Athletes and Drugs

Problem persists despite new testing requirements


Every year, it seems, dozens of well-known athletes get in trouble because of drugs. Sometimes drug use costs athletes their careers. Sometimes it costs them their lives. For every professional athlete caught using drugs—whether “recreational” drugs such as cocaine or performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids—there are hundreds of college and high school athletes who are risking the same fate. Concerned about the effects of drug use on athletes' health and on the integrity of sports competition, sports officials have instituted testing programs and severe penalties in an effort to bring the problem under control. But some experts feel drug use will remain rampant in sports as long as top athletes are lionized by fans and richly rewarded by team owners and corporate sponsors.

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