A critical look at the ethics involved with drug use in sport

Subjects Description This book offers a new history of drug use in sport. Instead, the late nineteenth century was a time of some experimentation and innovation largely unhindered by talk of cheating or health risks. By the interwar period, experiments had been modernised in the new laboratories of exercise physiologists.

A critical look at the ethics involved with drug use in sport

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Body modification Where do we draw the line between acceptable behaviour and cheating? All athletes tamper with their bodies.

The following examples of tampering demonstrate varying degrees of acceptability. Athletes exercise, train and follow special diets.

They may wear special clothing to cut down wind or water resistance, and cut their hair and remove body hair for the same reason. If they are injured they are likely to receive medical treatment in order to get them competing again as soon as possible. Some may undergo cosmetic nonessential surgery - for example, to speed recovery from an injury.

They may even opt for performance- enhancing surgery: Athletes from countries near sea level use 'altitude tent' treatments to acclimatise themselves to compete at higher altitudes. And some use drugs to increase their muscle mass, allow faster oxygen delivery to the muscles or allow them to train longer.

The practices in the first point are universally seen as acceptable. Sporting authorities, and many people, think using drugs to enhance performance as in the third point is unacceptable: The second point illustrates a grey area that is continuously debated.

It may be surprising to note that laser eye treatment on athletes with healthy vision is not banned from sport. It seems that to most people this is a question, not of tampering, but of scale.

An example To illustrate the question further, let us consider a Premiership footballer and a sprinter. The footballer uses an inhaler to control his asthma.

The sprinter takes THG, a muscle-building 'designer' steroid.

Potential pitfalls

A lot of people would say that the footballer's inhaler is fine if he really is asthmatic but the sprinter is cheating. That's certainly the position of the sporting authorities. Asthma treatments definitely affect performance. In fact, they contain banned substances.

They must be approved before an athlete may use them. Why are they allowed at all, if such drugs as THG are not permitted under any circumstances? There is nothing wrong with the sprinter; she could compete without her steroid though she might not place as highly.

The footballer has a medical condition that would otherwise make him unable to compete without doubling over and wheezing.

But the sprinter might argue that asthma is a natural disadvantage, just like being a slightly slower runner, and that if we wanted to be consistent we should take the footballer's inhaler away too!

Drawing the line The problem is sometimes phrased as the distinction between therapy treating an illness and enhancement. The example above seems straightforward at first glance, but when we try to define a single point at which an acceptable 'therapy' becomes an unacceptable 'enhancement', problems arise.

It is also difficult to pinpoint the difference between some of the legal and illegal performance-enhancing treatments used by athletes.

The distinctions used by regulatory bodies are sometimes criticised. For example, two similar dietary supplements can be on different sides of the line, or a previously-legal supplement can be made illegal, because of seemingly small differences in chemistry.

Drugs are different Drugs are different The International Olympic Committee and other organisations single out drugs as qualitatively different from other performance-enhancing techniques.

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They should be banned also because anyone using them is trying to gain an unfair advantage over those athletes who wish to maintain normal health. They are cheating because their use is against the rules of the sporting federations. If drug-taking was within the rules, would fair play and the integrity and unity of sport be preserved?

The rules would be unbroken, but is it in the spirit of sport to take drugs? Legality would not change the health risks associated with some drugs.

A critical look at the ethics involved with drug use in sport

This raises the question of who should have the final decision in protecting the physical health of athletes:Social and ethical issues of drug abuse. There are many social and ethical issues surrounding the use and abuse of drugs.

These issues are made complex particularly because of conflicting values concerning drug use within modern societies.

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Though agencies, such as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and the Australian Sports Drug Agency, argue that much effort is being directed toward educating athletes about the virtues of fair.

Drug use - Social and ethical issues of drug abuse: There are many social and ethical issues surrounding the use and abuse of drugs. These issues are made complex particularly because of conflicting values concerning drug use within modern societies.

Values may be influenced by multiple factors including social, religious, and personal views. Within a single society, values and opinions can diverge . For decades, the IACP has played a central role in the research, development, and implementation of model policies and best practices regarding the use of force by law enforcement officers.

Clearly, this issue is a critical one for both the law enforcement profession and the communities they serve. Technically speaking, Drug usage in sport is a method of Cheating, which is not only not allowed, it is also immoral and unethical. Cheating methods have been used by athletes for centuries, although it is only very recently that the problems regarding cheating have been addressed.

T/F sport ethics refers only to on-the-field conduct and not to sport business practices False T/F Sport is a mirror of society, which means that sport managers will need to make decisions about societal issues as they occur in sport.

A History of Drug Use in Sport: - Beyond Good and Evil (Paperback) - Routledge