Pressures to Use Performance Enhancing Drugs

Jul 25, 2013

One person saddened by the case of Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun, is UWM Kinesiology Professor Barbara Meyer. Her specialty is sports psychology.

On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended Braun for the rest of the season, because of his apparent use of performance enhancing substances.

Meyer calls such situations unfortunate for the individual and those around the person, as well as for sport, because of the doubt cast on achievement.

"Every time there's a record or a streak or some sort of incredible triumph, there (are) always whispers like that in the background now - I wonder if it was clean," Meyer said.

Meyer says she likes to think the great majority of competitors do things the natural way.

She says, if the use of enhancers is increasing, the pressure to do so may come internally - if the person wants to be successful. Meyer says perhaps an athlete wants to return from injury more quickly and turns to substances to speed repair.

According to the professor, the pressure to use enhancers could also relate to money and sponsorship deals, or perhaps to the demands society applies - by heightening expectations.

Professor believes most athletes focus on training, not an illegal advantage

Meyer says philosophical discussions are underway over the definition of performance enhancers. For example, should they include medications to increase focus or decrease nerves?