The use of drugs is sport is always a hot topic around the globe. There are many people who were considered possibly the greatest athletes of all time, who, due to the use of drugs, have now shamed the sport and their name (e.g. Lance Armstrong). For HSC PDHPE use of drugs needs to be considered from an ethical perspective, not just a performance enhancing view point.
The use of drugs in sport requires you to have a general understanding of how performance-enhancing drugs work and the risks associated with them, in order to justify why the use of drugs is considered unethical (you should not try to say it is… ever).
You are also required to understand the role of drug testing, and argue issues related to this testing. So although the benefits and limitations of drug testing is just a dash point below, the learn to makes it very important for you to examine.
Students learn about:
- use of drugs
Students learn to:
- justify the reasons drugs are considered to be unethical and carry a range of risks for the athlete
- argue issues related to drug testing such as:
- at what level of competition should drug testing be introduced?
- which drugs should be tested for?
- what are the pros and cons of drug testing?
- what should be the consequences of drug use?
The syllabus also has a teacher note for the use of drugs in sport. It says
Students need only a general understanding of the performance-related effects of, and the harm associated with, using drugs. Ethical considerations – such as fair play versus cheating, whether the drug use is for personal success or because sport is ‘big business’ – need to be explored.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read through the following articles:
- Performance effects and harms associated with drug use
- Fair play vs cheating
- Personal success or big business
You may also like to check out Sandor Earls interview with the Footy Show as you consider the pressures on athletes and how the use of drugs can affect athletes.
Past HSC PDHPE exam questions
2010 Question 30
(a) (i) What is ONE benefit and ONE limitation of drug testing? 2 Marks
(a) (ii) Why are performance enhancing drugs considered unethical in sport? 6 Marks
2012 Question 32
(b) Evaluate the risks and ethical issues related to the use of drugs to improve performance. 12 Marks