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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 safer

Right now, athletes and coaches prioritize remaining undetected in their doping programs. If doping was permitted, there would be more training programs and guides around major leagues to ensure the safety of the players when they accept certain drugs into their bodies. Instead of a potentially dangerous underground of drug use, a more open policy on doping would decrease the possibilities of injury or even death.
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Context

Under the current system, teams are trying to develop drugs that are undetectable to testing with little concern for safety. If doping was permitted, instead of focusing on detection, enforcement bodies could focus on evaluation and monitoring athletes’ health.

The Argument

If performance enhancing drugs were permitted, attention could be turned to doping safely, rather than doping without detection. The same governing bodies that invest in detection methods, could instead invest those resources in athlete welfare and ensure athletes are doping safely. The regulation of the drugs would ensure a more guided and less potentially harmful approach to the competitive world of doping. According to BMJ Journals, "Far from harming athletes, paradoxically, such a proposal may protect our athletes. There would be more rigorous and regular evaluation of an athlete’s health and fitness to perform."[1] Athletes push their bodies to the known limits of human exertion, which sometimes results in unsafe and even deadly underground and illegal activities. However, legalizing doping would bring all of these practices out into the open and help athletes choose healthier options for themselves.

Counter arguments

Most drugs that this argument claims to be "safe" have serious mental and physical side effects on the athletes who use them. According to the USA DA, anabolic Agents like testosterone can result in "Increased aggressiveness and sexual appetite, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual and criminal behavior, often referred to as 'Roid Rage.' Withdrawal from anabolic steroid use can be associated with depression, and in some cases, suicide."[2] In 1984, even before the steroid use in the MLB, six athletes across various sports in 1984 were killed by anabolic steroids. [3] The negative effects of such a proposal outweigh the positive ones, and simply because that industry is better regulated does not mean there will not still be underground practices that can seriously harm an athlete. There should not be a debate on how detrimental these drugs can be to the body.

Premises

[P1] Because doping has been made illegal in sports, athletes often revert to unsafe and unhealthy underground practices to get the results they want. [P2] If doping was legalized and those practices were open, they could be regulated to maximize performance without harming the athete. [P3] Doping should be allowed in sport.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] The drugs that would become legal are still harmful to athletes in many ways and simply regulating them would not stop a competition for the best and heaviest use of drugs. The underground would still operate. [Rejecting P3] Doping should not be allowed in sports.

Proponents


References

  1. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/6/666
  2. https://www.usada.org/athletes/substances/effects-of-performance-enhancing-drugs/
  3. https://www.upi.com/Archives/1985/02/14/Six-athletes-dead-of-steroid-abuse-in-1984/6041477205200/

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 15:32 UTC

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