By Diana Hsieh
It is wrong for athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs? Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of his record seven Tour De France titles after allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs – particularly EPO, human growth hormone, and steroids. These drugs act to enhance vitality and endurance by increasing red blood cell count, stimulating new cell growth, and helping to regulate metabolism and immune function, respectively. Although I don't have a medical background, I can't find a moral difference between a competitive athlete taking such medications for peak performance and a regular person taking vitamins, herbs, and supplements for increased performance. Professional athletes are encouraged and expected to adopt other modern technologies such as lighter bicycle frames, carbon nanotube rackets, aerodynamic helmets, and expertly designed running shoes. So isn't it proper to embrace advances in medicine as well, so long as athletes are aware of the risks? Should we vilify such athletes on the grounds that they create an unfair advantage – or applaud them for maximizing performance via technology? Should sports leagues regulate or ban performance-enhancing drugs?My Answer, In Brief: The government should not ban performance enhancing drugs, and the arguments for doing so within private sports leagues are weak.
Download or Listen to My Full Answer:
- Duration: 27:28
- Download: MP3 Segment
- Lance Armstrong's full statement on USADA
- Wikipedia: US Anti-Doping Agency
- Arguments against Performance-Enhancing Technologies by Shawn Klein
- Beat a Urine Test Tutorial
- John Stossel on Steroids
- Netflix: Bigger Faster Stronger
A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on performance-enhancing drugs in sports, sexual values in romance, manipulating people for good ends, intellectually inferior professors, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 2 September 2012.
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