On air: Should athletes be allowed to take drugs?

A number of stories have got you talking about this. Links are below, and here are some questions that are being raised.

A) If so many athletes get away with it, is the only fair way of doing this to make many performance-enhancing drugs legal?

B) What’s the point in trying to catch people if they only get 2 years? Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou was banned after avoiding a test. She’s going to be in Athens. So will plenty of others who’ve either been caught taking drugs.

C) Would you care if all athletes took whatever they liked? Or should they only be allowed to take drugs that have been shown to have no long-lasting health implications?

D) Will doping have an effect on how you enjoy the Olympics?

Post here: http://www.worldhaveyoursay.com

The stories
1. A BBC investigation has found that there are serious question marks over a key drug test just two weeks before the start of the Beijing Olympics.

2. More doping at the 2008 Tour de France.

3. British sprinter Dwain Chambers fails to get lifetime Olympic ban for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

3b. Greek sprinter makes team.

4. Matthew Syed was a professional table tennis player who competed at the Olympics. He says let athletes take drugs so long as they are safe.


127 Responses to “On air: Should athletes be allowed to take drugs?”

  1. 1 Dennis
    July 21, 2008 at 14:25

    Problems will come when athletes start taking drugs…


  2. 2 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:31

    I think in all aspects of life, people cheat. Recall in school, they said that if you cheat on tests, you only cheat yourself? Well, in the business world, people cheat all the time to get ahead. It’s almost a requirement. I guess cheating is so prevelant in sports now that it’s the norm, so it’s not really even cheating if everyone does it. I guess in the future, bionic implants to cheat with? I guess that’s where we should draw the line, it actually has to be your own muscles propelling you.

  3. 3 Dennis
    July 21, 2008 at 14:36

    The problem is that if athletes are allowed to take drugs, what is the next thing, they want?

    Syracuse, New York

  4. 4 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 14:44

    I personally don’t care if someone takes drugs to win or not. I understand that they have an unfair advantage, but they will have to live with the fact that they were unable to win without the drug and thats on their conscience. When I watch games, I don’t care whether someone is on drugs. I only care who wins. The drugs will definitely take a few year, or more than a few years off of their life. I look at it similar to “selling your soul.” It will effect your personal life and the sideeffects are just horrible. I would not want to deal with the side effects, especially for a man. It kind of makes one less than a man. All that said. I don’t care, if an athlete wants to harm their body to win- thats on them!

  5. 5 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 14:48

    A) If so many athletes get away with it, is the only fair way of doing this to make many performance-enhancing drugs legal?

    Why not have a separate league for the crackheads, speed freaks, and druggies? This can be the league for people who can’t play fair or who are too lazy to put in the work to play fair and get the results they want.

  6. 6 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 14:50

    @ Angela

    You mistakenly presume most people have a conscience. I would argue most don’t. They only show “remorse” once they get caught, in an effort to limit damage to them, and their reputation. Do you think Eliot Spitzer felt remorse while he was cheating on his wife, or do you think it started after he got caught? Same goes with people who cheat in sports. They just want to win, that’s all. Then they feel “remorse” after they get caught, so they don’t get expelled from the sport. Most people don’t care about anything other than themselves and what they want.

  7. July 21, 2008 at 14:51

    What will it benefit the athletes with as far as they are concerned he would have won but to the inside of him he knows he was on drugs, then who is fooling who?

    Its like a student who in every exam goes copying and does well, using drugs only makes them rich But to the real sense they are poor in heart. For once cheating is bad and whoever cheats will not enter the Kingdom of God. Above all their wealth also ends them dying as paupers after all, they had placed lying to the Forefront rather than figthing it out using their sweat.

    This things were introduced by the west and got to the African market and now they are being abused. One time They will use them and then fail what will they do, blame the drugs, coach or cheeres?

    The ball is in thier coart.

    John Kyalo

  8. July 21, 2008 at 14:56

    If the greek sprinter is going to athens then she will have a long race to get to the finish line in Bejiing. 😀

  9. 9 parthguragain
    July 21, 2008 at 14:58

    players are expected to perform their best every time they play.human body can’t cope with busy schedule of modern sport so players take drugs to enhance there performance every time they play.

  10. July 21, 2008 at 15:00

    Of course not! You should not be asking this question.

  11. 11 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 15:02


    Most people don’t have a conscience but after they get caught their career is over, anyways. In the case of the Olympics, I am not going to watch it anyways so it doesn’t matter to me. I am not getting or losing anything from the dopers. Since their actions have no effect on my livelihood, it doesn’t matter to me. Dopers in sports do not effect whether I will watch the game. I care about their performance. I am not condoning, but they are under so much pressure to perform. I can understand why they would take drugs. Unless your salary depends on it, it really doesn’t matter.

  12. 12 Tim O'Kennedy
    July 21, 2008 at 15:05

    Obviously, it would be great if sport could become drug free. But that’s very unlikely, as so many dopers manage to stay one step ahead of the testing posse, decades after regular testing began. I was once told, by someone who really should know, that absolutely no-one running competitive times over distances of 200m or less is clean, end of story.

    So, with regret, I say yes, let them do it. In doing so, we’re not breaking any new ground in terms of physical endangerment: almost all competitive sport carries some risk, some of it extreme. We allow people competing in these sports to make their own decisions about the size and acceptability of those risks. Indeed, the presence of risks, and the willingness of elite athletes to take them on, is a big part of what makes sport exciting.

    Plus…if one could somehow eliminate all forms of doping from athletics (for example) it would be a very, very long time before anyone ever breaks a record again. If they ever do.

  13. 13 Mohammed Ali
    July 21, 2008 at 15:08

    Allowing athletes to take drug will lead to the following: a) erode the essence of competition b) there will no reason for much training because the drugs will do the magic c) interest from the public will diminish considerably because the athlete with the highest content of drugs in the blood will eventually become the winner of a competition. We should simply forget about competition if athletes are allowed to take performance enhancing drugs.

  14. 14 Bob in Queensland
    July 21, 2008 at 15:10

    Quick answer: No, they should not be allowed to take drugs. To legalise this would create a competition for the best pharmacist rather than best athlete. What SHOULD happen is a mandatory life ban for anybody who tests positive.

    However, having said that, I wonder if the rules about drugs should be checked and streamlined. Rules that treat an over the counter hay fever remedy the same as high-dosage steroids or whatever need some revision.

  15. 15 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    July 21, 2008 at 15:14

    Drugs? drugs? drugs? WHY should they be allowed? Make a name today and die tomorrow! What sense? Drugs are for miserable people not reputable ones.

  16. 16 Arnaud
    July 21, 2008 at 15:16

    Drugs? drugs? drugs? WHY should they be allowed? Make a name today and die tomorrow! What sense? Drugs are for miserable people not reputable ones.

    Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    Rwandan in Cameroon

  17. 17 Aminu Muhammad
    July 21, 2008 at 15:18

    I don’t think athletics should take drug because if they do,they might get caught one day and be disgraced like the former American sprinter Marion Jones.

    July 21, 2008 at 15:20

    The ban on athletes from the use of certain drugs should strictly be enforced and not relaxed at all. This is because, athletes suppose to exhibit individual skills un-aided by drugs. Where therefore the ban on drugs is removed, sports will no longer attract audience, it will not be entertaining any more as what will prevail will be American Wonders.

  19. July 21, 2008 at 15:23

    Drugs being used all the time by athletes, and lay people for everything under the sun is perhaps destroying the species.

    Drugs should be legalized in order to cut the profits by bad people, but then a severe shunting needs to begin by the general populous. Massive T.V. coverage belittling and making fun of drugheads, and celebrating the opportunities of young people who want to live life and compete in the private money making economy.

    Drugs are for losers should be the battle cry in sports and in general society.

    Medical world needs to stop pushing pills for everything.

    End school busing and make kids ride bikes and walk, run, cross country ski, to school. Save fuel, global warming, and end rediculous diseases like diabeties,
    heart disease, and mental illnesses of the imagination, which evolves when people don’t get up off their butts.

