Readers’ response: How would sport be different if everyone was allowed to dope? | Drugs in Sport


How would sport be different if everyone was allowed to dope? Johnny Addison, Bonnyrigg

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Readers respond

I guess athletics would be pretty much the same? Stillgrizzly

I’m not a scientist, but I think in addition to the obvious performance improvements:

  • You would see a different set of winners: Different people’s bodies respond to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) differently, so different genetic benefits would be highlighted.

  • You would see some athletes die from improper use of DEP. Drug testing (in sports that have an appropriate testing regimen) prevents athletes from pushing them because they are discovered earlier; if it became the Wild West, you would see more people pushing it too far.

  • Athletes after career would likely have a lower quality of life.

  • All of the above would mean that there would likely be a much smaller pool of athletes willing to do whatever is necessary to compete. Salsiccia

When cycling was riddled with doping after widespread EPO and blood doping, the argument used by many was that if everyone was there, then it was “a level playing field”. But in reality, it just meant that those who responded best to doping invariably won. In the case of using EPO, it depends on your natural hematocrit levels (percentage by volume of red blood cells in the blood). If you start with a naturally high level, there is much less benefit to be gained. For example, Lance Armstrong’s teammate George Hincapie had little to gain and was still able to compete at a high level after quitting doping. Armstrong, however, made massive gains with his much lower natural level. Of course, this is a simplified explanation, but it gives you the nuts and bolts.

On another note, you would still have to put some sort of usage limit, otherwise you would end up with a lot of deaths. Many young runners died of heart attacks as their blood grew so thick with the extra red blood cells that their hearts were unable to pump this super viscous fluid. hulkhuckle

I remember one of Armstrong’s many documentaries in which Tyler Hamilton described his use of PED, when he said that none of his doping improved his performance as much as just losing weight. Bizarre

So many sports use technology to improve performance. The racing cars are constantly being improved and refined, the skis are waxed, the snowshoes well strung. Performance enhancing clothing, compression socks and windproof helmets are all designed to improve performance and are considered part of sport. They are often controlled to ensure a level playing field by the governing bodies of sport.

We have seen that competition in a single sport can be divided into several categories to group together people of different age groups, height, gender, handicap, etc. The recent exclusion of some women from their sport due to the levels of particular hormones their bodies naturally produce, while controversial, is an indication of the competition’s micro-management ability.

With such scientific complexity surrounding so many aspects of athletic competition, I wondered at what stage we give in to DEPs or doping techniques and embrace the science that allows athletes to perform better. Hold separate competitions for those who do and those who don’t. Let the athletes choose the path forward. Claire Hunter, Newcastle

It should be noted that the original reason drugs were banned had nothing to do with ensuring a “level playing field”, it was to protect athletes. Some substances that can improve performance also have very harmful and even dangerous side effects. Authorities did not want athletes to be in a position where they had to choose between becoming uncompetitive and damaging their bodies, which is why the decision was made to ban potentially harmful substances. If it were up to me, I would go back to that philosophy and ban substances not because they improve performance or not, but because they are harmful. Shasarak

Relying solely on these motives would be a bad idea. It requires a governing body to define harmful substances and then ban them. Any substance not on the list would therefore be suitable. But new substances are constantly being developed, and this rule change would speed that up.

Any new DEP would necessarily be eligible until its adverse effects were discovered. We would have unscrupulous laboratories constantly pushing the boundaries. But in many cases, the damage does not manifest for years, sometimes decades. How many athletes would be injured before these side effects were known and the substance was finally banned?

By banning DEPs, you are removing all of that. It allows a substance to be retroactively banned just because it improves performance, no proof of harm is required. This means that these unscrupulous labs will never get started because the returns on investment would be too low. It naps the problem in the bud, rather than waiting for its worst effects to kick in. Reid malenfant

Intersex people and trans women have established themselves at the highest level of women’s sport, so should we be asking ourselves whether women can dope up to the Olympic testosterone limit allowed for trans women? Omega_Man

You would probably see the biggest differences in sports that emphasize power and endurance versus complex skills. But you might find that athletes in complex skill sports are turning to cognitive performance enhancers to improve their responses and decision making. ArborsTowers123

We could have Olympic teams sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. This would be infinitely preferable to the current system, where displays of national chauvinism are quite disagreeable. BelieverInScience

I am convinced that “Alternative Olympics”, championships, etc. would see the light of day very quickly – events where only those who were drug-free could compete. The redundant testers would be rehired soon, and if the prize money was a bit tight in the field, he could only be declared an amateur.

Such an innovative idea would gain ground and replace the existing free one. This would also restore the pre-drug records, as they would have been corrupted by the authorization to take drugs. Ethical companies would soon find that sponsoring clean events was better for business. The “dirty” events would be extinguished thanks to public disgrace and finally the world of sport would be cleaned up. John wig

They sort of have that in weight lifting / bodybuilding. It doesn’t work very well from what I can see. not collective

I was listening to a podcast the other day that explained why we feel uncomfortable with doping athletes for faster recovery, whether from training or injury, but we are okay with radical surgeries to bring athletes back from career-ending injuries. I’m not talking about doping to gain an advantage in competition, like steroids or amphetamines. And I’m aware there’s a gray area – EPO gives you a stamina boost while running but also helps recovery, where does that fit?

Essentially, the podcast was asking if there was a significant distinction between Tommy John surgery, or total ligament replacement with donated tissue, as in the case of Ben Foster, and taking HGH to speed recovery from a tear. muscular.

The surgeries and medications are there to bring the athlete back to pre-injury physical condition and is generally not, I believe, the standard treatment for non-athletes. If I tore my ACL the NHS would almost certainly try to fix it by acknowledging that it would probably never be the same again, rather than replacing it with someone else the first time.

And yet, taking HGH in this scenario is largely prohibited, while cutting-edge surgeries are not. I’m not saying athletes shouldn’t have the surgery they need, but I must say the distinction escapes me. TamberApping

Many people would die and suffer from appalling health problems. If people could dope, you wouldn’t be able to set dosage limits or the number or type of drugs and other treatments that could be undertaken. Thus, it would be a war of increasing doses and cocktails with athletes who would fall dead and collapse due to adverse health effects on tracks, terrains, roads, rings, etc. Those who did not want to dope would have little luck and would make him give up the sport altogether or give in and take drugs, suffering the same effects. Doping should be banned for people under 18 anyway, but this would be ignored, leading to a testing regime for children and adolescents but not for adults. The sport begins for very young children who would dop themselves from five years or less, pushed or pushed by coaches or arrogant parents. It would not only be elite athletes, but all those who play sports. Doping is already spreading to some extent in grassroots sport; it would become omnipresent. The health consequences would be appalling and the health services would struggle. Sport would not become an activity for health but an activity which would radically damage it. And that would benefit the big pharmaceutical companies, but no one else. Many people would give up following, supporting, paying for, and playing a sport entirely. It would be a total disaster. Conanbarbare

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