Should Athletes Be Allowed to Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs?
Athletes should not be allowed to use chemicals to improve their performance.
This is not a Q1 violation so long as you are clear about what authority is restricting the use of chemicals, and you have carefully defined "chemicals" and "improve their performance." It may also be a Q1 violation if you think that artificial means could be used to improve performance in other professions.
This is a Q2 violation if you would use chemicals to improve your physical performance as an athlete.
This statement has a number of issues which must be carefully considered and defined before it can pass muster. First, when you say that using chemicals to enhance performance "should not be allowed," by what authority should it not be allowed? The government? A sports authority? Personal morality only? And does the type of competition matter? Should professional sports, amateur sports, school sports, or the Olympics have separate rules? What about sports that are not organized (pickup basketball games, billiards in a local bar) or someone who engages in competitive sports as a hobby or pastime?
You must also define what you mean when you are talking about "chemicals to improve performance." Are you only talking about man-made pharmaceuticals, or are natural substances allowed? Would non-chemical types of performance enhancement also be disallowed? Would you consider correcting a medical condition to be improving performance? What if the performance being enhanced is unrelated to the sport (a professional chess player using steroids to build muscles, for example)? Or if the athlete thinks the chemical will help but it really won’t? If a person uses such chemicals, are they permanently disqualified, or only disqualified so long as the drug has an effect on performance?
Which of the following do you think should disqualify an athlete from competition?
- Using steroids to build muscle mass.
- Laser surgery to correct vision to 20/20.
- Sleeping in a special oxygen chamber to increase lung capacity.
- A blood transfusion right before competition to optimize oxygen delivery to the muscles.
- Training at a high altitude to improve performance at lower altitudes.
- Making use of natural advantages (such as above-average lung capacity or a Y chromosome in a woman).
- Using recreational drugs that cannot improve performance (including those that might impede it).
- An artificial leg that is designed to mimic a natural leg as closely as possible.
- A medically necessary pacemaker.
- Taking vitamins to maintain health.
- Drinking a sports drink during competition.
- Professional massages before or during competition.
- Getting a vaccine to improve the immune system.
- Genetic engineering performed before birth to maximize height.
- Genetic engineering performed before birth to cure Down syndrome.
- Training methods to maximize fitness and precision.
- Computer analysis to analyze form.
- A special swimsuit designed to minimize drag in the water.
- A computer-designed, super-light, highly aerodynamic bicycle.
- Eating a good breakfast the morning before a competition.
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.