    I sort of like the idea of manditory death sentence for drug dealers and mules, that places like Singapore and a few other nations have, which seems to sort of curtail things and gets the idea across that, that society has better things to do than produce crackheads, speed freaks and druggies.


  20. 20 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 15:26

    For those of you who claim to let them do it. Does it not give an unfair advantage over those who want to play fairly and not endanger their body (assuming we are talking about those drugs which have side effects or risks). So they have to further endanger themselves over just playing the sport, just to win?

    Or should we just say “If you want to play the game and succeed, grab that tourniquet and shoot up”. Trade in those weights and training regiments for needles and pills, kiddies!

    Wow, what a message to send to youth!

  21. 21 Anthony
    July 21, 2008 at 15:41

    I think if they are caught smoking marijuana, they should get a head start, because I’m sure it’s a lot harder to run, jump, and swim when you’re high off of that stuff 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  22. 22 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 15:51

    LOL @ Anthony, good point! haha. So instead of staggering based on lane position on the track, we can have it staggered based on the substances coursing through these fine athletes’ veins.

  23. 23 Shaun in Halifax
    July 21, 2008 at 15:59

    Athletes should not be allowed to use performance enhancing drugs. Not out of any care for their health or for fairness of the sport, but because professional athletes are held to a higher standard than the average person. We place them on a pedastal, it is time they started acting the part.

    These men and women are idols for our young people. Amateur athletes idolize and copy their heroes’ training routines, techniques and rituals. Like it or not, professional athletes have an obligation to live better and cleaner than the average person precicely because of this. Barry Bonds holds the home run record. Actually, Barry Bonds with the help of steroids holds the home run record. Everybody believes that. IF p-e drugs are allowed in pro sport, there WILL be amateur athletes using them. And there WILL be children asking “Barry used steroids, why can’t I?”

    That’s the moral and obligation argument. That being said, if a pro athlete wants to die at 50 because his heart is shot or his kidneys are screwed up from all the hormones and drugs, let him. P-E drugs KILL. They shorten your life. For evidence just look at WWE. Wrestlers have about a 300% higher chance of dying before 55 precicely because of the drugs they take and the punishments their bodies endure. For anybody who thinks steroids are laudible, just look at Chris Benoit.

  24. 24 graceunderfire
    July 21, 2008 at 16:00

    The world of athletics is not; in general, a dark and dishonest place. Lots of young and old athletes enjoy sport in perfectly honest ways. Sadly however, when money drives the system, spontaneous benefaction is not the usual result. That which rises to the top is usually scum, not cream. Those who willingly accept the cheats as athletes are themselves no better. Their arguments militate not for the inevitable universality of dishonesty, but instead sharply highlight their personal desire to “get in on the action.” No matter how many loudly the shout “Everyone does it,” the fact will remain; only worthless cheats do it.

  25. 25 Kwabena
    July 21, 2008 at 16:08

    Legalising doping will turn sports into a competition among drug producers and not athletes.

  26. 26 John in Salem
    July 21, 2008 at 16:17

    I like the idea of a separate competition for athletes who use performance drugs. Athletes could use any drugs they wanted, any records set would be identified as drug-enhanced and people around the world could bet on who will win and who will drop dead in any particular event.
    Sounds like fun.

  27. 27 Mohammed in Pakistan
    July 21, 2008 at 16:23

    Athletes if given free hand then drugs-taking-trend will increase and i’m afraid that it may become a fashion as sportsmen are followed a lot across the world.

  28. 28 1430a
    July 21, 2008 at 16:33

    Hello Everyone
    well acccording to me,sports are enjoyed by the spectators and to make it exiting atheletes have to do the extra bit.that extra bit is taking performance inhancing substances.so it is fair in that sense but not in the sense that some plkayers use it and others dont.
    well to explain it in some sports such as tennis the players do not need these substances but in sports such as sprinting the players need the energy to run as they are breathing anaerobically.so here we cannot really say it is a ‘cheating’.
    i do think that it should be equal insted of just one player taking it and not the rest.the federation should keep certain types in the prescription for medecine and if the players overdose then its their fault.
    Its as simple as that.

  29. 29 selena
    July 21, 2008 at 16:35


    This is a red letter day! 😉

    I am going to agree with you:

    Very few people have any compassion; cheating is often necessary to get ahead and is embraced throughout society, no matter what the rules say; Not many people have a conscience.

    Sad but true!

  30. July 21, 2008 at 16:47

    What is the essence of competition when athletes are allowed to take performance enhancement drugs. It act should be discouraged. Athletes found cheating should be banned.

  31. 31 Luz Ma from Mexico
    July 21, 2008 at 16:51

    Absolutely NO!!!
    Like Bob, I think that athletes that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs should be banned for life from sport competitions.

    Allowing drug use by athletes is a very bad example for children and the youth. I agree with Shaun, athletes have a moral obligation, because usually they become role models for young people.

  32. 32 Jennifer
    July 21, 2008 at 16:52

    About the athletic drug testing…..I don’t think they should be aloud to use any enhancing drugs. I could go to the Olympics too if I was so doped up I couldn’t feel the rest of my body. These athletes should be using their god-given talents and the fruits of their own hard work. If they are using the fruits of a chemistry experiment, it doesn’t count as athletic prowess….it’s a science experiment, nothing more. Ban them, punish them, it doesn’t matter. Personally, I like the asterisk idea. Ok fine hold this record or that, but if you did it on dope, than it will never be as good as the record held by an athlete doing it straight.

    I look forward to today’s show.

    I bet you’re glad to be back home.



  33. July 21, 2008 at 16:56

    I strongly agree with the points struck by Mohammed Ali. The essence of the competition will be meaningless. We should discourage athletes engaged in this ugly act. Sporting authorities should take drastic action against athletes found taking performance enhancement drugs.

  34. 34 Zainab
    July 21, 2008 at 16:59

    Salam to all,
    No i don’t think it is ok to let athletes to take drug.
    Because the most exciting thing in any sport is that the athletes are depending upon their own abilities. they win or lose that’s what they can do. There is no artifical thing, this is their nature.
    When drugs will be allowed, the biggest losers will be the athletes themselves, (by time their health will deteriorate), and the biggest winners will be the drugs companies, because these companies will do their best to present new marks of drugs .

    Yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  35. 35 Jessica in NYC
    July 21, 2008 at 17:05

    Absolutely not! We are talking about athlete who compete in various sports and make a living off their talent. So, using any preforming enhancing drugs is an unfair advantage to other athletes and is not playing to equal standards.

    Having said that, there need to be better testing procedures. Before and during the competitions, random testing and the current “system” is completely outdated and unreliable.

  36. July 21, 2008 at 17:26

    The only way to ensure a fair contest is to let everybody use whatever it take to win. These athletes whole life is to make it into this contest. If they win a gold, in their eyes, life is compete. Let them have the best shot at it. Drug testing should only be used to test the parents who push their children into this situation many times. They often force their children to forgo their childhood for this contest.

    Much like technology invented to improve the auto is often the result of experimenting in F1, maybe improving humans can be gleaned from allowing experimenting in sports.

  37. July 21, 2008 at 17:39

    Hi WHYSers!

    No, I don’t think athletes should be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs in the effort to win competitions. Beyond issues of an unfair advantage and consciences, as noted above, it dishonours the sport and takes away from the “specialness” of it all. By using performance enhancing drugs and also by permitting its use the governing bodies of world sport are not only conceding defeat but are also undermine the nobility of sentiments like: Citius, Altius, Fortisu (Faster, Higher, Stronger) around which games like Olympics were started.

    That does not mean people will not cheat, or that sporting administrator will not make mistakes, it just means that much more of an effort should be made to ensuring that sports are clean. That way, the air of a unique achievement whether through setting a world record, defending a title or winning in the face of adversity, as well as performing at the highest standards is maintained. Remember that, sporting values are, in effect, the highest expressions of our human selves. If cheating is allowed then the bar is set really low.

