Why is doping bad?

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Jul 6, 2010
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Sorry, you might have to look that word up...

Here it is:

/bəˈnæl, -ˈnɑl, ˈbeɪnl/ Show Spelled[buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l] Show IPA
–adjective
devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite
 
RobbieCanuck said:
This thread raises several disingenuous arguments in favour of doping...

The whole premise of this thread is false. There is a moral obligation on human beings towards fairness and equality in sport, not artifically induced unfairness and advantage.

We human beings have a duty to see to the physical well-being of their fellows, whether it be from war, poverty or dangerous doping products with their ruiness and deleterious adverse health effects, not to mention the adverse social effects. Ask Floyd Landis where doping got him!
These are reasonable arguments, but they are not nearly as cut-and-dried as you seem to imply. To wit:

1. A good and the best answer against doping is that doping products give an athlete an unfair competive advantage enabling the athlete to artificially enhance his performance. Doping tilts the level playing field in favour of the doper.

The playing field is also tilted by genetics. Indeed, the inequalities resulting from doping, even the most sophisticated forms available today, pale in comparison to those produced by heredity.

2. Athletic performance is admired for the natural skill and athleticism of the athlete and not an artificually induced level of athleticism. We admire elite athletes because they can do things we ordinary joes and janes cannot.

An elite athlete on dope can do things that an ordinary joe on dope cannot. Doping does not eradicate the contribution of "natural" athleticism, it extends it.

Many forms of athletics today, including bike racing, are not "purely natural", they involve the use of machines or other forms of equipment. This equipment extends human capabilities. For example, one can travel much faster on a bike than on foot, and most people can ride a bike faster than most people can run. The best bike racers can ride a bike faster than the best foot racers can ride a bike. Is this unfair, using a machine that gives certain people an advantage over others that they would not have in the absence of this machine?

A bike is not natural, it was not in the world in which our species evolved. It was created to extend human capabilities in certain ways. One could argue that there is no difference, in principle, from extending capabilities using an external device like a bike, and internal manipulations of physiological processes. In both cases, it makes it possible for certain elites to arise that would not have existed in a purely natural environment.

3. To oppose doping is not "faux moral outrage" It is based on a reasonable and common sense desire in athletics to have a level playing field so the best natural athlete that day wins.

What is natural? I already pointed out that bike is not natural. Neither is a pole used for jumping, or the equipment used in almost team sports. Is it natural to train hours a day for years in order to improve performance in one very specific physical skill? Up until the 20th century this kind of training was rare, and did not compare to what is done today. No other animal in nature does this sort of thing.


4. Doping is not a product of our natural environment. Doping products are artificial. They are the scientific tinkering with the natural. Food is natural in spite of the many toxins in our food today. Eating organic and natural foods simply feed the biological needs of our body for nourishment. They do not artificially enhance performance. Food and doping products are distinct.


Much of food today is not natural. It is processed. For example, many foods are fortified with vitamins that are not present in the food as it is harvested. Even something so basic as cooking is not natural. It is a technological process, obviously ancient but found in no other species, which results in ingestion of substances that are often much easier to digest. Bread, in the strictest sense, is not natural. Neither is cheese, or pasteurized milk.

Conversely, there are natural products that provide competitive advantages. For example, coca leaves, unprocessed, have stimulatory effects much like those of artificial stimulants used in athletic contests. There are many, many other drugs that you would consider provide an unfair advantage and should therefore be banned, yet which are consumed not only by many people who live a much more “natural” lifestyle than those of us in the West, but even by some animals.

5. Because doping products give an artifical advantage to an athlete, cycling and virtually every other sport has developed laws against doping. It is not wrong to have laws against doping. They underscore the need for fundamental fairness in competitive athletics, which is a valid moral purpose for having these laws.

Who decides what “fairness” is? Is it fair for some athletes to spend far more money on training and equipment than others? Such disparities often provide as much of a competitive advantage as any form of doping.

7. The medical research world does not need doping to advance the benefits of medicine. There are hundreds of thousands of medical researchers world wide who are doing just fine without wasting their time and research dollars on studying doped athletes.

There are thousands of physicists, engineers and biologists worldwide who are not part of the NASA programs. That doesn’t mean that their fields don’t ultimately benefit from these programs.

8. Doping products do not benefit athletes. They can cause untold misery to physiological systems causing liver damage, sexual dysfunction and neuroligical deficits.

Athletic competition, in and of itself, results in numerous health problems, injuries and even deaths. One could argue that the kind of training now required to succeed in any sport--which, again, is not natural--is unhealthy. There are many studies demonstrating that while moderate exercise can be beneficial to health, the intensive training undergone by athletes is frequently unhealthy. Should we ban all competition for this reason?

