Lets allow athletes to use drugs

I contend that we are not serious with regard to eliminating drugs from sport. A sportsman who chooses to use drugs is not committing a felony. He is is being unethical. He knows that if he uses the latest undetectable drugs, he is most likely not going to be found out. He knows that if he is found out he will incur a 2 year ban. He knows if he gains a small edge, it could make a very significant difference to his income. Quite frankly, in this situation, I do not condemn any athlete who chooses to take drugs. I think I probably would myself. Should we state categorically, any athlete who is caught using drugs will be banned for life?

Well, I don’t know about banning them for life, but I certainly don’t see any reason why we should allow or condone drug use by atheletes. I mean, if we let them enhance themselves with unregulated drugs, why not with other random means? Give the pitcher a baseball cannon. Give the sprinter a car. Wait, what sport were we watching again?

Which ability-enhancements (such as drugs, cars, catcher’s mitts, and shoes) are allowed is defined by the sport. If you allow different ones, you’re not making better atheletes, you’re just changing the rules.

Well, which is it? You don’t hold it against them or you think they should be banned for life? Obviously, a compromise isn’t in order, because that’s the current status (2-year ban).

I don’t know which I prefer. The compromise seems the worst of all worlds. It neither sends a sufficient deterrent, nor does does it say drugs are OK. I guess that is the subject I wished to debate.

what is it that makes drugs unethical?

food fits the definition of a performance-enhancing drug. exercise helps create better atheletes. where is the line drawn, and why is it drawn there?

breaking rules against drug use might be inethical in itself, but why is the use of drugs (or more innocuous substances, such as creatine or andro) intrinsically considered unethical in sports? i remember hearing people say mark mcgwire’s feats meant nothing because he used androstenedione, which wasn’t a banned substance at the time. the rules mentioned by begbert2 happen to be rules that apply to the actual gameplay itself, not what the athletes do when they’re not performing. so what’s inethical about letting athletes do whatever they want while they’re “off the field” to improve their performance potential?

“What? I got into this car before the game!”

With slightly more clarity, the only way ‘pre-game’ and ‘training’ drug use would not be a blow to the fairness of the sport (ie: cheating) would be if the extra effects of doing so could be removed before the start of game-time. And though it’s not written into rulebooks, I’d bet that most sports autorities would agree that it’s legal for players to eat at some point before the game --in fact I’d bet that they’d agree that varying food ‘abuse’, and various kinds of extraneous physical motion as well, would be considered acceptable methods of attempting to improve your physical stature and ability to perform once the game starts. Until drug X is also generally considered similarly acceptible, then it’s not.

i appreciate this more substantive attempt at explaining yourself. my question remains, though: why is drug X not an acceptable method of improving oneself when there are plenty of ways for improving yourself that people don’t even think about, or even commend?

Probably because drugs provide an unfair advantage not available to everyone. Drugs also undermine the intent that athletes are competing based upon their natural abilities and training, not an artifical booster.

I consider drug use in sports to be cheating. I would also go so far as to support a lifetime ban of an athlete caught using illegal drugs, even to the point any and all athletic awards/medals that an athlete received prior to a bonafide determination of active illegal drug use as permanently forfeited. So that track star caught at age 21 not only is banned for life, but loses all their track awards in college, high school, grade school, etc.

Also drug use presents a rather unadmirable message: “I’m willing to risk doing my body long term damage for short-term benefits: you should too, kiddies!” Not exactly role-model material. And neither is the willingness to break the anti-drug rules to win.

Suppose you are an athlete, and there is a powerful drug that can boost your performance by at least 20%. Further, suppose that tghis drug has a very severe side effect…it can cause a heart attack (fatal) , with a 10% chance very time it is taken.
Would you risk using this drug?
Oh, and it is COMPLETELY undetectable! :rolleyes:

I think begbert2’s post immediately before yours sums it up quite nicely.

good sneakers and a strict diet, as well as access to “state-of-the-art” training facilities also provide advantages not available to everyone. so what makes the advantages certain chemicals provide “unfair”?

one of the first questions i asked remains unanswered, and it bears repeating here: where do you draw the line between an “artificial booster” and “training”? dieting should be considered training, i’m sure. what about protein loading? or using creatine? andro? substances that naturally occur in the human body, such as HGH or testosterone? where is the line drawn, and why draw it there?

in the cases where the rules prohibit it, i do, too.

