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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?

Some doping should be allowed Show more Show less

Doping in a heavily regulated environment could build a more level playing field in professional sport.
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Doping can be used to level the playing field

Performance enhancing drugs can be effective tools to create a level playing field between competitors. Natural talent, rather than predetermined genetics, would be the sole determiner of success in sports. Athletes with already unfair advantages entering into their respecting sports would no longer benefit from their simple biology.
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Context

Doping could be used to create a more level playing field for athletes if it were permitted under unique circumstances.

The Argument

Doping could be used to offset the competitive advantage some athlete’s gain through factors like genetics. For example, testosterone could be administered to competitors with naturally lower levels than their fellow competitors, or Epogen could be administered to competitors with a lower red blood cell count, thereby ensuring all athletes are starting from the same biological position and amplifying the role of natural talent, technique, and training in sporting success. According to Forbes.com, "The elite sport has become the domain of the gifted, and in some form, may be biased against the disadvantaged. Biological manipulation through enhancement drugs is a means for some to level the playing field."[1] The equality of sport elevates the game to a more competitive and entertaining level, and those athletes who would not have normally gained an advantage solely from their predetermined genetic makeup would reap great benefits from these drugs. Most proponents of this idea argue for the regulation of PEDs in sports, but that they should not be banned altogether. Doping in sports can seriously alter the way sported unfolds at the highest level, and a leveling of the playing field would catapult the sporting world into a whole new realm of possibilities.

Counter arguments

1. Though a level playing field is often mentioned within the context of socio-economic difference, it has no place in the sporting world, especially not involving PEDs. The beauty in sport itself is that the naturally gifted AND the hardworking attitudes of the most elite athletes can go hand in hand. Drugs like testosterone would give those who choose to use them an unfair advantage over those who do not choose to participate in that regiment. 2. Additionally, doping is essentially cheating the biological game when sports should be purely based on natural talent and skill rather than who can take the most steroids in a given period if time. Doctors Leon Creaney and Anna Vondy assert, "Soon, the only competition that would matter would be the one to develop the most powerful drugs, and athletic opponents would enter into an exchange of ever-escalating doses to stay ahead of each other."[1] PEDs can be incredibly unhealthy for the human body, and large doses can seriously harm people. The argument that a level playing field is the right and moral way to go in sports is completely illogical.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Genetics can create an uneven playing field in sports. [P2] A heavily regulated doping program could eliminate some of the genetic advantages some competitors enjoy. [P3] This would create a more even playing field among participants.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] An uneven playing field is not an issue in sports. [Rejecting P2] The whole point of sports is that some people possess a combination of biological excellence, natural talent, and skill that beats other people in competition. Sports would eventually become a competition in who could out-dope everyone else, which is incredibly unhealthy. [Rejecting P3] This would not create a more even playing field because some would choose to dope more than others, giving them an advantage.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://forbes.com/sites/roomykhan/2017/12/31/doping-in-sports-cheating-or-leveling-of-the-playing-field/#35547ddf75ec

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 01:49 UTC