When thinking back on my own personal experience with sports, I have come to the conclusion that I have never sacrificed ethics for an athletic victory, nor have I witnessed any of my teammates behave in an unethical way. Perhaps I can attribute this to the nature of the sports I have played. I have individually competed in sailing races and tennis tournaments throughout high school and have also participated in the team sports of field hockey and lacrosse. In all those years, I mostly remember how much sportsmanship was preached to me. My coaches would not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct and made sure that we always displayed kind behavior throughout all competitions. I may not have experienced unethical behavior first-hand, but I do know that it exists in the realm of sports. Even from just playing board games against my sister, I know that nothing makes me madder then when someone cheats. I am a firm believer that no one should cheat to gain an unfair advantage.
World-wide, in competitive sports, I am most annoyed by the amount of steroid usage that is present. Athletic competitions these days are plagued by the use of steroids, which is cheating, plain and simple. Due to the highly competitive nature of most sports, athletes often lose sight of their own values and become ruthless to do whatever it takes to win. So much pressure is placed on athletes to perform the best, which makes steroids look pretty enticing to them. Steroids may seem like the easy way out, especially if the punishment for taking the drugs isn’t that severe or strictly enforced. Steroids give athletes an unfair advantage over their competitors and disrupt the natural status quo of sport victories.
Professional athletes are role models for so many people. They are admired based on their achievements. Young people who are just starting up their sports careers look up to these athletes and may not think that the drug is that bad if their role model is taking it. This can be damaging to society as a whole. In addition, I should still mention the destructive damage that these drugs do to the natural growth of the body.
The unethical use of steroids in sports is very similar to unethical practices in business. Athletes that use steroids fall victim to the mistake of short-termism thinking. Sure, if you take steroids, in the short term you will experience agreeable results. It is the easy option to achieve your immediate goals of perhaps gaining muscle, or getting bigger or stronger. However, it is important for these athletes to not lose sight of the long run. Steroids are damaging to not only the athletes but also to society. The same is true for companies that focus on short-termism—companies that do anything to raise their stock price and manipulate their balance sheet to look good for investors. Taking steroids is equivalent to not disclosing something in your balance sheet. Athletes, as well as companies, need to be honest. We need to level the playing field so that no one feels the pressure to take these terrible performance enhancing drugs that should be eliminated from all sports.