I point these things out to argue not that you're wrong, but that the issue is far more complex than you seem to be allowing for. The case against doping is much like the case against recreational drugs, and in both instances, those who oppose the practice don't seem to recognize that it persists largely because it satisfies a very natural desire. It is natural to seek ecstasy, and it is natural to want to be the best. Those who argue against doping on the basis that it is not natural are not only defining that term very selectively, but are ignoring the fact that it has a basis that is truly natural in a sense far more fundamental than their definitions.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Merckx index said:
These are reasonable arguments, but they are not nearly as cut-and-dried as you seem to imply. To wit:

1. A good and the best answer against doping is that doping products give an athlete an unfair competive advantage enabling the athlete to artificially enhance his performance. Doping tilts the level playing field in favour of the doper.

The playing field is also tilted by genetics. Indeed, the inequalities resulting from doping, even the most sophisticated forms available today, pale in comparison to those produced by heredity.

2. Athletic performance is admired for the natural skill and athleticism of the athlete and not an artificually induced level of athleticism. We admire elite athletes because they can do things we ordinary joes and janes cannot.

An elite athlete on dope can do things that an ordinary joe on dope cannot. Doping does not eradicate the contribution of "natural" athleticism, it extends it.

Many forms of athletics today, including bike racing, are not "purely natural", they involve the use of machines or other forms of equipment. This equipment extends human capabilities. For example, one can travel much faster on a bike than on foot, and most people can ride a bike faster than most people can run. The best bike racers can ride a bike faster than the best foot racers can ride a bike. Is this unfair, using a machine that gives certain people an advantage over others that they would not have in the absence of this machine?

A bike is not natural, it was not in the world in which our species evolved. It was created to extend human capabilities in certain ways. One could argue that there is no difference, in principle, from extending capabilities using an external device like a bike, and internal manipulations of physiological processes. In both cases, it makes it possible for certain elites to arise that would not have existed in a purely natural environment.

3. To oppose doping is not "faux moral outrage" It is based on a reasonable and common sense desire in athletics to have a level playing field so the best natural athlete that day wins.

What is natural? I already pointed out that bike is not natural. Neither is a pole used for jumping, or the equipment used in almost team sports. Is it natural to train hours a day for years in order to improve performance in one very specific physical skill? Up until the 20th century this kind of training was rare, and did not compare to what is done today. No other animal in nature does this sort of thing.


4. Doping is not a product of our natural environment. Doping products are artificial. They are the scientific tinkering with the natural. Food is natural in spite of the many toxins in our food today. Eating organic and natural foods simply feed the biological needs of our body for nourishment. They do not artificially enhance performance. Food and doping products are distinct.


Much of food today is not natural. It is processed. For example, many foods are fortified with vitamins that are not present in the food as it is harvested. Even something so basic as cooking is not natural. It is a technological process, obviously ancient but found in no other species, which results in ingestion of substances that are often much easier to digest. Bread, in the strictest sense, is not natural. Neither is cheese, or pasteurized milk.

Conversely, there are natural products that provide competitive advantages. For example, cocoa leaves, unprocessed, have stimulatory effects much like those of artificial stimulants used in athletic contests. There are many, many other drugs that you would consider provide an unfair advantage and should therefore be banned, yet which are consumed not only by many people who live a much more “natural” lifestyle than those of us in the West, but even by some animals.

5. Because doping products give an artifical advantage to an athlete, cycling and virtually every other sport has developed laws against doping. It is not wrong to have laws against doping. They underscore the need for fundamental fairness in competitive athletics, which is a valid moral purpose for having these laws.

Who decides what “fairness” is? Is it fair for some athletes to spend far more money on training and equipment than others? Such disparities often provide as much of a competitive advantage as any form of doping.

7. The medical research world does not need doping to advance the benefits of medicine. There are hundreds of thousands of medical researchers world wide who are doing just fine without wasting their time and research dollars on studying doped athletes.

There are thousands of physicists, engineers and biologists worldwide who are not part of the NASA programs. That doesn’t mean that their fields don’t ultimately benefit from these programs.

8. Doping products do not benefit athletes. They can cause untold misery to physiological systems causing liver damage, sexual dysfunction and neuroligical deficits.

Athletic competition, in and of itself, results in numerous health problems, injuries and even deaths. One could argue that the kind of training now required to succeed in any sport--which, again, is not natural--is unhealthy. There are many studies demonstrating that while moderate exercise can be beneficial to health, the intensive training undergone by athletes is frequently unhealthy. Should we ban all competition for this reason?

