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What's Wrong With Drugs in Sports?

Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, has been stripped of his victories by the US Anti-Doping Agency for using illicit performance-enhancing drugs. This is happening in almost every sport and in, Ian Steadman asks, "Why don't we accept doping will always happen and legalize it?"

As training, coaching, nutrition and equipment have been improved, athletes will eventually reach a "wall," where further improvement isn't possible, and then, Steadman says, "we face the question of how to keep sport interesting."

If using drugs to create "machine men" is one way to do it, why not? (NOTE: Subscribers can get this beautiful hardcover for less than $5--while supplies last).

Steadman quotes neuroethicist Julian Savulescu as saying, "The war on doping has failed. Lance Armstrong never failed a doping test, despite being subjected to thousands. Nearly every recent winner of the Tour de France has been implicated in doping. About 80% of 100-meter finalists are or will be implicated in doping. The fact is that blood doping and use of growth hormone have not been possible to detect, and because doping mimics normal physiological process it will always be possible to beat the test. Thus, we should embrace the inevitable, and control doping as best we can.

"Doping is not against the spirit of sport.. It has always part of the human spirit to use knowledge to make oneself better and doping has been a part of sport since its beginning. Doping should only be banned when it is significantly harmful relative to the inherent risks of sport, or against the spirit of a particular sport."

I am not sure what is really going on with the Lance Armstrong situation, but something about his alleged doping feels really off. First off, there has never been any proof of doping on his part, and his tests have always turned up negative. A physiologist actually did a study of Lance Armstrong and published his findings back in 2004. The results may be found here:

I usually don't care much about sports figures, but this story has truly broken my heart. He is a Texan and spends much of his time here in the Austin area, so he has a very high profile here, both for his biking prowess and his inspiration to those living with cancer.

If he did use drugs to enhance his physical performance, he should be stripped of his titles, but did he? Will we ever really know? Some say that his giving up the battle with the NSADA was proof of guilt, but can we hang our hat on that idea? Could it be that he felt he had nothing left to prove, that instead of fighting he decided that perhaps the opinions of those who really know him, care about him, and love him are all that really matter to him?

So many questions...

@Cosmic - It's a shame that this has gotten to the point it has. I still have to clearly hear or see any of the evidence USADA has on Armstrong. So far it's only insinuations and hearsay. I thought that the word "proof" actually meant concrete evidence.

The only "proof" is that the USADA is a broken down agency that tries to justify their existence and build their reputation by going after a trophy target like Armstrong.

Even if he IS guilty, the USADA should have come out with solid evidence, not empty allegations. Instead it seems they're more interested in trying him in the court of public opinion than anything else.

Personally, I could give a rip about drugs, any drugs. However, when people could get drugs at the corner pharmacy, there was a whole lot less addiction. Not to mention far more people are addicted to prescription drugs than street drugs.

As far as legalizing 'drugs' in sports, what the heck are we talking about? If an athlete is simply using a natural substance like growth hormone, or growth hormone releasers, well get a life. That should never have even been considered 'doping', imo. Now, if they're using some kind synthetic drug that can be or is patented, that's a whole other ballgame. So, the solution, let the brain-deficient athletes who use patented drugs, compete against each other. And let the 'naturalists' compete against each other. Fair is fair.

And, really, why do you think there are so many swimmers/athletes who have asthma, and win? Steroids, they're on steroid types of medications. So, is that really fair to those who don't have asthma? And then, there's all this idiot crap around... *oh, look what they've overcome, and they have asthma.* This is not to put down an individual athlete or their particular talent and effort, if they have asthma. But, really, when are we as a culture gonna wise up? When are we going to let adults BE adults? And decide for themselves around the whole issue of drug use? Besides, it AIN'T the governments business. Oh, oops, I forgot it is the government [CIA] that's bringing in, and selling most of the drugs.

Wow...Just today Lance was here in Austin and spoke here for the first time since he 'lost' his titles:

He knows what he has and hasn't done, and I don't think he believes he has lost a darn thing.

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