Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Drug or not to Drug?

I just don't agree. Performance enhancing drugs are so powerful that sports would turn into an R&D race. If we allow the use of designer pharmaceuticals why not prosthetics? From an ethical perspective I am not sure that athletes would avoid risky medications which offer an immediate payoff. In competitions where 0.05 seconds is significant doping would seriously skew the competitiveness of some athletes over others.

A retort might be that if we let all box car racers use NASCAR engines then things would be fair again. But then it is no longer box car racing. Along those lines I guess I would not be outraged if they had a doping Olympics and a non-doping Olympics. My sense, though, is that people are not nostalgic for the days of Sosa and McGuire and would regard the doping games much like Arena Football; as a gimmick rather than a sport.


bachrach44 said...

"... sports would turn into an R&D race"

It's not already? The question is not whether to allow new technological innovations into sports (we clearly do). The question is which ones.

Zev said...

What I meant to convey in my example of the box car racer is that currently skill and technique dwarf technology by significant orders of magnitude. Allowing doping might change that balance.

If you put Phelps in a Speedo from the 70's I trust he would still dominate the sport, and his time would only be slightly off.