I point these things out to argue not that you're wrong, but that the issue is far more complex than you seem to be allowing for. The case against doping is much like the case against recreational drugs, and in both instances, those who oppose the practice don't seem to recognize that it persists largely because it satisfies a very natural desire. It is natural to seek ecstasy, and it is natural to want to be the best. Those who argue against doping on the basis that it is not natural are not only defining that term very selectively, but are ignoring the fact that it has a basis that is truly natural in a sense far more fundamental than their definitions.
Holy Christ! It is NEVER the same as recreational drugs. Allow me to say that again: RECREATIONAL DRUGS.

As well written and beautifully stated as your polemic was, it rests on a faulty premis.

SPORT is there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while at the same time to revel in the glory of what human potential is.

RECREATIONAL DRUGS are there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while ignoring all those things one should be attending to.

All I want to see is human potential. I want to see what the genetic lottery has dealt someone. I want to see what the high-end of humans can do (physiologically speaking). I don't want to see some quasi-midget, cranked on whatever, to beat another mutated grumpy troll for some sort of Grand Title.

Doping detracts from that, and that's why I hate it. That, and the fact that it drives young talent out of the sport.

I would like to posit that there is no way anyone can argue that point.

It drives talent out of the sport.

There you go...
 
Aug 10, 2010
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faulty premise

JMBeaushrimp said:
Holy Christ! It is NEVER the same as recreational drugs. Allow me to say that again: RECREATIONAL DRUGS.

As well written and beautifully stated as your polemic was, it rests on a faulty premis.

SPORT is there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while at the same time to revel in the glory of what human potential is.

RECREATIONAL DRUGS are there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while ignoring all those things one should be attending to.

All I want to see is human potential. I want to see what the genetic lottery has dealt someone. I want to see what the high-end of humans can do (physiologically speaking). I don't want to see some quasi-midget, cranked on whatever, to beat another mutated grumpy troll for some sort of Grand Title.

Doping detracts from that, and that's why I hate it. That, and the fact that it drives young talent out of the sport.

I would like to posit that there is no way anyone can argue that point.

It drives talent out of the sport.

There you go...
You sure use a lot of words to say that sport is entertainment and that you want your entertainment to please you.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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JMBeaushrimp said:
Holy Christ! It is NEVER the same as recreational drugs. Allow me to say that again: RECREATIONAL DRUGS.

As well written and beautifully stated as your polemic was, it rests on a faulty premis.

SPORT is there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while at the same time to revel in the glory of what human potential is.

RECREATIONAL DRUGS are there to remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind, while ignoring all those things one should be attending to.

All I want to see is human potential. I want to see what the genetic lottery has dealt someone. I want to see what the high-end of humans can do (physiologically speaking). I don't want to see some quasi-midget, cranked on whatever, to beat another mutated grumpy troll for some sort of Grand Title.

Doping detracts from that, and that's why I hate it. That, and the fact that it drives young talent out of the sport.

I would like to posit that there is no way anyone can argue that point.

It drives talent out of the sport.

There you go...
while you have your dictionary out look up pompous. remove the minds of the masses from the daily grind? that's hilarious. it's a freaking sport.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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MarkvW said:
You sure use a lot of words to say that sport is entertainment and that you want your entertainment to please you.
What you missed of course was that they never even used the word entertainment.

Now, if your going to say "well he implied it", then yes i'd broadly agree - because of the very fact that everything has some entertaining value.

What you missed in their post was this key point "...while at the same time to revel in the glory of what human potential is."
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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Merckx index said:
These are reasonable arguments, but they are not nearly as cut-and-dried as you seem to imply. To wit:
I nearly didn't know where to start with your post - I will just snip to the main bits.

Merckx index said:
An elite athlete on dope can do things that an ordinary joe on dope cannot. Doping does not eradicate the contribution of "natural" athleticism, it extends it.
It extends what is often humanly impossible.


Merckx index said:
Who decides what “fairness” is? Is it fair for some athletes to spend far more money on training and equipment than others? Such disparities often provide as much of a competitive advantage as any form of doping.
The same people who drew the technical specifications on what a bike is, what bike you can use in an event and who put a minimum weight on bikes.


Merckx index said:
The playing field is also tilted by genetics. Indeed, the inequalities resulting from doping, even the most sophisticated forms available today, pale in comparison to those produced by heredity.
Tell that to Axel Merckx who had to go to Ferrari - or did Eddy just breed with a bad mate?

