Legal or Not; the question that is haunting international sports

Should PEDs be legal in international sports competitions

Tyler Spellman

In 2012, one of the most controversial instances in International sports history occurred when Lance Armstrong, a winner of 7 consecutive Tour De France races, admitted that during his career, he had been blood doping to gain a competitive advantage in his competitions. “The only way you can dope and be honest is if nobody ever asks you, which is not realistic. In my case, it might be 10,000 lies because you answer it 10,000 times”, Armstrong said during an interview from when Armstrong finally admitted his blood doping while competing in cycling during his once illustrious career.

Armstrong Holding his Tour France trophy in 2005, one that would later be taken.

Armstrong was promptly stripped of his titles, but should he have been? 


The question of the legality of performance enhancing drugs in international sports has been questioned since the discovery that these PEDs could have lasting health affects on the athletes that used them.

Here is a link to the National Library of Medicine which provides insight as to what substances can be viewed as illegal in international sports

A performance enhancing drug is a substance that is used to boost any form of activity performance in humans, many international sports all around the world have banned them due to the effects that they have on the users health at a later time in life. Lets focus just on PEDs in cycling as this was the sport that likely took the biggest hit with the introduction of PEDs into competition.


When viewing the facts, it becomes quite evident that Performance Enhancing Substances should be banned from all international sports competitions as the health effects they have greatly outweighs the need to win some competition.

A substance used in cycling that can hurt the athlete is one like blood doping which is also one of the most commonly abused substances in the sport. Blood doping is the addition of red blood cells to the body which allows the body to store more oxygen, this is crucial in a cycling event where cyclists are constantly peddling and in need of Oxygen as they compete for the trophy or even medal since Cycling was added to the Olympics. This all sounds great and appealing to a cyclist until you hear about the consequences, By adding more red blood cells into the body, the blood is actually becoming thicker, increasing the amount of work the heart need to perform to pump blood throughout the body which increases the risk of a blood clot which can be harmful to that cyclist.

Here is some cyclists during an event, they are constantly peddling which is why having access to more oxygen can be crucial to them.

  Here is a link to an article that contain the actual rules for doping in international sports currently

Returning back to the incident with Lance Armstrong back in 2012, surprisingly enough, the public felt cheated and lied to at the time where he revealed his use of Blood Doping during his career; this reaction can be viewed as surprising given that almost 90% of the competitors in cycling take place in the usage of some sort of PED according to an anonymous respected international cyclist. So if the majority of competitors in the competition are using PEDs then shouldn’t they be legal, well no. The effects on health should outweigh the need to win a competition that provides no reward past a trophy, some money, pride and patriotism. 

Here is a picture of the 2019 tour de France trophy won by Colombian native Egan Bernal


While researching this topic I learned that the use of PEDs is more morality instead of legality, the main PEDs that these athletes use in International sports are harmful to them and while they know this, they are still taking them because of the athletic advantages, the current rules their respective league/organization have in place to stop them may be the best they can do, but it still may not be enough because the side effects of this drugs can and will continue to harm these athletes unless they all stop taking them, which is unlikely given the athletes willingness to take them if it when them the trophy or a gold medal, this is why PEDs should continue to be banned in International sport.

Here is a link to another article on Neirad that covers sports controversy