Sport is so much a part of daily life for so many Australians. An Australian child is brought up to idolise their sporting heroes and to pursue the sport itself. It is devastating to think that maybe our sporting heroes are cheats. Today students are being pressured to perform at higher levels to make the first team, representative side or a sporting scholarship at a Greater Public Schools (GPS) which then could lead to the opportunity to make a break into the professional sporting teams.

With the increase of drug use young players start thinking that taking performance enhancing drugs is necessary to ‘make it’. The competition in sports is so fierce it amounts to a huge build up on players and teams to perform, including the pressure from big business asking for ‘more’ because the more the players can give and entertain crowds means that demand for the game will rise which in turn means more money at the gates.

The power and influence of Australian sport can be seen in its net worth “Sport in Australia generated a net income of $8. billion in 2004/2005”. The organisations that are running ‘Game Day’ have only one objective and that is to keep the broadcaster and punters happy and paying money, if this happens the businesses are happy. This is a vicious cycle for agencies who are trying to stop drug doping in sport, because businesses are so money hungry they feel no need to invest in the athletes welfare. More testing needs to be implemented for GPS athletes and they need to be educated that you can still be the best without cheating.

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Currently no Anti-doping policy exists in Toowoomba Grammar or the GPS schools, the purpose of this document is to outline the need for an Anti-doping policy and make some practical suggestions. Within the last year the Australian Crime Commission has had some major findings involving the use of prohibited substances such a peptides, growth hormones, and illicit drugs, they now know that these drugs are wide spread throughout Australian sport, Ex-ASADA chairman Richard Ings says “it’s the blackest day in Australian sport’”. Sports are constantly changing because of the improved ability, performance and technology that have been developed.Take Rugby Union as an example, rules are constantly modified each year and the use of technology in training and equipment has advanced dramatically to improve players performance on and off the field. Doping in sport is also constantly changing within the sports to become more and more advanced and easier to consume but harder to trace. It is a continual race against the agencies who are trying to stop drug use and the sellers. Where do we draw the line for performance enhancing ? There are similarities between the new technologies and training methods, and what drugs can achieve.Such as training at altitude or taking erythropoietin. Some of these differences will also remain arguable, but with improved technology laboratories are catching up with the dopers to find the ‘cheats’. There are many different methods to detect drugs that have been introduced into the body, they can be detected in urine, blood, other body fluids, and in hair. The most commonly used test is urinalysis. Athletes are asked for a sample of urine, a supervisor will watch and collect the sample to eliminate the chance of a sample switch.Chemical tests are then carried out on the urine sample which will then determine the presence of an illegal drug itself or the chemical produced during the breakdown of the drug in the body. With an increase in the number of hi-tech laboratories they are able to test a number of samples in different ways to gain the most accurate reading. Also more players being able to be tested will give the most accurate results. This has had a number of positive outcomes, but it is still believed that this is a poor indicator as to how prevalent doping actually is.The recognition of those elite athletes that have tested positive does not mean that the ‘war on doping’ is being won because it is impossible to estimate how many athletes are actually still taking drugs but getting away with it. There are many different drug agencies trying to stop the use of these illicit substances, organizations such as Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)and Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) have many different anti-doping policies to prevent drug use in elite sport.As well as the Australian Crime Commission who are out trying to prevent substances getting into Australia’s top sports, but none of them concentrate on the issue of drugs within school sport. The following document will present a number of recommendations about anti-doping that could be adopted into the GPS sporting competitions which is one of Queensland’s major school sporting competitions. I believe that the neglect towards drug testing will lead to further drug use in the future and the continual development of new drugs will compound this issue in professional sport.It is very important to introduce the anti-doping policy into the GPS system so that our future generations will be prevented from drug use before they get into elite sport. Pressure to perform and succeed is one of the main causes of using banned substances, pressure such as making the first team or for the team to be more competitive within the GPS competition. This is taken very seriously throughout the 9 schools, also the hand out of school scholarships to outstanding players in their sporting field or even social factors like body image.There is decent evidence that schools are being affected by drugs, such as the incident that that occurred at the Nudgee College campus, Nudgee is a part of the GPS and is one of the state’s elite sporting schools. On Tuesday (30th April 2013) “Two students at St Joseph’s Nudgee College, aged 16 and 17, were arrested on Tuesday on charges of possession and supply of steroids. Both were expelled. – College Principal Daryl Hanly said the arrests were not linked to the school’s highly-touted athletic program. This example of the presence of drugs within such a notable school shows us how the schools actually deal with drugs, even though the Principal says that the drugs are not linked to the school’s athletic program and that the boys consuming the drugs were purely for body image to further their underwear modelling career. Because there has been some use of drugs within a school there must be action by ASADA, highlighting the need to introduce school sports into their anti-doping policy and investigations. At the moment the only measures in place is that of School Sports Australia saying. School Sport Australia condemns the use of any prohibited substances and methods in sport by students participating in its programs as it is contrary to the ethics of sport and potentially harmful to the health of athletes”. There is nothing towards investigating whether the teams are using drugs or not, School Sports Australia are saying no, but that is not enough an assumption can be made from the evidence provided that students are out there using illicit drugs to enhance