  38. July 21, 2008 at 17:40

    And, whatever happened to real talent? Is that not a requirement these days? Just curious.

  39. 39 Jonathan (cool, gray San Francisco)
    July 21, 2008 at 17:48

    Athletes shouldn’t take drugs.

    Spectators should take drugs.

  40. 40 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Aghostino:

    I have a feeling people always have cheated, and always will cheat, at just about everything. Even in the Babe Ruth era of baseball, people would cheat. They would mess around with baseballs, cork the bats, anything to get some kind of competitive advantage.

    IF anything, i think people are more honest about their dishonesty these days. If you think about movies, ever notice that in a modern movie, there is sex everywhere, spouses cheat on each other, all pretty realistic stuff, whereas in the 1940s, movies, everything was wholesome, no sex before marriage, “aww shucks” they might have kissed, when in reality, it was nothing like that. More conservative than today, but still, not like how people liked to portray it as.

    Does anyone even think that the female teachers having sex with students is a new thing? It’s not, it’s just now the teachers are finally being held accountable for it, whereas in the past, it was swept under the carpet. This is all a result of society becoming more transparents, and the sports cheating thing is just an example of it.

  41. 41 Alex Sarpong
    July 21, 2008 at 17:49

    I first of all think that the topic available is a highly is an interesting one which could be argued from any angle (postive or negative)
    Athletes to me should not be allowed to take drugs because not only thus these drugs affect careers to perform above their normal abilities but also health wise implications after years of taking these drugs when they are no longer active.As we all know it is said that sports even though competitive it’s mean motive is for friendship,so one may ask why then do we have to cheat to be the best or among the best.
    I believe to maintain the keen and competitive nature of world athletics and sports in general,athletes should not be allowed to take drugs,if not then those who want to take these drugs should have another competition which will be competed for by them (those who take drugs).

  42. 42 Debadas in India
    July 21, 2008 at 17:49

    if all are allowed to take drugs what is the point in conducting this sham called olympics .if it was eastgermans and russians in the 70s now its the turn of americans and other developed countries turn in the 21st century to cheat the unsuspecting public ..
    remember the swimmers of eastgermans ,florencejoyner ,benjohson and all american atheltes like marion jones even carllewis all had taken drugs and was cheating the authorities ..its for antidoping authorities to come up with foolproof methods to catch this thug like drugcheats to win olympic gold .
    if not whats the purpose for conducting fair olympics in future as druless atheletes cant win anything against this cheaters who has got extraedge over other atheletes .thats why 100mtr records are smashed in amazing fashion recently ..even a laymen knows chambers ,gay,usmanbolt all are on drugs but not the authorities and the nation they respond as they on false pride doesnt want as oneup on other nations to reveal this ..so this cright through cold war and recently to show their superpowers over other nations by using drugs they want to come always on top ethics doesnt matter .

  43. 43 Andrew in Australia
    July 21, 2008 at 17:51

    It depends on what type of competition you want to have? Do you want a competition that depends upon hard work, effort and ability or do you want a competition that relies on nothing more than technology?

    To a point an athlete relies on advances in equipment technology and the help of coaches or trainers, but in the end it is the person standing by themselves on the field facing opponents that makes sport. If you allow it anywhere then you may as well allow it in all sports and simply be done with it and say OK get your best chemists to create the best drugs they can and sort it out that way. It is not the same as saying a large person has an unfair advantage over a smaller one, this would be cheating pure and simple.

    As money is the overriding aspect in sports, then drugs will always be there and as such, cheats. If some participate without drugs and use only ability and training then those participating outside that constraint is a cheat and competes unfairly no matter how you justify it. If the rules prohibit drug use for performance than those using drugs should be excluded for all competition and for all time. Even if you face a ban or serve that ban and wish to continue in sport, then surely what you have gained in body mass or strength was based on illicit substances and therefore should exclude you from further competition. Bans for life are the only appropriate penalty and will act as a deterrent. If not, then the life ban option applies.

    If we as a society are serious about sports and fair competition then we must continue to pursue a zero tolerance to drugs and vilify those cheats who attempt to pervert that system.

  44. 44 Rob- Texas
    July 21, 2008 at 17:53

    The prevalence of drugs in the athlete community really is the end of human physical competition and its replacement by scientific experimenal competition. Contests now really have no meaning. There is no way to tell who is more physically adept. The point to winning now is not recognition but financial gain as “winners” are showered with money to endorse products. What they are really endorsing is chemical competition.

    I do not plan to watch the Olympics and I don’t care who wins. It is meaningless.

  45. 45 Robert - Kenya
    July 21, 2008 at 18:09

    Athletes must avoid drugs at all costs because the immediate dangers are in the side effects and this can be explained by doctors all over the world,secondly athletes who use drugs are not faithful to the sport they engage in, so I would not encourage any athlete to consider especially banned drugs for there use.

  46. 46 Kofi
    July 21, 2008 at 18:10

    When I sit behind my TV to watch athletics, I want to see the competitors beat the current records.

    If they have to sniff all the white substances around, or to inject themselves with all the substances

    The rest of the world calls banned, so be it.

  47. 47 Kalypso from Vienna Austria
    July 21, 2008 at 18:10

    would the world be better if all drugs would be legalized, bcause then drug cartels would not exist anymore? no! obviously not!!

    the answer to this problem is obviously not to legalize everything, but to continue to try to get the peope who take drugs.

    if arthlets take drugs, this must have consequences such as a 5-year bann or so.

  48. 48 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:11


    I agree with you on most of the issues. However, I think problems with teachers and their students became more common, as Americans lost their values. At one point in time, people did have values. At least most people had values, nowadays it is rare to find someone who has morals and abides by their morals.

  49. 49 Shaun in Halifax
    July 21, 2008 at 18:11

    I do like the idea of having a ‘clean’ pro sport and a ‘drug’ league.

    Have both, then let the free market decide which one the people want to see. We only get hyped about amateur sports every 4 years or so anyhow. Let Team Human Growth Hormone go against Team Phizer. Open it to gambling and put it on pay per view.

  50. 50 Maria
    July 21, 2008 at 18:16

    What is “natural ability” if not natural differences in body chemistry and genes that give some people an edge in some activities than others? If people are willing to give up their health in order to compensate, then why can’t they? There’s nothing intrinsically “fair” in naturally gifted people having an edge over others.

  51. July 21, 2008 at 18:17

    I cannot stand that people have to go above and beyond to reach their goals. I have lost any respect I have had for the Tour de France because there are constant stories of cheaters coming out. The Olympics are about the best athletes who are ahead of the pack because of their talents not performance enhancing drugs. These so called athletes that have been caught should be ashamed.

    Money has ruined sports becaues “athletes” will do what they have to attain the money.

  52. 52 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 18:18

    @ Angela

    People have always said that the young generations are hopeless and worse than they used to be. People have NEVER had values. They just lied about the values they had. They have always had teachers having sex with students, it’s only now they are starting to get held accountable for doing it. In the past, the laws used to protect women from a lot of criminal liability, by passing it off as “hysterics” so many women were not tried at all, it would embarrass their families, etc. If you read about pre-WW1 France, and the Trial of madame cailloux, some wife of a french politician assasinated a critic. her defense was “i’m just a girl” basically… it worked. Now society is different, and has come a long way into at least trying to make accountability an equal opportunity thing. Things that used to get a pass are starting to equalize, though is not still equal.

    Again, it’s not that people are less moral (let’s be honest, the reason why people in the 1940s and 1950s weren’t as promiscuous was simply because there was no birth control pill back then) it’s that just have more oppoortunity to do things. IT’s easier now.

  53. 53 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:18

    I will say that if I was betting on the game, I would rather put my money on the dopers than the people who use their own talent.

  54. 54 Ross
    July 21, 2008 at 18:19

    Atheletes should NOT be allowed to take any performance enhancing drugs. Let atheletes try to cheat if they like; they will eventually fail a drug test at some point in their career and have to face the shame then.

