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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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Policing doping is futile

Athletes and coaches are always one step ahead. They have more resources than the governing bodies and there will always be those that remain undetected, creating an artificial competitive advantage.
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Context

Athletes are always one step ahead of the testing bodies. They use designer drugs to escape detection and most offenders are not caught.

The Argument

The Lance Armstrong scandal shed light on the reality of doping in professional sport. The cyclist famously never recorded a positive test for doping, despite using performance enhancing drugs rigorously and encouraging others to do so. [1] The Armstrong incident reveals the futility in banning doping. Athletes will always be one step ahead and detection rates will never reflect the full extent of those doping. If the governing bodies do not have the resources or technology to eradicate doping from sport, which they evidently don’t, then they should permit doping. Because continuing on with a situation where only a handful of perpetrators are caught affords those that can dope undetected an even greater advantage and undermines the premise of an even playing field in professional sport.

Counter arguments

If athletes are getting away with doping, we shouldn't throw in the towel and just permit performance enhancing drugs in sports. A far better response would be to invest more resources into policing to help governing bodies get ahead. The police play a game of cat and mouse with drug dealers, but they don't just accept their limitations and legalize all drugs. They invest more, develop new policing strategies and try to get ahead of the dealers. The same should apply to doping in sport.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Athletes and coaches will always be a step ahead of governing bodies. [P2] Therefore, there will always be doping in sport. [P3] Therefore, the only way create a level playing field is to permit doping among all athletes.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Permitting doping is not the logical solution. Increasing investment in policing and detection is.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/10/sport/opinion-russia-doping-london-2012/index.html

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 17:02 UTC