MANILA — Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has proposed under House Bill No. 5690 the mandatory drug tests for all professional and non-professional athletes in the country.
HB 5690 is entitled “An Act requiring drug tests for professional and non-professional athletes, amending for the purpose Section 36 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and for other purposes.”
“Fitness and health are among the primary concerns of athletes. Since the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) have negative side effects on the body, athletes should be prevented from using such substances. PEDs do not only damage the body, they are also considered as cheats in the sports world,” Arroyo said.
Article 3 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act requires drug testing for specific individuals. Among those required to undergo drug testing are applicant for driver’s license, applicants for firearm’s license, employees of private and public offices, students, among others.
The list provided in Article 3 does not include the country’s athletes, Arroyo noted.
Arroyo said that a big part of an athlete’s career is dedicated on intense physical training and strenuous exercise to stay in shape, which is key to a successful career in sports. Athletes, she added, face constant pressure to improve their skills and abilities to remain at a competitive level and increase their chances of winning.
“The competitive drive to win can be fierce. Some take it very seriously that they result to taking performance-enhancing drugs,” she pointed out.
PEDs are substances that boost the body’s physical capabilities and therefore improve one’s performance. But taking PEDs have its consequences as these may, according to medical experts, cause hypertension, heart problems, and psychiatric disorders, among several other serious illnesses, the author explained.
Arroyo stressed that her bill, now referred to the Committee on Dangerous Drugs, does not only seek to protect Filipino athletes from the harmful effects of PEDs, it will also show that the Philippines does not tolerate the use of dangerous drugs to enhance performance of its athletes.
“And more important, the bill will compel athletes to put in the necessary hard work, discipline and determination to attain success without the use of PEDs,” she concluded.