  55. 55 Jamie - California
    July 21, 2008 at 18:20

    Our children look up to top athletes. If they were all taking drugs it would drive our children to imitate them. Would you want your 16 year old shooting up to play better soccer? I think the only people that would really gain anything out of legalizing performance enhancers are the executives at the drug manufacturing companies.

  56. 56 Serina - Singapore
    July 21, 2008 at 18:20

    To those who think it should be allowed for the safety of athletes, why should we care if athletes become ill when they want to enhance their performances. They know the risks, they do it for money. They don’t really work hard for a career or study and simply want their ‘glory’ to make it big in endorsements. If they cheat, be it on their heads. And it is no comparison to F1 racing. It IS technology based that’s the point, you have a better wing, you win. In sports, you run fast or lift more, you win.

  57. 57 Ashi in New Jersey
    July 21, 2008 at 18:21

    In a perfect world athletes would performing naturally but i think it is impossible to do so. Sports figures have reached such a celebrity that there is pressure to maintain a level of skill. Also it only takes one person to take some sort of enhancing drugs for everyone to start so there is no way to monitor every athlete in the world. Not to mention that for every drug that is invented, and every testing method that is invented, there are atleast 3-5 ways to beat it.

    Also in almost every sport, we want to see people breaking records and performing super human feats and therefore we dont care if our athletes take PED. There are PED free athletic organizations but they dont make any money because no one cares about them.

    Chris Bell is on the line, and his brother is Mark Bell who lifts for the WPO which gets a much bigger draw than the natural version of the sport. The same is true for Professional Bodybuilding.

    Another point to make is that there are legal drugs which are the same as illegal steroids except for one little chemical and that makes them legal. What limit do we set for what is considered a PED and how do we monitor all the research going on in the world in creating PED.

  58. 58 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:21


    You can’t say that everyone is immoral. You yourself have morals, so there must be some people out there that have morals.

  59. 59 Brett
    July 21, 2008 at 18:21

    Please have the author who is pro-doping address the issues of the youth; The impact that drugs and doping will have on aspiring youth athletes who are not carefully monitored by the best of the best in the athletic-medical field. Unregulated and irresponsible Drug abuse in highschool and college sports are already a widespread problem. Would this do nothing but exacerbate the problem and put those youths who are further encouraged to indulge in such things, in danger?
    How many millions of children look up to and idolize athletes? Is this an example we want to be projecting towards our youth?

  60. July 21, 2008 at 18:22

    Legalizing the drugs could ‘force’ an athlete to make choices that are life threatening. Potential liability against the racing body could follow.
    Why not measure the amount and tiype of drugs after the race and handicap the runners much like a golf tournament.

    The winner would be the individual would be the runner witn the best time/lowest drug level.
    Middleburg Ht. Ohio

  61. 61 nelsoni
    July 21, 2008 at 18:22

    Competion in sports is based on human abilities, any one who use drugs illegaly to boost their natural abilities, suffers from inferiority complex because he/she thinks they don’t have be ability to excel and should be publicly disgraced and sent to prison.

  62. 62 Danielle in San Francisco
    July 21, 2008 at 18:23

    I would not choose to watch drugged sports, where I knew the players were doping. It definitely takes the thrill out of admiring human abilities. I saw, for example, Barry Bonds break a world record but didn’t really care.

    It is also a good point that not everyone can afford the good ones. It’s a gross business, and just because it is prevalent does not mean it should be legalized or accepted. I do like the idea of the drug league… just another gross thing I wouldn’t personally partake of, but an outlet for those who want it.

  63. 63 Mason - Utah
    July 21, 2008 at 18:23

    If you allow performance enhancing drugs in sports the physical human achievement is removed.  Instead of allowing drugs we should  just get rid of all human athletes and either watch robots or video games to meet our need for competition.  The beauty of sports is the amazing achievement of these athletes accomplished through hard work and discipline, not who has the best scientist behind them.

  64. 64 Michael
    July 21, 2008 at 18:27

    There may be a little improvement in performance using drugs but why should athletes from poorer countries not be allowed to use them as a substitute for expensive training at altitude. And performance doesn’t appear from nowhere, the major determinants are hard work, training and natural talent.

  65. 65 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2008 at 18:28

    Business has some considerable role in this, and that fact needs to be addressed.

  66. 66 Denise
    July 21, 2008 at 18:28

    Once, I had a serious allergic reaction, and my doctor prescribed steroids for me for a short period of time to help me fight it off. Are athletes allowed the same treatment?

  67. 67 Danielle in San Francisco
    July 21, 2008 at 18:29

    Vedran –Two more comments– there are drugs in the olympics – Marion Jones had to give up her gold medals and I believe also spend some time in jail. and there are many more I am sure.

    Maria — I do not believe in leveling the playing filed for all people in all activities. the thrill in watching sports, music, etc., is to admire the strengths of other amazing people – things that not just everybody can do. Everyone has a different thing they do especially well and there is no reason for everyone to be good at all the same things. That would be ridiculous and boring.

  68. July 21, 2008 at 18:29

    Have we become this morally corrupt. The idea that we would even consider allowing steroids and performance enhancing drugs in the world of sports is ridiculous. Sport is about displaying the physical feats of man, not the strength of his drugs.

  69. 69 portlandmike
    July 21, 2008 at 18:30

    People take drugs. Doctors prescribe drugs for performance in our everyday lives, for everything from shyness to speed. I think it is absurd to demand that our atheletes be “pure.” They aren’t. They never were.

  70. 70 Scott - USA
    July 21, 2008 at 18:30

    Some athletes are simply against drug use. Creating an even playing field by legalizing drugs create an unneeded pressure on these athletes by making them feel as if they need drugs in order to compete well.

  71. 71 Heather
    July 21, 2008 at 18:30

    I enjoy watching sport, but watching sport knowing that the players take enhancing drugs is like looking at a photograph knowing it was created or enhanced by computer software – its just fake.

  72. July 21, 2008 at 18:32

    @ Steve,

    I take your points altogether, even the ones about sex on TV. However, I still maintain that the goal of sport is really to showcase humanity at its best. Drugs in sports, by contrast, show us at our worst; that is, in terms of claiming acknowledgement for achievements were ill recieved.

    Surely, I am not trying to be naive about performance enhancement efforts over the years, whether at the dawn of sporting traditions, the turn of the last century, or even now. Rather, I am suggesting that a greater efforts has to be made in defense of the ideals sports are supposed to represent. Othewise, we are all fooling ourselves – audience and athletes, alike, with those medals dangling around their necks and the nationals anthems and the tears.

    And, yes, I am one of those who cry (I admit it!) when I see the grit and determination rewarded and the sense of jublilation and accomplishment which washes over the athletes when they take the podium. Performance enhancing drugs diminishes, if not altogether undermines the value and purpose of these achievements and emotions!

    No, performance enhancing drugs should not be allowed in sport!

  73. 73 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2008 at 18:32

    I think drugs should be outlawed except for Americans, so we can win all the Gold Medals and then strut about like the Nationalistic and Jingoistic peacocks we currently are.

    Remember, Bush said that we are the greatest Nation on earth!

  74. 74 Shaun in Halifax
    July 21, 2008 at 18:32

    I agree with Brett. Can you ask the guest that question?

  75. 75 Karl Berlin
    July 21, 2008 at 18:36

    Once the taboo on drug use in sports were broken their use will become almost obligatory for anyone who wants to take part in a competition. It would also have a severe impact on millions of teenage sportlers who may take drugs without knowing about the risks or simple misuse them as a substitute for training. – If drugs were legalised – what comes next?

  76. 76 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:37

    The authorities will never be ahead of the scientists. So drugs will always be in the game.

  77. 77 Damian - Virginia
    July 21, 2008 at 18:38

    Legalizing/permitting performance enhancing drug use in elite sports would be a dangerous mistake. It is a very naive view to suggest that legalization would only affect “elite” atheletes. This is to forget that elite athletes were once talented young athletes. The pressure for athletes to begin performance enhancing drug use at younger and younger age would rise sharply in the face of legalization. And the dangers of steroid use in young people, especially adolescents, are unquestionable and very severe.

