Ban drug positive athletes

Russian competitors involved in mass dopings


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Sprinter Justin Gatlin was allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics even after multiple doping scandals.

Elite athletes from all around the world traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer to compete in 2016 Olympics. However, there was a lack of Russian athletes from the rosters of many of the sports.

This is because the Olympic Committee has issued a ban against Russia that stems back to a worldwide scandal from the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics. It was revealed that numerous Russian athletes had participated in a state-sponsored doping program.

In response to the scandal, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) established bans on Russian athletes from competing in the Rio Olympics.

The IOC decided on a total ban in the athletic events (track and field), partial bans in sports like wrestling and aquatics, but other sports such as fencing and tennis were not affected.

The IOC was correct in prohibiting these athletes to compete as it is absolutely unfair and unsportsmanlike for any competitor to take performance enhancing drugs.

China also had a huge state-sponsored doping problem back in the 1900s, and even American sprinter Justin Gatlin (won silver in the 100m dash) was tested positive more than one time for banned substances.

It is ridiculous that Gatlin was allowed back into the sport after several bans throughout the 2000s. Regardless of the athlete’s nationality, he or she should not be permitted to ever compete again once faced with a substance charge. The same rule should be applicable to high school student-athletes as well.

Many student-athletes around the country take performance enhancing drugs due to pressure in situations such as defending a state title, or securing a position on a collegiate team.

In Virginia, when a school fails to take action against banned substances, the Virginia High-School League (VHSL) will determine the consequences. The league will either give a warning, probation, suspension or fine. The school in question can also be stripped of any championships that were won.

Not only is it humiliating for everyone in the community when an athlete is caught with drugs, it can have permanent and serious impact to the student’s health. Steroids cause problems which include: increased cholesterol, severe liver damage and aggressive behavior.

Fortunately, the athletic department has been very strict in accordance with regulations. This truly defines our beliefs and shows that our school values great sportsmanship and fairness in competition.

From the international level to high school competitions, the use of drugs to help an athlete win is a despicable act.

A successful athlete should not only be defined by the number of medals and trophies won, but also by his or her character.