Merckx index said:
Those who argue against doping on the basis that it is not natural are not only defining that term very selectively, but are ignoring the fact that it has a basis that is truly natural in a sense far more fundamental than their definitions.
Yes they do term it selectively - and they call doping Performance Enhancing Drugs for a very good reason.
 
May 11, 2009
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alpine_chav said:
............I am still completely unable to come up with a good answer to why doping is illegal. .....................................
Apart from WADA rules and the like doping in professional sports gives an advantage to athletes/teams who can afford it. Supposedly way back some counties doped up their athletes so they could win and provide glory to their country.

Funny thing is that some of the WADA drugs are ineffective and some have an averse effect on performance according to a Science Journal article published around the time of the 2006 Olympics.
 
avanti said:
Apart from WADA rules and the like doping in professional sports gives an advantage to athletes/teams who can afford it. Supposedly way back some counties doped up their athletes so they could win and provide glory to their country.

Funny thing is that some of the WADA drugs are ineffective and some have an averse effect on performance according to a Science Journal article published around the time of the 2006 Olympics.
Good point. But, I think WADA has to be inclusive:

1. Of entire classes of drugs like anabolic agents (because someone may make a new one)
2. Of drugs that are used for enhancement, even if they aren't good at it, since the attempt to defraud is still present
3. Of methods (e.g. enhancement of oxygen transfer)

Just because people like Ricco do dumb things and almost kill themselves doesn't mean that it wasn't an attempted PED activity that violated the spirit of sport.

Fundamentally, according to the 'Code' a substance may be banned if it meets two of these three criteria:

1. potential to enhance or enhances sport performance
2. an actual or potential health risk to the athlete
3. violates the spirit of sport

Dave.
 
Merckx index said:
These are reasonable arguments, but they are not nearly as cut-and-dried as you seem to imply. To wit:

1. Robbie ... Doping products give an athlete an unfair competive advantage enabling ... Doping tilts the level playing field in favour of the doper

Merckx The playing field is also tilted by genetics....

2. Robbie Athletic performance is admired for the natural ... athleticism of the athlete and not an artificually induced level of athleticism. We admire elite athletes because they can do things we ordinary joes and janes cannot.[/B]

Merckx ... Doping does not eradicate the contribution of "natural" athleticism, it extends it.

Many forms of athletics today, including bike racing, are not "purely natural", they involve the use of machines ... Is this unfair, using a machine that gives certain people an advantage over others that they would not have in the absence of this machine?

A bike is not natural ... it makes it possible for certain elites to arise that would not have existed in a purely natural environment.

3. Robbie To oppose doping is not "faux moral outrage" It is based on a reasonable and common sense desire in athletics to have a level playing field so the best natural athlete that day wins. [/B]

Mereckx What is natural? I already pointed out that bike is not natural. Neither is a pole used for jumping, or the equipment used in almost team sports...

4. Robbie Doping is not a product of our natural environment. Doping products are artificial. They are the scientific tinkering with the natural. Food is natural ...

Merckx Much of food today is not natural. It is processed...

Conversely, there are natural products that provide competitive advantages. For example, coca leaves, unprocessed, have stimulatory effects much like those of artificial stimulants used in athletic contests.


5. Robbie Because doping products give an artifical advantage to an athlete, cycling and virtually every other sport has developed laws against doping. It is not wrong to have laws against doping. They underscore the need for fundamental fairness in competitive athletics, which is a valid moral purpose for having these laws.[/B]

Merckx Who decides what “fairness” is?...

7. Robbie The medical research world does not need doping to advance the benefits of medicine. There are ... medical researchers ... who are doing just fine without wasting ... studying doped athletes. [/B]

Merckx There are thousands of physicists, engineers and biologists worldwide who are not part of the NASA programs. That doesn’t mean that their fields don’t ultimately benefit from these programs.

8. Robbie Doping products do not benefit athletes. They can cause untold misery to physiological systems causing liver damage, sexual dysfunction and neuroligical deficits.[/B]

Merckx Athletic competition, in and of itself, results in numerous health problems, injuries and even deaths. One could argue that the kind of training now required to succeed in any sport--which, again, is not natural--is unhealthy. There are many studies demonstrating ... the intensive training undergone by athletes is frequently unhealthy. Should we ban all competition for this reason?

I point these things out to argue not that you're wrong, but that the issue is far more complex than you seem to be allowing for. The case against doping is much like the case against recreational drugs, and in both instances, those who oppose the practice don't seem to recognize that it persists largely because it satisfies a very natural desire. It is natural to seek ecstasy, and it is natural to want to be the best. Those who argue against doping on the basis that it is not natural are not only defining that term very selectively, but are ignoring the fact that it has a basis that is truly natural in a sense far more fundamental than their definitions.

