Knowledge is power, not drugs!

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With the Olympic games upon us, I've been looking at doping in sports. But because I am someone who likes things to be fair, and rules to be followed it’s been very interesting to learn about different perspectives.

For my first point I would like to argue that some drugs could actually help athletes with disabilities or lifelong illnesses to perform; for example if you have asthma and you’re running a marathon, like paula radcliffe, you will need your inhaler with the right levels of drugs in it. Fortunately Inhalers that contain glucocorticoids are permitted. However, some others are prohibited or dosages are controlled so it might be difficult for some athletes to compete. And if the asthmatic athletes are allowed some steroids, is it fair on the non-asthmatics?

In this case, I argue that this allows for more equity in access to sports, and makes sure that everyone can compete at the highest level. In the vision of Peter Thiel for the Enhanced Games, his hope to use research and science to extend youth and improve performance might be for the greater good of humanity, in that it would at some point allow everyone to be healthier and fitter but I suspect there might be a darker motive…Money!

People pay a lot of money to spectate competitions or the Olympic Games, mainly to support their favourite champions, or team but also to feel the drama and tension of competitive sports, and witness outstanding performances. Therefore, the public is unlikely to want to be tricked by sports people cheating with performance-enhancing drugs. If everyone is boosted, what is the point of a match? If people stop paying to go to matches, the whole system will collapse. Sponsors won’t pay, the infrastructure will not be maintained and athletes will not be paid anymore.

The original values of the ancient greeks games were not about competition and winners - they were a religious festival to celebrate Zeus - and while the motto of the Modern Olympics Games is “Faster, Stronger, Higher” , and it is important to constantly innovate to keep people on their toes, drugs are not the solution. I would prefer true sporting ideas like having a children’s Olympics, or one for non professional athletes, new sports like breakdancing, skateboarding and surfing, or new rules around equipment, techniques and even AI to help with efficiencies and performance data. AI can help with better nutrition or sleep patterns and training exercises to enhance performance. Knowledge and information is power, not drugs!

Comments (3)

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  • this standpoint is incredible, the depth and meaning you put into it is amazing, I would be surprised if this doesn't get into the news, or even win a medal.

  • I totally agree with you. I think that people who might have an illness that gives them a disadvantage should be allowed a little boost to take them to the right level, although some people might think it's unfair. But then would be be leaning more towards equity or equality, so really this is a confusing topic, where I can't quite decide what I think. This is a very good standpoint! Well done!

  • I love your standpoint and you are right Knowledge is power not drugs. I feel you went into great detail and I love everything about it.