes that it is key that "coaches and parents realize their role in preventing the use of steroids in sports by remembering the true educational value to athletics." The reason for this is according to Flanagan because,."..the education is not in the victory, but in the quest for victory." (2005) Flanagan compares 'performance-enhancing substances' to "cheating on an exam" in which "You may achieve the goal but you learn nothing in the quest for the goal."

The CNN Health Library - Mayo Clinic Special Entitled: "Teen Athletes and Performance-Enhancing Substances: What Parents Can Do" describes 'performance-enhancing drugs and supplements' as those that are used "to boost athletic performance, ward off fatigue and enhance physical appearance....to increase muscle mass and energy..." (CNN Health Library, 2004) The problem is these 'performance-enhancing drugs and supplements' may likely cause serious harm and in some cases may even cause death. Some of the substances used are: (1) Creatine; (2) Androstenedione (commonly known as 'andro'); (3) Ephedra; and (4) Anabolic steroids, all of which have side effects and are believed to have long-term lasting damage to the athletes' physical health.

In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic during the year 1999 findings are stated in part as: (1) 8.2% of teenage athletes reported that they use creatine (including male and female athletes; (2) 5 to 11% of high-school boys - use anabolic steroids; and (3) 0.5 to 2.5% of high-school girls use anabolic steroids. (CNN Health Library, 2004) The following reasons were stated in the Mayo Clinic findings for having used the substances: (1) "Most athletes reach a plateau at some point in their training. Performance-enhancing substances may help them move beyond it; (2) Athletes make sacrifices to pursue their sport; (3) When the effort doesn't yield the desired results, they may become frustrated enough to take them; (4) Even athletes making good progress with their training may become curious and take performance-enhancing drugs just to see what will happen; (5) Some athletes give in to peer pressure; (6) The use of performance-enhancing substances is accepted by a significant number of athletes, and in some sports, athletes may feel little peer pressure not to take drugs; (7) The psychological effects of some substances, such as greater aggression, feelings of invincibility and euphoria, may be pleasurable enough that an athlete doesn't want to stop taking banned drugs; (8) Performance-enhancing drugs may help an athlete develop a body that increases self-esteem and gains him or her admiration from friends, family members and potential girl- or boyfriends; (9) Athletes know that some of their competitors take them; (10) No tests are available for some drugs, so there's no chance of getting caught; (11) Parents and coaches may ignore signs of performance-enhancing drug use in teens who appear to be elite-level athletes." (CNN Health Library, 2004)

III. ETHICS - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

According to William D. Hitt in the work entitled: "Ethics and Leadership: Putting Theory Into Practice "Kant's famous categorical imperative is an example of a rule that can serve as a standard for moral conduct." (nd) This rule is "The Golden Rule" which states "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Kant held that this rule was universally valid, that it applies to all people in all countries and at all times." (Hitt, 2005; paraphrased) Hitt explains that four major schools of thought exist in relation to 'ethics' or that which is considered to be 'ethical' in society and in business. The following chart labeled Figure 1 illustrates the primary facts of those four schools of thought:

The Four Primary Schools of Thought Relating to Ethics

Ethical System Proponent Definition

End.result ethics

John Stuart Mill (1806 -- 1873)

The moral rightness of an action is determined by considering its con sequences.

Rule ethics

Imnianuel Kant

(1724 -- 1804)

The moral rightness of an action is determined by laws and standards

Social contract ethics

Jean Jacques Rousseau

(1112 -- 1778)

The moral rightness of an action is determined by the customs and norms of a particular community.

Personalistic ethics

Martin Ruber

(1878 -- 1965)

The moral rightness of an action is determined by one's conscience.

Source: Hitt (2005)

IV. ETHICS - DIFFERENTIATION AMONG THEORISTS

Milton's ethics principle were based on the 'end result' or the moral rightness of an action being determined based upon consequences having been considered. Kant believed that ethics were based upon 'rules' and that the moral rightness of an action is based upon laws and standards within society and business. Rousseau held to the Social contract theory in ethics believing that the moral rightness of an action is determined through the norms and customs in the existing community and Ruber held a personalistic notion of ethics believing that the moral rightness of ones' actions can only be determined through ones' conscience. The theory of Milton relating to ethics has an inherent problem in that this is a judgment call and a roll of the dice because consequences are always known post-decision. The theory of Rousseau is close but lacking in the opinion of this researcher due to the changes and shifts that occur from one community to another and thereby leave too much room for interpretation considering the global nature of sports. Ruber does have a valid point no doubt, however considering the man differentiations that exist in the human conscience too much interpretive room is left in this ethical theory. However, Kant's theory is very applicable in the business ethical realm because the rules are set out in a clear and concise form and everyone involved is fully informed of what guides the process of sports and sports business ethics.

V. RESPONSBILITY OF EDUCATORS AND COACHES OF ATHLETES

The following are stated by Boone and other to be critically important in the professional practice of the coach and educator who does an ethical job and who is ethically responsible toward the athlete:

morally defensible way for athletes to interact is taught and as well athletes are taught that rules govern life, sports, society and the business world. "The idea that "fairness" is an out-dated concept is morally unacceptable." (Boone, 2003)

Teach that cheating is unacceptable. Even if every athlete is using supplements to gain an advantage, it is wrong and unacceptable behavior." (Boone, 2003)

Discuss the importance of the rules of sports and the ethical principles upon which sports are based, particularly with reference to moral learning and development beyond sports." (Boone, 2003)

Place emphasis on the fact that "winning at all costs is a gross misunderstanding of sports and the admirable qualities of athletes upon which others model their lives." (Ibid)

Speak out when the sports behavior of athletes, coaches, and researchers is inappropriate, especially when athletes are not taught the dignity in defeat." (Ibid)

Model, through personal and professional behavior, the thoughts and feelings of what is right and acceptable sports behavior." (Ibid)

Demonstrate a genuine commitment to fairness and honesty in sports competition. (Ibid)

Counsel individual members of the profession and athletes, in particular, to help them understand what is right and fair in athletics. (Ibid)

VI. DISCUSSION

Boone states that it was recently related to him by one of his colleagues that: "Exercise physiologists appear to lack a critical connection between building character and competitive sports." (Boone, 2003) It is additionally highlighted by Boone (2003)… [END OF PREVIEW]

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