Merckx

Thank you for your thougtful response to my post. I read it with interest. I regret to say you have missed the point of parts of my post. In order to reply to you without having to quote extensively from my original post and your reply post, and so that this post will not take up a full page, I have tried to summarize the substance of our respective posts in my quote.

1. Genes are naturally found in all human beings. Doping products i.e. PEDs are not. Genes do not of and in themselves make an athlete great. They potentially make an athlete great, but genes have to interact with the environment. Good genes help, they help a lot and I agree an athlete with good "athletic genes" as a starting point can tilt the field in his/her favour. But a genetic predisposition to athletic advantge is a natural biological process influenced by environmental factors.

Athletic success (e.g. cycling) is not due solely to genes. There are a myriad of psychological factors such as motivation or tactics to name two, where an athlete less endowed with "good" genes can beat the athlete with genetic advantages. This is part of the beauty of sport.

2. Doping artificially extends natural athleticism resulting in an artificial performance enhancement. This is why it is wrong and Alpine_Chav's premise is wrong.

Bikes are not natural, but there are also UCI rules about the weight and configuration of bikes, just as there are rules about doping. In my opinion there is virtually no difference at the Pro Peleton level in "the machine" It is the cyclist with the best engine, the human body, that makes the difference in winning or losing.

3. In discussing what is natural you have to do so in the context of this thread which is trying to suggest doping is okay and should be permitted. Natural in the context of this thread means cycling competition without PEDs.

4. I agree that diet can play a huge role in athletic performance. But we are taking about what is natural, i.e. grown in the earth (later processed or not) versus the artificial metabolites of PEDs. You are correct that certain foods found naturally in the environment can enhance performance such as cocoa or caffeine. But they are not artifical. PEDs artifically enhance endurance by artifically increasing the ability of red blood cells to uptake more O2.

5. Who decides fairness? Well the concept of fairness is pretty well accepted. The Oxford English Dictionary, which is the dictionary used by most legal systems derived from the British system, says, among other things, that fair means "treating people equally"

When some cyclists use PEDs and others do not this is not equal treatment, and why athletic competition (read cycling in this context) must be fair, and there must be laws against doping to make the event as fair as possible.

7. I agree scientists the world over would be nowhere today without NASA. But that is hardly an argument to suggest scientists need to study doped up cyclists to advance science and medicine throughout the world.

8. There is a huge distinction between the desire to use recreational drugs and PEDs. As you point out, humans tend to have a natural desire to "get high" whether it is through alcohol or recreational drugs.

The desire to use PEDs is different. It is the desire to cheat, to get an unfair advantage not to get high. This is the fundamental difference.

Cheers
 
Genes do not of and in themselves make an athlete great. They potentially make an athlete great, but genes have to interact with the environment. Good genes help, they help a lot and I agree an athlete with good "athletic genes" as a starting point can tilt the field in his/her favour.
Try substituting “performance enhancing substances” for genes in the above passage. I removed the statements involving “natural”, which I will get to later.

Athletic success (e.g. cycling) is not due solely to genes. There are a myriad of psychological factors such as motivation or tactics to name two, where an athlete less endowed with "good" genes can beat the athlete with genetic advantages. This is part of the beauty of sport.
You think motivation, ability to develop and execute tactics, and so on, are not influenced by genes? And do you think the other sources of these factors, such as early childhood, social influences, etc., constitute a level playing field? Why is one athlete more motivated than another? You think he just turns on a switch available to anyone, while the other freely chooses not to? Come on.

Bikes are not natural, but there are also UCI rules about the weight and configuration of bikes, just as there are rules about doping. In my opinion there is virtually no difference at the Pro Peleton level in "the machine" It is the cyclist with the best engine, the human body, that makes the difference in winning or losing.
I think you missed the original point made by the OP. He was arguing that if doping were legalized, it would be subject to the same kind of controls that affect, e.g., bike weight. One can certainly argue that this is impractical; I myself did in fact upstream in this thread. But the assumption underlying almost all arguments for legalizing doping is that it would be heavily regulated.

In discussing what is natural you have to do so in the context of this thread which is trying to suggest doping is okay and should be permitted. Natural in the context of this thread means cycling competition without PEDs
Bad move. All athletic competition is unnatural, in that it was created by human social systems. It is inevitably biased towards certain individuals at the expense of other individuals. There is no law engraved in stone that says such systems can’t be modified and changed; they are all the time.