their performance and are not being found out.If any Anti-Doping policies were to be put in place in the GPS I believe there are two main recommendations that I consider essential to an Anti-Doping Policy. The first recommendation that should be considered when introducing an Anti-Doping policy into the GPS of Queensland should be drug testing. I believe it should follow along the same lines as Australian Sports Commission Anti-Doping Policy. Testing Procedure: Testing should only apply to athletes that have been selected to compete in a State Representative team for all GPS sports like Rugby, Swimming, and Athletics.Each athlete must complete a medical declaration that states all prescribed drugs, counter medications, and supplements taken over the last week. Officials need to recognise if any of the substances are on the prohibited list, and ensure the athlete holds a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). This form is then signed by the athlete, coach and official and each are given a copy of the declaration. The athletes must agree to submit and comply with testing by an Anti-Doping Organisation, this may be a urine, blood, other body fluids, and hair.Athletes will be tested only once parents have been notified, testing will then take place in the presence of the sports coach at any time. Samples collected will be laboratory tested under the same Policy as the Australian Sports Commission. If any tests are positive they notify School Sport Australia and they will impose their penalties which can be found in there Student Behaviour Team Management Procedures. Penalties which may include being banned from GPS sport, but the school will make the decision as to whether the student will be expelled or not.The second recommendation that should be considered when introducing an Anti-Doping policy should be aimed towards creating awareness in schools through education. All Students from Year 8 to Year 12 must have a class during the sporting season. Athletes that are selected into the GPS teams must be re-educated. Education: All GPS schools must meet and agree on an Anti-Doping curriculum content and implementation time table. The curriculum must include the awareness of: * The health risks involved in drug use Cheating and by taking drugs you are gaining an unfair advantage * The consequence of being caught doping I will use the Individual level of Figueroa’s framework to justify why I have considered testing procedures as one my recommendations that need to be in place for GPS schools. The individual level is very personalised and involves our own attitudes, values and beliefs. The factors that influence a student to take drugs at the individual level is pressure to perform at a high level. They become targeted by the dealers and the access to drugs becomes more prevalent.To use the Cranbrook School boy as an example, he knowingly took steroids but because there were no anti-doping testing procedures in place he then thought that it was fine to be a cheat, because he didn’t believe he would get caught. If all young sportsmen were randomly being tested and they knew from the first declaration form that they signed that what they are taking is or isn’t prohibited. This will eliminate taking drugs. The first recommendation will not rid us of the pressure or accessibility but more so deter from such factors.It does not seem very stereotypical for a GPS student to be taking drugs for it goes against all GPS schools beliefs and culture of sportsmanship and honesty. This is why I have chosen my second recommendation to be education. The Cultural level of Figueroa’s framework is concerned with the assumptions, norms and values within the GPS culture, as I have mentioned before the stereotypical GPS student when educated with the recommendation in place would have been taught to say no to drugs and doping, hence reinforcing the schools moral values.Supported by the recent press article, “Schools urged to spell out risks of sports drugs” The Age May 18 2013. The reasoning behind selecting only the athletes that made a representative side comes down to cost, and effort. It would be too difficult to test every student who makes a firsts side and it would cost too much and the extensive paper work would be too much for any sports administrator. By educating all grades from years 8-12 it fills in the gaps of the first recommendation.Gymnastics is said to be the ‘clean sport’ having only 3 Olympic doping cases, all of which have said to be accidental where the gymnast has taken medication unknown to the fact that they are a banned substance. I believe that the gymnastics have such little doping cases because “98 percent of the athlete members are under 18 years of age. ” Because of the younger age, gymnasts coaches have to go through a criminal background check to be allowed to coach, and parents are much more involved in the gymnasts sporting decisions. “parents are to be given the highest degree of onfidence that their children are not only receiving good care and proper instruction, but also are safe from negative and improper conduct. ” With the amount of care that is given to the gymnasts it shows that the constant cycle between parents and coaches reduces the amount of doping in the sport. In my experience in school sport I can say that this relationship between parents and coaches also exists, with the coaches usually being teachers who have all been through background checks to get the job at the prestigiious GPS school.So why are we still seeing drugs used in schools? I have confidence that the reason for this is because there is no testing in place and their athletes are not scared or threatened about the risk of taking the drugs because they feel they won’t get caught. School athletes are also unaware. As a student I have not been lectured about drugs in sport and I am unaware of the consequences and risks of taking drugs. I believe the two recommendations I have made, implementing a testing procedure and educating students should be introduced at Toowoomba Grammar School and all GPS schools.Through greater awareness of the moral values together with a serious threat of being caught through testing and the resultant penalties, drug use at school will be prevented. I believe if students from Year 8 start to learn that taking performance enhancing drugs is wrong then by the time they have reached a professional level they are very aware of the policies and less inclined to use drugs and suffer the consequences. Alarming statistics such as these quoted below form research conducted in America would be prevented with the adoption of the proposed recommendations. Monitoring the Future” study revealed that there has been a significant rise in the number of steroids among the school age children community from 1991-2002. In this survey, 22 percent of 8th graders, 33. 2 percent of 10th graders, and 46. 1 percent of 12th graders said that it is “fairly easy” for them to obtain steroids.

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Drugs in Sport. (2018, Jun 18). Retrieved from

Drugs in Sport
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