Good Sport Essay

1694 WordsMar 25, 20137 Pages
Good sport, bad sport Julian Savulescu and Bennett Foddy Scandals are already rocking the Olympics and the starting gun hasn't even fired. Long gone is the romantic ideal of Pheidippides running barefoot from the village of Marathon, demonstrating a test of brute human endurance, courage and spirit. The reality is that many athletes now compete on a drug cocktail. Performance-enhancing drugs, however, have been around a long time. Early Olympians used extracts of mushrooms and plant seed. In the modern era, chemistry has helped the cheats. It barely raises an eyebrow now when some famous athlete fails a dope test. Attempts to eliminate drugs from sport have patently failed. And will fail. The drive to perfect performance is irresistible. In the late 1990s, Sports Illustrated reported a survey by Dr Robert Goldman of past and aspiring Olympians. Goldman asked athletes if they would take an imaginary banned drug if it was guaranteed that they would not be caught and that they could win. The results were compelling. 195 said they would take it and only three said they would not. In 1997, Dutch physician Michel Karsten, who claims to have prescribed anabolic steroids to hundreds of world class athletes, told Sports Illustrated that very few athletes can win gold medals without taking drugs. "If you are especially gifted, you may win once, but from my experience you can't continue to win without drugs. The field is just too filled with drug users." Drugs like Erythropoietin (EPO) and growth hormone occur naturally in the body. As technology advances, drugs have become harder to detect because they mimic natural processes. In a few years, many will be undetectable. The goal of "cleaning" up sport is hopeless. And further down the track the spectre of genetic enhancement looms dark and large. So is cheating here to stay? Drugs are against the rules, but we can

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