This paper demonstrates students’ ability to apply Bardach principles to a policy issue in the sport industry. Part 1: Bardach Steps 1-4 1. Start by identifying your client’s position (e.g., NFL commi 1


Bardach Principles

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Institutional Affiliation:

The use of steroids, human growth hormones and peptides is not something new

neither is it something that will end soon. Athletes have been known to use performance-

enhancing drugs, and others have been suspended for this. The medications enhance

performance and boost their energy (James, 2017), making them withstand the stress and

pressure that comes with training. For this, many use drugs to increase their pain and stress

threshold. It is, however, better to manage this problem carefully, than trying to scrape it off

at once.

Part 1: Bardach Steps 1-4

1. Start by identifying your client’s position (e.g., NFL commissioner, IOC President,


My client is a commissioner of the National Football League.

a. Include a very short summary of the power, resources, and/or authority that your

client could bring to bear on the problem.

As players continue to violate the leagues anti-doping policy, suspensions will

continue in the NFL. As they earn a living from playing soccer, this means no pay for players

as the commissioner of the NFL can suspend and ban them from playing for four years or life

in case of repeat incidences. He has the power to decide which players will take a test and

which will be active players, despite them playing during investigations. He will also get to

determine what qualifies a player for a test.

2. Select one policy problem and identify the root causes of the problem.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) begun prohibiting drugs in the ’60s but

due to pharmaceutical advancements, doping has thrived since this time. The most common

methods include the use of injections using hormone erythropoietin (EPO), blood

transfusions or taking human growth hormone. A good example is Russia’s Olympic track

and field teams as well as the whole Paralympic squad, that was banned from the Rio


It does not stop at that as other countries as Beijing and China have fallen prey to

doping. For some, the existing system has failed. The anti-doping agency is bankrupt and

would therefore not have been able to do anything concerning the Russian conspiracy had it

not been for a whistle-blower. For others, athletes should be allowed to take drugs that are not

harmful to their health. As much as this would reduce sports to a competition as to who has

the best stimulants, they think that some athletes will look for a chemical edge. To catch them

would however need more support – financial or otherwise.

3. Describe the most important consequences of the problem.

Besides an athlete using drugs to enhance their durability and increase their stress

tolerance, the use of steroids and other enhancing drugs can have detrimental effects on the

player. For those who use human growth hormone to boost their weight lifting strength, it can

lead to an enlarged heart muscle, which can be fatal. It can also weaken the body muscles.

The drugs will make the muscles look aesthetically bigger, but that does not mean that they

are healthy. In most cases, it is fluid retention. Some peptides repair soft tissue damage,

shortening the time it takes to recover from an injury. In some studies, the use of peptides

could accelerate the growth of cancer, since the death of John Manor. Many doctors worry

that some of these products are made under substandard conditions with no standards in

manufacturing. Notwithstanding, doping is shameful to both a player and the country.

a. Use both evidence and logic to demonstrate why the problem needs to be addressed.

Remember, one-sided arguments and exaggerated rhetoric are rarely convincing.

The problem needs to be controlled, as it is unethical for cheating to take place

anywhere and is not exempted in sports (Lyle, 2015). People die or their health affected due

to doping. Though there are methods as taking coffee to enhance endurance or using an

altitude tent to increase the number of red blood cells, the use of body enhancers and

chemically produced stimulants have a detrimental effect to the athletes.

As 1 – 3% of athletes test positive for the banned substance, another 29 – 45% admit

to doping (Lyle, 2015). It clearly shows that doping will not end soon. Though with the rise

in technological and pharmaceutical advancement, it can be thought that dopers will be

caught or suspended, it is not usually the case. Athletes will look for ways to cheat tests or

being caught. The numbers are however high due to them using various drugs in low

quantities, or by blood transfusion which is hard to detect.

Instead of fighting it, solutions as physiological doping can be used where blood

counts and hormones have a limit (Gershon, 2016). Instead of focusing on how the results

were achieved, more focus should be on how safe these products are. Health issues are what

the main concerns of doping are. Many have died from health issues related to the use of

these drugs, and this should be the main reason it should be addressed.

