It is hard to believe that some athletes take performance-enhancing drugs. Athletes are viewed at such a high standard, at times seen as heroes.
Maria Sharapova views many as the best women’s tennis layer in the world in the tennis world. She was a five-time Grand Slam champion and ranked number one in the world in women’s. During the Australian Open, she was prescribed Meldonium to protect her heart tissue. It would regulate her metabolism. The drug also enhances the person’s endurance performance, rehabilitation after exercise, and the central nervous system functions. It also protects the user’s mind by taking off stress. However, Meldonium recently brought attention to the World Anti-Doping Agency, and they banned it in January 2016. She had to retire after how big the scandal was.
“Tennis, I’m saying goodbye,” said Sharapova on her Twitter account.
In track & field, there was a top American talent by the name of Tyson Gay. He was expected to give Usain Bolt a hard time in the 100-meter dash at the Moscow World Championships in 2013. Although, he tested positive for a banned substance and was removed from the tournament. The following year he was banned for a full year, and he gave up his Olympic silver medal he won representing the United States 4×100 meter team in London. Gay admitted about the doping, yet he blamed it on someone else.
“I put my trust in some and was let down,” said Gay on ABC news.
Taking it to soccer, Diego Maradona was viewed as the best player in the world at the time. When the World Cup came in 1994, people believed he wouldn’t have much impact due to his age. He registered a goal and an assist in the first round against Greece and Nigeria, both victories. However, six hours before facing Bulgaria, he was taken off from the tournament after testing positive for five different ephedrine forms. It is a drug that increases energy and alertness. It also sped up his metabolism so he could lose weight faster.
“I am tired of all those who said I was fat and no longer the great Maradona. They will see the real Diego at the World Cup,” said Maradona on the Argentine news media before leaving for the United States.
For the UFC, Anderson Silva was viewed as untouchable and the best middleweight fighter. He won 10 straight title defenses for his middleweight champion belt. He was in the conversation as the greatest fighter of all time until he tested positive for steroids. This news came after winning against fighter Nick Diaz at UFC 183. Silva said it was due to a sexual enhancement drug one of his friends gave him, but the commission didn’t listen to any of it. He accepted a one-year sanction, but now his career is over.
One doping scandal well known throughout the world is of the cyclist Lance Armstrong. For years they questioned him if he was taking any drug. He denied it year after year. Until the year 2013 on the Oprah Winfrey show, he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. He had a picture of one of the brightest sports icons. He used testosterone and human growth hormone and EPO. EPO is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys, which stimulates red blood cell production. It increases the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles, which improves recovery and endurance.
“All the fault and all the blame here falls on me; I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated many times, I made my decision, they are my mistakes, and I am sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say I’m sorry for that,” said Armstrong on the Guardian.
There are various scandals of athletes doping. Athletes show magnificent talent and power that some view as superheroes. Yet, sometimes they may deceive you.