For example, combat sports evolved from the natural process of individuals fighting, over mates, food, territory, or whatever. There was nothing in the natural process that allowed a smaller individual to pick an opponent his own size. Yet in boxing, MMA, UFC, wrestling, etc., this distinction is always made. There are weight classes. They in effect provide an advantage to people who happen to be born small; they neutralize this disadvantage. Human beings always retain the right to change the rules, no matter how distant from some natural situation they move.

I agree that diet can play a huge role in athletic performance. But we are taking about what is natural, i.e. grown in the earth (later processed or not) versus the artificial metabolites of PEDs. You are correct that certain foods found naturally in the environment can enhance performance such as cocoa or caffeine. But they are not artifical. PEDs artifically enhance endurance by artifically increasing the ability of red blood cells to uptake more O2.
I think you are using artificial in at least two senses here. One sense is to distinguish natural products, e.g., coca leaves, from synthetic substances, such as purified cocaine (“what is natural, i.e. grown in the earth (later processed or not) versus the artificial metabolites of PEDs‘). This is a legitimate distinction in some situations, but it’s not relevant here. Coca leaves, natural or not, enhance performance in the same way that certain stimulants do--in fact, they are consumed for just this reason by certain tribes. I assume you would be against use of coca leaves by athletes, and indeed, if they did use them, they would test positive for substances that are banned at least under some circumstances.

Suppose, hypothetically, a natural product was found that contained EPO, or a peptide that had much the same effect. This is not at all far-fetched; every day, natural products with medicinal value are discovered. I’m quite sure you would regard use of this as doping. So the source of the substance really is irrelevant to the point that you’re making. Maybe you understand this, but this wasn’t clear to me from the way you stated things.

You are also suggesting that PES are artificial if they alter certain processes in the body (“PEDs artifically enhance endurance by artifically increasing the ability of red blood cells to uptake more O2.”). As discussed above, I assume you would regard coca leaves and other natural products as artificial in this sense, because they have the same effects. But many substances that are not banned and not generally considered performance enhancing alter processes in the body. Some people regard sugar as a drug, because of its marked effects on mood. While carbohydrates are a natural food, and essential to our bodies, the way they are exploited by athletes is not natural, and is definitely performance enhancing. In fact, everything about athletic training, including diet, is designed to enhance performance, and almost every bit of it is unnatural, in the sense that other organisms, earlier human beings, and even modern non-athletes, do not treat their bodies in this manner.

So what you’re left with is that some substances or programs provide a much larger benefit than others. What you’re really arguing for is quantitative limits. Some physiological manipulations are allowable, because they don’t result in very large increases in performance. But I’m sure you can’t give me a good indication of where the line is to be drawn. How much of an increase is too much?

When some cyclists use PEDs and others do not this is not equal treatment, and why athletic competition (read cycling in this context) must be fair, and there must be laws against doping to make the event as fair as possible.
Again, you are missing the point of the OP. Legalizing PES means allowing everyone to use them. At least, this is the way most people understand legalization.

The desire to use PEDs is different. It is the desire to cheat, to get an unfair advantage not to get high. This is the fundamental difference.
Cheating should not be equated with an unfair advantage. We have already been over the fact that genes can give one a huge unfair advantage, but are not considered cheating. Again, you are missing the original point. It’s not cheating if it’s legal and everyone is allowed to do it. Of course, even if doping is allowed, athletes will continue to seek an edge, within or outside of the rules. They always have and always will.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Merckx index said:
Try substituting “performance enhancing substances” for genes in the above passage. I removed the statements involving “natural”, which I will get to later.



You think motivation, ability to develop and execute tactics, and so on, are not influenced by genes? And do you think the other sources of these factors, such as early childhood, social influences, etc., constitute a level playing field? Why is one athlete more motivated than another? You think he just turns on a switch available to anyone, while the other freely chooses not to? Come on.



I think you missed the original point made by the OP. He was arguing that if doping were legalized, it would be subject to the same kind of controls that affect, e.g., bike weight. One can certainly argue that this is impractical; I myself did in fact upstream in this thread. But the assumption underlying almost all arguments for legalizing doping is that it would be heavily regulated.



Bad move. All athletic competition is unnatural, in that it was created by human social systems. It is inevitably biased towards certain individuals at the expense of other individuals. There is no law engraved in stone that says such systems can’t be modified and changed; they are all the time.

