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< Back to question Should doping be allowed in sport? Show more Show less

Vast resources are dedicated to detecting and punishing doping among athletes in professional sport. Despite the punishments, many competitors use performance-enhancing drugs anyway. Should doping be allowed in sport? Would it be better to let athletes take what they want? Or should doping be managed and controlled to create a more level playing field, rather than granting unfair advantage?

Yes, doping should be allowed Show more Show less

Doping has been around for centuries. It is impossible to eliminate. Resources would be better spent working out how to keep athletes safe while doping, rather than trying to find dopers.
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Doping would make sport more about talent and less about genetics

Currently, sport is more a test of genetic supremacy. Doping could make sporting success a better reflection of talent and technique.
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A great deal of an athlete’s success is determined by their genetic potential. A person’s height dictates their basketball talents, those with the ACE gene are better long-distance runners, and genetic mutations that increase competitors red blood cell counts are afforded an advantage in aerobic disciplines.

The Argument

Professional sport is a genetic lottery and is only marginally influenced by talent. If doping were permitted, and anyone could theoretically achieve the same level of biological performance, then it might make professional sport more talent-focused than genetic-focused.

Counter arguments

This is a short-sighted view. If anything, allowing performance-enhancing drugs into professional sport would make it more focused on genetics. Imagine what happens when the long-distance runner with the ACE gene and an abnormally high red blood cell count takes strychnine. The gap between “natural” athletes that did not take performance-enhancing drugs and those that did would widen to such an extent that the upper echelons of sports would only be available to the competitors that had both a genetic and chemically-induced advantage.


[P1] Those with a genetic predisposition that lends itself to success in a certain sport dominate the elite level of the sport. [P2] Doping would offset many of these genetic advantages. [P3] Therefore, permitting doping in sport would make it less about genetics and more about talent.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Those with genetic advantages would dope as well. [Rejecting P3] Therefore, sport would not become more about natural talent. Genetic advantage would remain a major conduit for success.


    This page was last edited on Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 16:37 UTC

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