Sandor Earl is a great example to use in examining the ethical considerations for return to play and the pressures on athletes to return quickly. In 2013 Sandor Earl was charged with the use of an illegal substance and trafficking that substance. Sandor Earl speaks out in his interview on the Footy Show giving us a glimpse into the young players motives and confusion (ethical considerations-pressure to participate) in the use of the banned peptide (amino acid/protein). Sandor is a great example to use as you analyse the use of drugs in sport, but an even better example for Sports Medicine: How is Injury Rehabilitation managed? Return to play – ethical considerations.
In this interview Sandor Earl speaks of the pressures to participate that were on him and why he did not hesitate at the opportunity to speed up his recovery from a double shoulder reconstruction. Sandor says that after the shoulder reconstruction his career was very much a “make or break” situation. He was introduced to Dank by his strength and conditioning coach as someone who might be able to help him recover faster from his surgery. Dank was a Sport Scientist working as a “support person” to the club. As Sandor considered this from an ethical point of view he did not hesitate to trust Dank.
Dank described a treatment he could provide to “reduce my injury time by three months”, revolving around amino acids or peptides. The treatment was basically injections of peptides into the shoulder. Sandor believed that Dank was working with the club and was not giving him a banned substance. Sandor says “I asked him: can I get in trouble for this, is this a banned substance?” and Dank assured him on a number of occasions that this was not a banned substance (ethical considerations).
Sandor says he was convinced he was not taking a banned substance because he was taking amino acids, which are proteins used to rebuild muscle and other tissue in the body. However, Sandor admits that he was “a bit naive” as Dank did tell him not to tell everyone else at the club. But Sandor believed he could trust Dank as Dank was taking him to legitimate medical practices and sports clinics to be administered with the peptide.
Sandor was also banned for trafficking the banned substance, which occurred simply by picking up some files for Dank and taking them to the medical practitioner who was administering the substance through injections.
Sandor says he “takes full responsibility” for his actions.
The focus for Sports Medicine and ethical considerations under return to play are the pressures upon Sandor who then chose to take a substance that he thought was not banned. Whether Sandor knew he was cheating or not, the ethical considerations around the pressures on an athlete to take drugs to speed recovery or remove pain to return to the game is important to examine for HSC PDHPE.
He knew that there was “definitely a tough road ahead” after his shoulder reconstruction and needed to recover as fast as possible in order to maintain or get another contract (pressure to participate – ethical considerations). Dank was meant to help out with the shoulder recovery in what Sandor describes as a “time of need”. Dank offered treatments to Sandor that he said could “reduce my injury time by three months, which is of course very appealing to me” (ethical considerations – pressure to participate). Dank had successfully treated other athletes and seemed a legitimate rehabilitation professional.
Sandor was under great pressure to return to the game in order to ensure his career was not lost. the faster the recovery the more likely he was to continue playing in the NRL. A great example to examine for return to play, ethical considerations – pressure to participate.