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Performance Enhancing Drugs

          Under times of enormous stress, some athletes will do anything for that gold medal or gold mine we call prize money. Most athletes train harder, practice more, and excel to reach their goals through hard work and determination. However, a few athletes try to take a harmful shortcut by doping and using performance enhancing drugs. These illegal substances have swept the ranks of amateur and professional sports organizations such as the MLB. To stop this anabolic atrocity from breaching the gates of competitive finger jousting, the WFJF has stepped up to the plate in the battle against performance enhancing drugs.

          Some of the reasons athletes take these drugs are to build muscle and skeletal mass, increase endurance, mask pain, simulate or relax the body, reduce weight, or even to hide the fact that they are using drugs; these effects vary with the type of drug taken. For instance anabolic steroids, which are derivatives of cholesterol, have a structure similar to testosterone and give the user an increase in muscle mass. The side effects are liver damage, depression, and aggression. Since the drug is similar to testosterone, it also has secondary sex characteristic side effects in men such as baldness, infertility, and breast growth, while in women hair growth, voice deepening, menstrual cycle interference, and pregnancy interference with the fetus.

          Most drugs can be tested through urine samples which are sent to labs for analysis, and the results are then given to the sport governing body. Other drugs have to be tested using blood samples. The systems used to check the samples for drugs are gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and immuno-assays. These tests are effective, but they can not check for a few drugs such as hGH, IGF-1, and EPO which tests are being developed for. If professional athletes caught using performance enhancing drugs are given a chance to clean up their act, any drug treatment cost they incur should be no object to them.

          No one is completely sure how widespread the use of performance enhancing drugs are in the United States and other countries. Major League Baseball and the Olympics have suffered substantially, in the media and in the sport, from athletes illegally using drugs to increase their physical performance. Slowly stricter regulations and punishments for drug use are being put into action, and drug tests are being administered more often. The World Finger Jousting Federation will not be administering drug tests for our competitive finger jousters (on account of our very small size and limited budget) but will rely on competitors using the honor system.

          If a finger jouster is caught with any sort of illegal or performance enhancing drug in his system, he will be banned from all tournaments for six months. If he is caught again, he will be permanently banned from ever being in a finger jousting tournament again. The usage of drugs ruins the level of competition in amateur and professional finger jousting. It unevens the playing field and can make competition hazardous not only to the drug user's health but the opponent's as well. This law may change as our tournaments get under way, but rest assure that the WFJF is going to do everything in it's power to make sure that finger jousting is kept safe from those who would wish to cheat their way to glory.

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