    It is also naive to suggest that partial legalization could be a viable solution. Cheating by performance enhancing drug use would still remain a problem, it would merely be a different selection of drugs that were not permitted.

  78. 78 Charles - Texas
    July 21, 2008 at 18:38

    Olympic athletics and professional sports such as baseball and cricket are different. Athletes who are paid for their performance as work have financial incentive to do well. They feed their families through sports and no one should be their nanny.

    While Olympic Athletes initially have the choice to dope or not, their. Performance is motivated by bigger, more important and pressing concerns. The first olympic athlete to dope males the decision for himself and all of his competitors. No drug should be allowed in the olympics.

  79. 79 Ashi in New Jersey
    July 21, 2008 at 18:39

    The best way to get rid of drugs in sports is to create completely drug free leagues of sports and pay them better money and have these leagues impose stricter penalties and tests.

  80. July 21, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Steve,

    As to people being more honest about their dishonesty, point taken on that one as well! However, that does not diminish the central point that cheat, regardless of whether we acknowledge that we are doing so or not, is still trying to get an unfair advantage over opponents who might not be similarly advantaged.

    On the matter of “cheating spouses”, I come from a different place on these issues and refuse to pass judgment on others, not so much because I endorse sleeping around on one’s partner or having emotionally dishonest relationships with each other, but because often the boundaries are never as clear cut.

    Experience has taught me that, it is easy to pass judgment on others, especially when we begin to talk about sex. However, reality sometimes warrant that we withold these verdicts until all the facts are available. I can only speak for myself and, therefore, would not wish to be cheated on in the sense of the emotional betrayal and sense of hurt that come with that territory.

    Still, that is a negotiation between you and your partner in terms of trust issues, open-ness, honesty and communication. Often, I find that when relationships are no longer “fun” in the sense that the romantic feelings at the start have been cooled some and new realities are faced by the partners, there is usually very little honesty in terms of admitting that something is not quite right in the relationship.

    In that regard, I am not so sure if I can see the line of connection between sport cheats and relationship “cheats”, in the same way that you are making the point above. However, I am open to suggestions.

  81. 81 Gavin
    July 21, 2008 at 18:41

    People want to see home runs and new world records, most definitely. As a viewer I want to see someone that is extraordinary, someone to look up to and know they have a GIFT, a natural talent, or something they worked for. If they cannot do it on there own and they lose out on their dream, that is life. Being an athlete isn’t easy and we shouldn’t make drugs legal just so we don’t have to deal with cracking down on the bad guys. Everyone knows that these days people want instant gratification, they want spectacular events in sports, but they are phony and without value if they are achieved by cheating. We should not cater to the short attention span of viewers at the risk of the athletes and all those that look up to them.

    I used to play college baseball, and I took creatine, it improved my abilities greatly. And as soon as I saw the improvement, I stopped taking, despite the sacrifice to my career by doing it. I stopped watching baseball without really doing it deliberately, but I believe I did it because of the steroid scandal.

    Making a problem legal, doesn’t solve the problem, it just ignores it. It is lazy and irresponsible.

  82. 82 Gerik Peterson, Cleveland, OH
    July 21, 2008 at 18:43

    If you consider using drugs is similar to building a machine, you will find that there have been many machines which no man’s strength could ever match. So, taking into account there are drawbacks of “building” a man through drugs, would you rather sports be based on strength built by human dilligence via training and exercize, or by money and intelligent drug usage?

    That is the question steriods produces.

  83. 83 Anne in Canada
    July 21, 2008 at 18:43

    Drugs in sport? On the one hand, who cares if they take performance enhancing drugs and kill themselves. But these athletes are role models for young people who want to excell at their sports, so of course, this should not be allowed.
    Sporting bodies should cancel these sporting events- Tour de France, the Olympics etc. then athletes will stop taking these drugs because they can no longer compete. These people who take these drugs are only cheats and losers.

  84. 84 Lee - Auckland
    July 21, 2008 at 18:44

    When I was a bit younger and looking to a career in cycling I was told early on that I needed to consider using drugs. Not necessarily to train less, you still have to train hard, just can recover better. But what was known about the drugs of the day I learnt as much as I could and reslised I may never be world class and it was a gamble if I would and a gamble for my long term health. I realised for a brief career and hopefully long life the risks to my health were not worth it. But maybe that’s just me, others I knew had no problems and took the drugs path. I can say a few I still know dont regret it, but suffer now because of it. What kind of people were they that they did not care about sport and fair play, let alone themselves! Win at all cost you show no respect for yourself, your competitors or the fans who pay to see you.

  85. 85 Ugoch
    July 21, 2008 at 18:45

    I understand their desire to level the playing field, but for me, as someone who plays a sport, it would be bothersome. For example, if I was able to outrun someone and score of try or blow though someone on the field, I would feel great, because it would be though my own effort and skill that I did it. But if I was on drugs or other teams were on drugs I would always wonder, did I do well because of my effort, or was it the drugs, did I lose because the other team is just better, or because they are on something that makes them stronger than I could ever be without taking drugs? Having those questions while trying to play would make me depressed and effect my ability to play the sport. It would really mess me up and I would probably stop playing because then playing the sport wouldn’t make me happy, which is the main reason why I do it.

  86. 86 Jens
    July 21, 2008 at 18:47

    Answer is simple,

    have two olympics. one for steroid enhance monster athlets and the other for mere mortals.

  87. 87 Matt in Portland
    July 21, 2008 at 18:47

    Lyle Alzado passed away from cancer that he blamed on steroid use. It was probably not the steroids that killed him but that was not what I took away from his story that made me against the use of steroids.

    In an interview before his death he was asked if he would have been as a good an athlete without the steroids. Choking back the tears he said, “I’ll never know”.

  88. 88 Horatio in Oxford
    July 21, 2008 at 18:50

    How about if we test the blood of the medallists right after the tournament?

  89. July 21, 2008 at 18:51

    In light of the claim about the use of medicinal drugs to fight off legitimate illness for which things like steroids can be used, here are some questions for the panel:

    When should athletes be allowed to use performance enhancing substances in sports? (When they are having cold, headache, a bad day, a failed relationship, the death of a spouse? What?)

    And how much is enough? (When do we know we have reached the limit? Or, do we just continue for as long and as much as we like?)

    Surely, there has to be a gauge. No? If so, what is it? And how are such standards determined and by who?

  90. 90 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 21, 2008 at 18:51

    Steriods are used heavily in medicine for health reasons, not to play better in sports. It is not wise to say just taking steriods period are just good for you. They should be used in the proper place. If you are using them to improve your game, don’t lie to yourself and say that it is helping me improve my health.

  91. 91 steve
    July 21, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Denise

    There are different types of steroids, the type you take for allegrgies, the types you take for a stuffy nose, are totally different than anabolic steroids.

  92. 92 Nick in USA
    July 21, 2008 at 18:53

    I just found this video last night, I think it fits the topic perfectly. This is what will happen if we allow all drugs in the olympics folks.


  93. 93 Kerrie
    July 21, 2008 at 18:54

    I’m just wondering if supermodels get tested?Musicians that are awarded a grammy?Actors an oscar? When you receive the booker prize or pulitzer do they test you to make sure you were not high while writing? It seems to me that only athletes are expected to be held to an all natural contract to stay at the top of their game? Are we holding them to a higher standard then everyone else? No amount of drugs would get me into the Tour d’ France. These athletes are already in the top percent thru hard work. Why are we policing them so harshly?

  94. 94 Jamie
    July 21, 2008 at 18:54

    The fans need to tell the athletes it’s cool to be clean!!!!And keep fighting it. Give some hope to the young pure athletes

  95. 95 Josh
    July 21, 2008 at 18:55

    Why don’t we simply separate the two categories? “pure” sports and “enhanced” sports. The pure sports could be very strictly regulated and tested and the people who want to exceed that level could perform in the enhanced version of their sport.

