Doping among high school athletes is a problem that needs to be addressed

Daniel Greilsheimer, Staff Writer

Doping among high school athletes is an issue that needs to be addressed and solved immediately. Unfortunately, the number of teens who report trying anabolic steroids at least once has steadily increased from 5% to 7% since 2012, according to Healthline. Common drugs used for doping are synthetic Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Creatine, as they can help increase a person’s athletic abilities.

Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) are a form of cheating because they give some athletes an unfair advantage over others. Often high school athletes dope because they are “late bloomers” and are not performing as well as they want to be. It has been proven that using PEDs as a teenager is connected with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems, psychiatric disorder, and stunted development later in life, according to US News.

While in the short term, doping gives athletes an advantage, there are serious health concerns that can result in lifelong problems. This is because steroids such as HGH are most often obtained by prescription or can be bought illegally. This type of drug use is addictive and may lead to other drugs, creating an addiction.

So, should high school athletes be tested for doping? The answer is yes because doping leads to unfair performance, health concerns, and a road towards addiction. The unfair advantage could lead that athlete’s team to a county, state, or national championship and might receive many awards that come with such a dominant performance.

“Athletes should be tested for doping because if athletes do drugs, it will affect the way they play sports and the way their whole team plays sports, which is unfair,” said sophomore Isabelle Kitay.

A high school athlete abusing steroids may perform better under the use of these drugs, but the athletes who perform spectacularly without steroids are more well-deserving.

The drug-using athletes may not need the drugs to perform well, but no one will ever know how they performed without them. This is the reason why former baseball sluggers, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, who are some of the most dominant players of all time and hold numerous records, are not in the Hall of Fame.

Additionally, because teenagers are rarely drug tested, athletes can easily abuse steroids and enhance their performance. This takes away opportunities from deserving student-athletes.

“If they don’t test it at the high school level, they may continue to use it if they become a professional player. This can also help them get scholarships, so it is unfair to others,” said sophomore Chris Yan.

Furthermore, colleges require drug tests, so if a star athlete is using PEDs at the high school level, they are cheating the system to not only gain free college for themselves, but to take it away from other, more deserving athletes.

Taking steroids can be just as addictive as other, more potent drugs. Steroids increase health concerns later in life; therefore it would be better for drug testing to go on earlier, as a teenager, to prevent an addiction to PEDs.

Schools and adults who care about the academic success of their students should also care about their physical well-being.

“If high school athletes do drugs, then it will affect them emotionally, mentally, aside from their sports. Taking PEDs can compromise their future health, and drug testing could combat that, stopping the drug use early enough to prevent a life of addiction,” said sophomore Sadie Mandel.

Doping is becoming an issue at the high school level, and a preventative stance needs to be taken by school districts to stop an addiction to the steroid and to end unfair play.

Athletes using PEDs may unfairly win athletic awards, titles, and even a scholarship, over deserving non-users. More importantly, it is the moral duty of schools to ensure the general welfare of their students. Therefore, doping needs to be tested for on the high school level to prevent unfair play, addiction, and long-term health consequences.