The OP makes no sense.

The rules don’t say you can’t take performance enhancing drugs, they’re just saying that* this competition* will be performed without them. It’s just another rule of the game. Saying they should be able to take performance enhancing drugs is about as valid as saying a golfer should be able to pick the ball up off the tee and walk it right over to the hole and drop it in. What? It’s not illegal!

No, it’s just a rule of the game.

If drugs were part of the way the game is played, then it becomes the drugs that are competing, not the athletes.

You wanna take drugs to run faster and throw farther? Fine. You want to use a baseball bat to play tennis? Fine. Who’s stopping you? But if want to participate in THIS competition, then you follow THESE rules.

Pretty simple.

but it’s not that simple at all, as i’ve tried to demonstrate. i would like to see someone point out why performance-enhancing drugs, categorized as illegal substances, are disallowed while such things as eating, exercise, cycling creatine, or similar non-proscribed acts, are allowed.

i’ll ask again, and hope someone can answer. where does one draw the line, and why is it drawn there? acts such as meticulous dieting and exercise are commended, while certain things force some people to dismiss the things some people acheive. what is the difference, and why is it different? certainly, doing things that are against the rules is cheating, but why are those things against the rules? and why do some people dismiss certain things that are not against the rules (such as dismissing mark mcgwire’s home runs) because they used certain substances that, while not prohibited, enabled them to perform better?

One doesn’t; one plays by the rules. And why? because somebody said so. If some rules seem arbitrary, that’s exactly the point. For a level playing field, some agreed-upon authority makes decisions where arbitrarity is a factor, to preserve a consensus. It’s the consensus that’s important, not the objective scientific validity of each individual rule.

The difference between golf and cricket is defined by the difference in the rules. Likewise, the difference between “official” track and field and just running around in circles.

The agreed-upon authority, in this case, has apparently decided that the scientific factors that have always been present, throughout the history of the human body–food, exercise, etc.–will be where the line is drawn. THe competition, in other words, will be between bodies rather than between technologies.

Where it seems arbitrary, be grateful that there’s a consensus.

The distinction here is that the latter technique of cheating will almost certainly be identified by officials. Were that not the case, I am sure golfers picking their golf balls up would become a problem.

It seems to me that the size of the risks, rewards and punishments for drug cheaters does not encourage clean sport. If we want our heroes to be honest, I suggest Duckster has it right: get caught once and you are banned for life and every title you have ever won will be taken away from you.

I’m pretty some of the drugs athletes use to cheat are indeed illegal without a prescription. Steroids have a legit medical use, Some of these athletes may be able to ‘shop’ for a doctor who will prescribe them when they don’t actually need them, but that’s on very shaky ethical and legal ground as well.

The problem is this: I think a lot of the organizations that run the sports (in the US this is probably most true of Major League Baseball) are aware that a lot of people cheat. But they probably calculate that the damage that would be done by ‘outing’ these people - who likely include some popular and high-profile players - would be greater than the damage caused by some lingering, unproven doubts that some people cheat, and greater than the benefits of proving that the sport is clean. Because this is a business and too many people stand to lose money.

Ramanujan, if you haven’t noticed, some people do complain about the improvements in technology - clothing, equipment, etc. - and what they do to sports. I’m not one of them for two reasons: one, I accept that technology has to evolve, and two, I know what it feels like to play with a wooden tennis racquet.

I think there’s still a pretty obvious line between what your body can do naturally through diet and exercise (managing your diet is totally natural if you ask me, not that I do it well :p) even with the use of nice shoes, and taking drugs to enhance your performance beyond what you’d normally be able to do. I think doping runs sort of contrary to the basic idea of athletics, which is putting people on a level playing field and having the best one win.

I would have no problem with anti-drug/doping rules is they were better at enforcing them. It doesn’t seem like it’s all that hard for the high profile athletes to avoid detection. What that results in is a rather large advantage for the dishonest athletes over the honest ones. If the rule was removed it would benefit honest athletes. But the point could be moot if they are all dishonest.