  96. July 21, 2008 at 18:56

    Wouldn’t legalizing doping generate a sub-culture that would pride themselves on doing it naturally?

  97. 97 John Medley in Brooklyn, NY
    July 21, 2008 at 18:57

    One basic question is why would we want steroids? Why not keep sports at a universal and timeless standard as it has been (or was) in past history? Then we will have a true integrity and a truely level playing field.
    Perhaps those who want performace enhancing drugs can organize their own leagues and “entertain” crowds as much as they want. It could be called the “freaks olymipcs” since that is what it would become.

  98. 98 Mason- Utah
    July 21, 2008 at 18:59

    If you legalize “safe” amounts of performance enhancing drugs you are still drawing a line, and atheletes will still try and push that envelope, and find more effective drugs, and will use amounts that are not safe. 

  99. 99 Lamii in Liberia
    July 21, 2008 at 19:10

    Dear Ros:

    Welcome back from your travels.

    On the issue been discuss is doesn’t make sense to allow doping to become legal in sports. Maybe just for the fun of it there can be established a separate Olympics for people who do dope. That way we would know how much impact dope have on sports.

  100. 100 Juratius - Liberia
    July 21, 2008 at 19:17

    For the beautification of the game, athlete shouldn't be allowed to take performance enchancement drugs. These drugs will destroy the game.

  101. 101 Horace Nyaka
    July 21, 2008 at 19:40

    If drugs are allowed, then it wont be dopping- it wont be illigal. Drugs or not, I believe talent will always flourish. The problem is that scientists sometimes give conflicting information. Why should you have acceptable levels of dope.
    You either allow them or completely disallow it.

    Maybe the IOC should just introduce a mini series for the doppers. It would be fun to see how crackheads would outwit each other for Gold, Bronze etc.


  102. July 21, 2008 at 20:28

    @ Horace Nyaka,

    I agree with you about the “acceptable levels of doping” vs. illegality issue. In fact, this is what I was trying to tease out by asking my questions above. Hopefully, I was clear. We either accept doping as part of international sports, or we do not.

    Certainly, in terms of drugs for medicinal purposes one has to also consider that there are certain drugs which are not included on the doping list as well as the levels which might be consumed by an athlete legitimately. The debate, however, is being hijacked in a way by the suggestion that if we take drugs for medicinal purposes, legitimately, then we should also take them for performance enhancement. The implicit message here is that to have talent, by itself, is a bad thing which clearly needs a medical “fix” through the use of performance enhancing drugs.

    Ironically, however, the drugs taken do not clear up the “problem” of talent, as suggested in this line of reasoning. Rather, it enhances it. In that regard, performance enhancers and legitimate usage of doctor prescribed drugs are not one and the same. Indeed, to the extent that this is so, we seem to be overlooking the meaning of competition as something to which one dedicates one’s life and resources in such a way as to be considered a professional in a specific discipline(s).

    People who take “regular” drugs do so not as athletes or even to win a race or an event, but rather to overcome a medically diagnosed problem, in many instances, for which doctor prescribed, or over the counter medication can help alleviating. Taking a substance to make one run faster, jump higher or to become stronger is definitely not the same thing, in terms of professional competition.

    In that regard, we really do need information on what are the drugs that are banned and why? What is the “normal” levels of hormones and other substances produced by the body “naturally” that allows us to know when someone is in violation of these standards. We also need to know under what conditions samples taken from athletes for drug use are considered over the limit and whether all of the instances of determing breaches is reliable in the same way?

  103. 103 Uncomfortable Reality
    July 21, 2008 at 20:45

    How many of you are drinking caffeine as you read this? DOPERS! Filthy cheats!

    There are three reasons athletes should be allowed to dope and two reasons they should not be allowed to dope:
    Why they should:
    1) It will allow medical supervision that will prevent many of the health and life-threatening risks (and deaths) associated with unfettered use;
    2) There is no real logical place to draw the line between caffeine, lasik (both currently legal) and testosterone or EPO (both illegal).
    3) it is A MYTH that testosterone EPO or GH (to name a few of the usual doping suspects) will “take years off your life”. Look at the Governator; Arnold was on gobs of juice and he looks better than ever! (he probably had a very knowledgeable team advising on how much was too much, see point 1). Most of these are naturally occurring substances that are regularly prescribed by docs for non-athletes; people take them for years with (gasp!) positive side effects.
    4) The idea that doping athletes don’t work as hard is just plain wrong. The whole point of most of these substances is that they allow the athlete to train more often.

    There is one great reason not do dope now, and one reason why it should not be legalized for athletes. The first is that it is just against the rules, regardless of how arbitrary those rules may be. Why is it illegal to cork a bat while it is alright to use modern composite javelins? Who knows? But those are the rules, and rules are what separate “sport” from “war” and “games” from “battle”.
    The reason to not legalize for athletes goes back to a point in an earlier post: child athletes. While the adult human body can deal with these substances rather well, they wreak havoc on pre-pubescent and pubescent kids. While I’m tempted to say legal and medical supervision should mitigate misuse by kids, we all know how much underage smoking and drinking goes on. A kid gunning for a scholarship will find a way to get it. Of course, high school football players are already on the stuff, so it may not make a difference.

    Until we come to grips with what performance enhancement is versus what we think it is, then a two-league system might be the way to go. Let’s give athletes a place to compete honestly with their EPO, modafinil and testosterone. That way the people born with more testosterone won’t have an unfair advantage.

  104. 104 Thomas Murray
    July 21, 2008 at 20:52

    NO NO NO NO!

    After the filly Eight Belles broke both her ankles after the Kentucky Derby last may, the push was on to ban steroid use in RACE HORSES, as there’re said to mask physical problems bought on by extreme inbreeding.

    For the record, Eight Belles was found NOT to be on drugs. Her accident probably a combination of weak ankles (again with the breeding problem) and “toe grabs,” a horseshoe with a raised lip in front to improve traction. Toe grabs and excessive whipping are also considered for banning. One track in Kentucky already has.

    And both the Kentucky and California Horse Racing are recommending a steroid ban for both states.

    The problem is that steroids are still therapeutically useful. They’re administered when a person has a severe reaction to poison ivy or poison sumac, for example. So it’s conceivable that an athlete could come in contact with them without their kknowledge, as many doctors are too busy to tell you much of anything here except “You need a shot.”

    But the unnatural advantage steroids give to both human and equestrian athletes is just another impediment to the purity of sport.

    Now an All-Cocaine Olympics is something I’d actually pay to see.

    Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  105. 105 Uncomfortable Reality
    July 21, 2008 at 21:28


    Sport has never been pure.

    I do agree that athletes can come into contact with dope without their knowledge, but even more easily than when at the doctor’s office. Supplement companies that market to athletes and body builders have been known to put pro-hormones in their products and not list it on the label (mainly because it is illegal). Consumers think the “new proprietary blend” is a miracle when it is really and old product tied with a new shiny bow. The companies don’t care as long as the product sells.

    Here again, I advocate transparency. Supplement companies should be required to label their products in the same manner that food is labeled.

  106. 106 Janet Camp
    July 21, 2008 at 21:51

    People who comment don’t distinguish steroids from blood doping from non-athletes using prescription medications. It is difficult to have a meaningful discussion without definitions as a starting point.

    I would recommend that the IOC simply listen to all the science, evaluate the expense and likelihood of eliminating any abuse and then decide in a rational way whether or not any or some level of drug use will be tolerated and then make the policy stick. Appealing to the “conscience” and other moral arguments are probably useless with so much money involved.

    I think I will skip the whole thing this year due to all this, however. I have no confidence that the games will be “clean” in any way at this point. It’s very sad as I have enjoyed the Olympics for many years and always thought there were only a few cheaters. Guess I was terribly naive. Thanks again, BBC!

  107. July 21, 2008 at 22:50

    No performance enhancing drugs should be allowed, because it would make competition impossible for those who compete without them.