For example, combat sports evolved from the natural process of individuals fighting, over mates, food, territory, or whatever. There was nothing in the natural process that allowed a smaller individual to pick an opponent his own size. Yet in boxing, MMA, UFC, wrestling, etc., this distinction is always made. There are weight classes. They in effect provide an advantage to people who happen to be born small; they neutralize this disadvantage. Human beings always retain the right to change the rules, no matter how distant from some natural situation they move.


I think you are using artificial in at least two senses here. One sense is to distinguish natural products, e.g., coca leaves, from synthetic substances, such as purified cocaine (“what is natural, i.e. grown in the earth (later processed or not) versus the artificial metabolites of PEDs‘). This is a legitimate distinction in some situations, but it’s not relevant here. Coca leaves, natural or not, enhance performance in the same way that certain stimulants do--in fact, they are consumed for just this reason by certain tribes. I assume you would be against use of coca leaves by athletes, and indeed, if they did use them, they would test positive for substances that are banned at least under some circumstances.

Suppose, hypothetically, a natural product was found that contained EPO, or a peptide that had much the same effect. This is not at all far-fetched; every day, natural products with medicinal value are discovered. I’m quite sure you would regard use of this as doping. So the source of the substance really is irrelevant to the point that you’re making. Maybe you understand this, but this wasn’t clear to me from the way you stated things.

You are also suggesting that PES are artificial if they alter certain processes in the body (“PEDs artifically enhance endurance by artifically increasing the ability of red blood cells to uptake more O2.”). As discussed above, I assume you would regard coca leaves and other natural products as artificial in this sense, because they have the same effects. But many substances that are not banned and not generally considered performance enhancing alter processes in the body. Some people regard sugar as a drug, because of its marked effects on mood. While carbohydrates are a natural food, and essential to our bodies, the way they are exploited by athletes is not natural, and is definitely performance enhancing. In fact, everything about athletic training, including diet, is designed to enhance performance, and almost every bit of it is unnatural, in the sense that other organisms, earlier human beings, and even modern non-athletes, do not treat their bodies in this manner.

So what you’re left with is that some substances or programs provide a much larger benefit than others. What you’re really arguing for is quantitative limits. Some physiological manipulations are allowable, because they don’t result in very large increases in performance. But I’m sure you can’t give me a good indication of where the line is to be drawn. How much of an increase is too much?



Again, you are missing the point of the OP. Legalizing PES means allowing everyone to use them. At least, this is the way most people understand legalization.



Cheating should not be equated with an unfair advantage. We have already been over the fact that genes can give one a huge unfair advantage, but are not considered cheating. Again, you are missing the original point. It’s not cheating if it’s legal and everyone is allowed to do it. Of course, even if doping is allowed, athletes will continue to seek an edge, within or outside of the rules. They always have and always will.
I will make this easy.

Genes are (wait for it) natural.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
alpine_chav said:
This Merckx fella knows what he's talking about. Read, think, learn. Nothing is black and white.
Again, it is a matter of a substitution of ethics. One which the majority of people do not agree with substituting. All lines are arbitrary, so your argument is an infantile one best suited for 13 year old boys who have a fascination with their navel.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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alpine_chav said:
This Merckx fella knows what he's talking about. Read, think, learn. Nothing is black and white.
Really - so you agree with someone who says "Cheating should not be equated with an unfair advantage"?
 
Jun 27, 2009
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Guys, please stop forgetting that the atheletes (or at least the vast majority of them--hence basically all of them) in question don't consider doping cheating. Real fans of cycling do not dispute that contention.

What is and isn't considered cheating is dependent on the values of the social system, and not simply the values of society at large. The concession to the values of society is found in omerta and not in adherence to rules on doping.

If you argue for continued prohibition and no compromise with the athletes, then you are arguing for continuing omerta until the point when science catches up with the doping. This may never happen in our lifetimes.

The desire to win--by any means necessary--is natural and isn't going anywhere. Likewise doping is ingrained in the history of cycling, and especially given the leadership cycling has--is not going anywhere.

If you're happy with the status quo--then good for you. But if you want to see change, then eventually some compromise between idealized moral notions, health and safety concerns, and the concrete realities of the sport must be made. When that, and if that, ever happens, then the riders (eg those participating in the sport) need to have a seat at the table and the ability to speak freely and without fear of retribution. But given the continued dominance of the old guard, supported and reinforced by the public's love for omerta.....change is just not gonna happen.

Maybe continued prohibition and omerta is the best thing for the sport. I just feel sorry for the athletes caught in the middle....forced to abuse their bodies and lie to the public to protect this sorry system.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
13,250
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ludwig said:
Guys, please stop forgetting that the atheletes (or at least the vast majority of them--hence basically all of them) in question don't consider doping cheating. Real fans of cycling do not dispute that contention.