4. Provide four to five credible policy alternatives that merit your client’s


Credible alternatives as physiological doping and use of functional foods are some of

the acceptable options to doping. Also, an athlete can decide not to take these drugs. Given

that there are natural doping methods as the use of caffeine and altitude tents, an athlete can

choose to boost their performance naturally.

a. Explain the rationale behind each alternative and provide sufficient detail about

how it would work. (Proposed alternatives should be conceptually distinct rather than

slight variations of one another. One of your options should be a “do nothing” or

“status quo” choice. Describe it in the same level of detail as your other alternatives.)

As it is not necessary for athletes to use body enhancer, they have the option of not using

these drugs at all. It will, however, be unfair given that other players use the pills to enhance

performance. Should an athlete still take these drugs then physiological doping should act to

limit blood count and hormones to a certain level. After this, too much levels can be

investigated. Use of functional foods is another way to enhance performance as well as a

proper diet during training, which will give the athlete the needed energy and strength.

b. Describe the evaluation criteria that you believe should drive the decision about

which alternative to select. (Bear in mind that your standards must be operationalized

in your Final Policy Analysis; you are not developing criteria for use during policy

implementation. Be specific about how your tests would be operationalized in an

analysis. Some requirements may be necessary not because your client cares about

them, but because other stakeholders care about them. Do not describe how your

alternatives will fare concerning the criteria; describe the requirements. This Framing

Memo will form the foundation for your Final Policy Analysis.

As the use of some of these drugs could cause death, it should be a source of concern

when healthy athletes suddenly die or become sick due to the use of these performance drugs.

There other symptoms as an increased risk of high blood pressure as well as blood clots,

which should be used to decide on which player takes a test. These athletes can be tested for

increased hormones or blood count, and urine samples should be checked. Though it may

take some time, it is still important to catch a suspicious amount of these drugs in athletes

system before it is late.

Part 2: Bardach Steps 5-7 (your paper represents step 8).

5. The student should project the performance of alternatives

Though an alternative that most seem to agree to includes giving athletes a chance to

use these drugs, it should be clear that the levels need to be monitored and it should not be

harmful. But given that doping has been around for a long while, only means that people need

to accept now that doping is indeed a real problem that will not go away anytime soon. With

this, there are ways of monitoring an athlete’s hormones and blood levels. Dangerously high

amounts should be a cause for alarm and in severe cases could be the reason why a player is

suspended. Various foods also enhance performance and add body muscle and strength.

6. Assess the trade-offs among alternatives

Combined, they are not as fast and as effective as the enhancing drugs being used.

Also, as it is a problem, it should be first controlled instead of eliminated. It still bears with it

the unethical title the sports industry is known for.

6. Recommend an alternative.

My alternative would be physiological doping. In as much as it is a menace, it can be

controlled but not eliminated. Control means that an athlete can use these drugs, but to a

certain level as above, that would have consequences in their health of in their career. As it

cannot be eradicated at once, it is better to maintain these hormone levels to a safe amount

before deciding to do away with doping in a slow regimen completely.

a. About step seven, make sure to explain WHY you have chosen that alternative. The

analysis should demonstrate the student understands course readings and be based both

on logic and on the presentation and critique of relevant evidence. Make sure you

briefly articulate the essential trade-offs your client’s faces.

Though my client may want to do away with any form of doping, it has to be

understood that it is hard to do away with it at once. As athletes will cheat either way one

time in their career, it only makes sense to keep these numbers under check for their health.

Instead, I think the commissioner should meet the athletes in the middle and allow it only to a

certain amount. Should an athlete decide not to dope, then that is their choice. It, however,

would breach sport ethics and the anti-doping policies put in place to discourage the use of

performance-enhancing drugs to take advantage over their competitors.

Maybe athletes are becoming more stronger and faster, the use of doping has however

still been used to enhance these performances at an undetectable level. Whether or not doping

takes place, it is an issue that affects everyone. Support is needed, and various other ways of

building muscles should be sought. As these drugs are linked with health complications, it is

better to control levels until we can do away with doping in a slow process.


James, S. (2017). Encyclopaedia of Exercise Medicine in Health and Disease. Vol. 4(5), p.

123 – 126

Lyle, J. (2015). Encyclopaedia of Sports Medicine. Vol. 32(2), p. 204 – 206

Gershon, T. (2016). Encyclopaedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Vol. 22 (3), p. 233 –



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