    Sport is supposed to be a healthy occupation, not a finely balanced exercise in chemistry. They should test all the winners to protect the athletes who compete in good faith.

  108. 108 Emile Barre
    July 21, 2008 at 22:51

    Any athlete of any description in any sport found guilty of taking “performance enhancing drugs”of any description should face a life ban with no right of appeal. The suppliers of the drugs should face prosecution. Unfortunately I am not convinced that the authorities governing global athletics/sports are genuinely serious about tackling this problem.

  109. 109 Roberto
    July 22, 2008 at 01:16

    I am not convinced that the authorities governing global athletics/sports are genuinely serious about tackling this problem.

    —— I am convinced.

    Difference being I’m convinced they are part of the problem. Let’s be clear here, they’ve been running dirty programs going on at least 3 decades now. They make good money and get a lot of back slaps for the great marketing jobs they do.

    All starts with marketing and corporate culture that sponsors this madness and is a part of securing public subsidies for it. These guys too often produce inferior products to market and have too many of these INCs are cooking the books and causing major financial catastrophies, ie the lastest American mortgage meltdown that has sucked up much of the world’s savings and created an international financial crisis as a small example.

    This is the current culture that athletes are culled from, to cheat, to hype, to get in with the movers and shakers, to do what you have to do to get ahead, be the winner, and the winners get all the girls and the reward$.

    Currently there is no credible test to detect human growth hormone. The EPO test is basically just an experimental test they fast tracked into use in spite of inconclusive results which meant they had to alter baselines to protect themselves from lawsuit. Meaning if you’re savvy, EPO use is no problem.

    Same with steroids. You train on steroids, not perform on them.

    I do believe there are a minority of athletes who don’t use, but I doubt many are elite.

    As long as BIG MONEY can be made, there will always be a class of people who will sell their souls to the devil to reap the reward. World history 101.

    The true irony is that these are legitimate prescription drugs being used for illicit purpose and carry grave health risks, yet in many countries the innocuous use of marijuana is a crime in spite of posing few health risks.

    People and their leaders are doing a poor job managing the realities of drug use sad to say.

    No new news there.

  110. July 22, 2008 at 01:36

    Being able to take drugs puts other atheletes at a diadvantage. If ever they allowed to take drugs then the olympics should be renamed “The Drug Olympics”.

  111. 111 Bill Turner
    July 22, 2008 at 01:36

    How can anyone even contemplate allowing or condoning drugs in whatever setting? We are trying to encourage young people not to get into a life of drugs and the misery that comes with it – often criminal activity to fund the habit – then we suggest allowing it in some sports? Nonsense.

    Those with the most money behind them will be able to afford the ‘best’ drugs. There is no fairness. All sports people should compete on their abilities – (natural – without drug enhancements)and not according to how many drugs they have taken or can afford to take.

    Catch a competitor on drugs in (or out) of competition and they should face a life ban. If drug users want to compete against other drug users then create a tandem sport where this can flourish. For the rest of us I want to see ‘clean’ and fair competition……..

  112. 112 portlandmike
    July 22, 2008 at 02:20

    @Bill Turner,

    We are trying to encourage young people not to get into a life of drugs and the misery that comes with it – often criminal activity to fund the habit – then we suggest allowing it in some sports? Nonsense.

    Why do you believe that we are “trying to encourage” our children to not use drugs? We in the West begin drugging our children from an early age. We have millions of kids on kiddie Prozac and Ritalin… and hundreds of other drugs. We use millions of gallons of alcoholic beverages, zillions of cigarettes; there is a coffee shop on every corner. Marijuana is available within minutes of your door. Then there is Viagra, and all the tranquilizers and mood “stabilizers.” But we want our athletes clean and pure!

    What about aspirin, and Head On? Soon there will be a drug that will help you to remember, and already there is a drug that will make you forget traumatic experiences. Why is a drug that helps you uptake oxygen, or “build” muscle be so offensive?

  113. 113 M.Carter
    July 22, 2008 at 04:05

    Taking drugs destroys the concept of sports as a healthy activity. To encourage or require the young to take drugs for any reason other than to cure a serious illness is wrong.
    This is an intuitive understanding.
    Logic is often used to overcome intuition. Is this because some individuals have never developed the intuitive side of their brain or …?

  114. 114 Tom
    July 22, 2008 at 04:17

    Since this question is asked, perhaps the next question would be:

    Should athletes be allowed to take plastic / genetic surgery to extend their legs, web their hands and feet, expand their lungs, enlarge their muscles, calcify/metalise their bones to enhance their competitive edge (so long the surgeries are safe)?

    Just like the latest hi-tech swim suits, if one doesn’t have the money to pay for these radical surgeries then tough luck. Go pray and hope to be born to a better life next time.

  115. 115 Michael in San Francisco
    July 22, 2008 at 05:34

    It is completely unfair to the honest athletes if others are secretly taking drugs. Yet many fans just want to see extreme performances, and don’t care if the athletes are harming their bodies or not. My view is that there should be two seperate leagues in at least some sports: The Organic League and The Cyborg League.

    Athletes competing in the Organic League should be rigorously tested for all known substances on a regular basis, with portions of all samples tested retained forever. As new substances are identified, these samples should be retested. Anyone found cheating in any degree should be banned from competition in the Organic League of any sport for their lifetime, with no chance of reinstatement. Any prizes they may have won, or records they may have set (I’m talking about you, Barry Bonds) would be rescinded, and they would be required to return their entire earnings for the year.

    Athletes competing in the Cyborg League would be free to do what ever they want, however destructive to their bodies it may be. If they want to shorten their lives by decades for a few years of glory, fine. If they want to cut off their legs and replace them with six-foot carbon-fiber prosthetics, complete with electric motors and gyroscopes, fine. If they want to get their eyes operated on to give them telescopic vision (as Tiger Woods has done), fine. Having such an operation and then competing against normal people is no more ethical than taking drugs is, so Tiger should be confined to the Cyborg League, but within that league any surgeries would be permitted.

    If this was done, some fans would decide that they would rather watch a fair competition between people in their natural state, while others would no doubt prefer to watch a cross between rugby and battlebots. Either one is fine, the unfairness comes when the two “species” are competing on the same field, and this is what should be rigorously prohibited.

  116. 116 portlandmike
    July 22, 2008 at 06:50

    @M Carter

    Who believes “concept of sports as a healthy activity?” That is painfully naive to my jaded sensibilities. Athletes like those on the Tour will use anything to get that tiny advantage that translates into a stage victory (or just being there!). And this has been going on since day one. What sport at the most elite level doesnt have athletes that have used drugs?


    I can assure you that there are already people using genetics to make “super men.” It can’t not happen.

    There was a runner from South Africa who has bionic calves and feet who is a sprinter… an excellent sprinter… BUT not quite fast enough this Olympics.

    @Michael in San Francisco

    You say, “It is completely unfair to the honest athletes if others are secretly taking drugs.” But I believe that for the big events… everywhere in life, from fighting on the front lines, to running the Iron Man, those top performers will take “drugs” that they believe make them perform better… they have taken them before many times, and they know they work. They are the pros.

    And those different groups the Organic vs the Cyborgs has been going on since the days of the Gladiators, and the organic folk always show up for the Cyborg’s events, and get dropped!

    Now the Tour goes into the mountains. Anyone who can just ride a bicycle a 100 miles is an amazingly fit person…one of the fittest people on the planet. Yet these guys on the Tour do that day after day… and then get tested to see if they “cheated!??” To me, and I know Im in a minority, I believe that is disrespectful.

    Lets test doctors, and politicians randomly for “cheaters!” What percent of your local pols or doctors are “clean?” Arent they our role models? Don’t we deserve to know?

  117. July 22, 2008 at 07:45

    Nandrolone Decanoate, testosterone cypionate (oil base), testosterone (water base), ACTH, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) other vitamins and minerals.. such life enhancing chemicals exist. Instead of just the military, police and firefighters employed by the government receiving them, everyone should be sanctioned to use such anabolic steroids. These chemicals enhance the longevity and quality of life in any being.