What is and isn't considered cheating is dependent on the values of the social system, and not simply the values of society at large. The concession to the values of society is found in omerta and not in adherence to rules on doping.

If you argue for continued prohibition and no compromise with the athletes, then you are arguing for continuing omerta until the point when science catches up with the doping. This may never happen in our lifetimes.

The desire to win--by any means necessary--is natural and isn't going anywhere. Likewise doping is ingrained in the history of cycling, and especially given the leadership cycling has--is not going anywhere.

If you're happy with the status quo--then good for you. But if you want to see change, then eventually some compromise between idealized moral notions, health and safety concerns, and the concrete realities of the sport must be made. When that, and if that, ever happens, then the riders (eg those participating in the sport) need to have a seat at the table and the ability to speak freely and without fear of retribution. But given the continued dominance of the old guard, supported and reinforced by the public's love for omerta.....change is just not gonna happen.

Maybe continued prohibition and omerta is the best thing for the sport. I just feel sorry for the athletes caught in the middle....forced to abuse their bodies and lie to the public to protect this sorry system.
I am a "real fan of cycling" and I do dispute your opening line.

When you say the "vast majority" (basically all of them)(?)of riders who don't consider doping cheating I assume your (unverifiable) survey has not included all those riders who have already left the sport because of the doping?

This would be like asking prisoners if jail's work.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ludwig said:
Guys, please stop forgetting that the atheletes (or at least the vast majority of them--hence basically all of them) in question don't consider doping cheating. Real fans of cycling do not dispute that contention.

What is and isn't considered cheating is dependent on the values of the social system, and not simply the values of society at large. The concession to the values of society is found in omerta and not in adherence to rules on doping.

If you argue for continued prohibition and no compromise with the athletes, then you are arguing for continuing omerta until the point when science catches up with the doping. This may never happen in our lifetimes.

The desire to win--by any means necessary--is natural and isn't going anywhere. Likewise doping is ingrained in the history of cycling, and especially given the leadership cycling has--is not going anywhere.

If you're happy with the status quo--then good for you. But if you want to see change, then eventually some compromise between idealized moral notions, health and safety concerns, and the concrete realities of the sport must be made. When that, and if that, ever happens, then the riders (eg those participating in the sport) need to have a seat at the table and the ability to speak freely and without fear of retribution. But given the continued dominance of the old guard, supported and reinforced by the public's love for omerta.....change is just not gonna happen.

Maybe continued prohibition and omerta is the best thing for the sport. I just feel sorry for the athletes caught in the middle....forced to abuse their bodies and lie to the public to protect this sorry system.
Um, in a consumer driven market like that, those people putting their money in get to decide the ethics. That's the way it works. Whether the guys doing the doping think they are cheats or not is irrelevant. If you think you will convince the general public that its cool to dope to win, you fundamentally misunderstand the current friction. If people are unwilling to spend their money in relation to a sport they see as corrupt and filled with cheats, then those people who don't believe they are cheating when they dope will have to find a new line of work.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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ludwig said:
Guys, please stop forgetting that the atheletes (or at least the vast majority of them--hence basically all of them) in question don't consider doping cheating. Real fans of cycling do not dispute that contention.
I would like to hear from those 'real' fans and to know what makes them more real than fans like me who dispute your point. As for "basically all" of the riders thinking this way, I must have missed those disclosures. Doping has progressed considerably in the past 20 years and we've seen the competitive edge going to riders with more money, better and more organized medical programs, access (even exclusive access) to the best doctors, and in GT's, domestiques able to set a horrific pace up mountains day in, day out. I find it hard to believe that riders who lack these advantages don't consider these practices to be cheating. I wonder what goes through the heads and comes out of the mouths of the riders who bust themselves for 130 km, then bust themselves for another 60 km to make the time cut. Wash, rinse, repeat again tomorrow.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I am a "real fan of cycling" and I do dispute your opening line.

When you say the "vast majority" (basically all of them)(?)of riders who don't consider doping cheating I assume your (unverifiable) survey has not included all those riders who have already left the sport because of the doping?
Indeed, at present, out of the sport is precisely where such riders go.

Doping has progressed considerably in the past 20 years and we've seen the competitive edge going to riders with more money, better and more organized medical programs, access (even exclusive access) to the best doctors, and in GT's, domestiques able to set a horrific pace up mountains day in, day out.
Current Paris-Nice GC

1 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 24:26:13
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:04
3 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:00:06
4 Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 0:00:10
5 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Pro Team Astana
6 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack
7 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
9 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:28
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:29
 

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