    There are even other minute produced chemicals that can as well be enhanced and sadly there would be more if humanity would be allowed to evolve. Humanity has been exploited from the very beginning of civilization. Gods have been given them so they would not use the very essence and meaning for the life that they embody. Injustices have been made sufferable with a ambiguous reward after they no longer exist.

    The mind set of ruthless authorities don’t want a better humanity and the very thoughts in any citizens head has been put there by these exploiting authorities.
    Athletes and everyone should be allowed to use any drug in the hopes of cheating suffering,death and allowed to excel beyond every accomplishment.

    Humanity has digressed and has not evolved in greater than 6000 years. The Earth is inhabited by a savage human kind parading their violence and murder in the streets. Scientist with their sadism against the individual speak of space ships, bionic limbs, and aliens. Humanity has no idea about the real world. Their exist beings evolved beyond humanity and what is called God is the every moment ability of beings once like humanity. They never destroyed their selves and used the substance that they are and that civilization dwarfs the understanding and ability of every human beings mind.

  118. 118 Mushfique Wadud
    July 22, 2008 at 08:35

    Dear presenter

    Sports are for good health.But drugs are very harmful for health.So athelets should never be allowed to take drug. Moreover, young generation are easily motivated by the sports men. That’s why athelets should not take them for social perspective.

  119. July 22, 2008 at 09:06

    I don’t really blame these athletes who take drugs because the raison d’etre of the pharmaceuticals producing these drugs is meant for consumption. So even if one athlete opts not to take the drugs, he will still be perturbed by the fact that one of his fellow rivals will not follow the same path. So why clamp down only on those athletes leaving out the laboratories?

  120. July 22, 2008 at 10:24

    Anabolic Steroids are not dangerous drugs as to what a Nation’s mind controlled media have citizens to think.

    The danger is the abuse of drugs that are implanted in a individual which release the drug over a period of time. What is happening is that there are individuals who melt down that type drug and inject what would last for a month in one injection.

    Nations want their citizens with a weak mind and body.. These individuals known users of Anabolic Steroids who are reported killing their family in some sort of rage are individuals taking something more than Steroids. I would look into the distributes of their acquired drugs for the answer.

    What is propagated to be the world and it’s history is a lie cultivating a world that enslaves a populous. Nation Governments commit horrible crimes and disinformation is how they continue to exploit their citizens. If you control the mind, the rest will follow.

  121. 121 Brett
    July 22, 2008 at 12:27

    On the flip side, imagine how dumb you would feel if even whilst you were completely doped up, you still couldn’t beat someone who was on the straight and narrow.

    Talk about losing face, to not even be able to cheat right.

  122. 122 Ogola Benard
    July 22, 2008 at 14:22

    Doping is a disease, its an instance within and out of the mind.very often and casual in india – sorry for joggers.

  123. 123 jamily5
    July 22, 2008 at 19:37

    If a person if a person plagerizes their thesis, then their degree is invalid.
    Drugs are just another form of cheating.
    It should be sanctioned, as such.
    And, athletes should be treated like any other person who takes controlled substances.
    If we had a
    “enhanced,” and “nonenhanced,” league, don’t you think that the enhancers would want to hide that fact so that they could win in the other league?
    Pedro, interesting concept, but there are always going to be ways to beat the test.
    The real point is not just the drug, is is the cheating.
    If all athletes were allowed to take any drug, then, there would be a competition to find the best drug.
    Moving the line to include (some drugs) would not do any good.
    These athletes don’t respect the current boundaries, what makes you think that they will respect the new ones?

  124. July 23, 2008 at 11:20

    what are these advantages that the so called drugs are giving?am sure there would still be winners and losers even if all athletes took steroids.they all wouldnt be number 1.

  125. 125 peter mose
    July 25, 2008 at 09:09

    do you remember back in the 50s britain was the first to break the 4 minurt mile
    it just so happens that runner was a doctor who was the runner was studying drugs
    that regulate the heart.

    peter mose
    fully trackable

  126. 126 Courtney
    August 24, 2008 at 04:33

    Should drugs be allowed into the Olympics? It not like its going to give an unfair advantage? Also it would be cheaper so that’s good, no harm done…right? Wrong! Drugs in the Olympics would be terrible! Think of the consequences. These are the things I’ll be debating today. The effect that steroids have on athletes, the East German scandal, how children look up to the athletes and what idea that would give them and the athletes that are forced to take them and their human rights.

    The effect that steroids have on Athletes!

    Steroids, people think they are OK to take, no risk what so ever. Steroids can be injected, taken orally or rubbed into the skin like a cream; slang names for steroids are gym candy, roids, pumpers, stackers, juice, weight trainers and Arnolds. If we allowed our athletes to do this then some short term effects could happen like these: acne, Breast development, reduce size in testicles, less sperm for guys. For girls: facial hair, changes in menstrual cycle and deeper voice. Research shows that they can also suffer from paranoid jealousy and extreme delusions Steroids are made from a male hormone called testosterone. People and athletes take steroids in cycles. This is called cycling. Cycling is where someone will take steroids for a month or so then stops for a certain time then start again. Also another thing that people do is stacking. Stacking is when users combined different type of substances (steroids). Doing this the users believe that the different types will have an effect on muscle size in a faster time then taking them at different times. Another method people and athletes use is pyramiding. This is where the athlete slowly escalates the use of steroids. Mostly body builders or weight lifters use this effect. This is one reason athletes should NOT able to take any form of drugs. Drugs, they only help by making you a stronger and faster athlete. At the end of the day all they are doing is damaging their mind and body. (See next page for pictures)

    East Germany Drug scandal

    The most talked about drug scandal in the Olympics was when East Germany took steroids between 1972- 1988. Manfred Ewald, the head of sport in East Germany was the master mind of this Drug scandal. He would give the athletes small blue pills. Most of the athletes didn’t know what they were. A number of the athletes developed health problems including cancer, lung infections, and ovarian cysts. Some of the woman gave birth to babies that were blind or had club feet. One female athlete Heidi Krieger who was a champion shot- putter, after having so many steroids and developing heaps of male characteristics led her to having a sex change. He/She is now known as Andress Krieger. Think about it how would this “Benefit” our sporting heroes. Well I guess if they wanted to die early and have a sex change then they should go for it. But what about the others athletes that are being forced! This would become a serious matter all over the world! If people in the Olympics could take drugs then why not everyone else! The world would become one big drug problem and the spirit of the Olympics would fly right out the window.

    How Children look up to their athletes

    Everyone has a hero or a role model; some people look up to their parents, teachers and others look up to their sporting super stars. This is an issue if kids are looking up to a sporting hero that is taking drugs. If we allow athletes to take prohibited substances young children knowing no better will look at is as, “Hey look mummy, look at my hero with his big muscles I want to be just like him and be strong and swim as fast.” Is this a future we want our kids to have?

    If this had happened in a different period

    If this had happened in the 1936 Olympics when Hitler was in power, he would have used drugs to his advantage. He wanted to prove to the world that being white, blue eyed and blonde was the “Perfect race.” and he would had no problem putting his athletes at risk by taking drugs to help them to win.

    Unfair advantage

    People in my S&E believe for that if drugs were allowed into the Olympics it would be fair for all. Well I can tell you right now that it would not be at all! In fact it would be worse. Wealthy countries like Germany and the US have bigger advantage over poor African Countries. Because they have more technology and money! So they would find ways to do it with the least consequences and best performance advantages. While poor countries will use anything they could get their hands on. Even if the drugs are poorer quality with more side effects and less performance enhancements.


    Over all drugs are band for a reason in all sports. They cause health problems that can’t be reversed in most cases. Drugs in all form should be band. If we keep going with our laws, testing and hopefully drugs will be stopped in all shapes and form, in sports and on the streets!

  127. September 17, 2008 at 23:23

    nice story you really helped me alot

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