Now, if a sport or organization wants to ban a substance - for example, steroids - that's fine. That's their perogative. My problem is that much of the testing is ineffective in finding cheaters and too prone to labeling innocent athletes. Take Tyler Hamilton. I don't know whether he's guilty, or not. I do know that the test they've used isn't as fool-proof as has been offered. I've read too much from too many independent scientists who have faults with the reliability of the testing - and many of them seem to have a better grasp of the science than the guys that developed the test (NY Times, May 10, 2005).On the absurd hodgepodge of regulations:
The problem with many banned substances is that many of these are also available as over the counter drugs. An Olympic athlete has to be extremely careful what he takes when he has a cold. The wrong medicine can get him banned for life. Then there's the case of French cyclist, Franck Bouyer. He suffers from narcolepsy and without his medication will fall asleep on the bike. The Anti-Doping Agency has cleared his banned medication (modafinil), but the International Cycling Union has not. Without his drugs he is incapable of competing and a danger to others.B-b-but they're dangerous:
A common asthma medication is a frequently banned substance because it can give you an unnatural advantage in breathing. Banned, unless you get an exemption because you actually have asthma. Did you ever notice the number of world class athletes with asthma?
Then there's Mark McGuire and androstene. At the time, it was a perfectly legal drug (still is), banned on the Olympic level, but not Major League Baseball.
Doesn't it seem silly to ban something that anyone, of any age, can buy at practically any nutritional supplement store?And many of these banned substances and practices have legitimate medical uses.
Sure, but performing on a world class level is inherently unsafe as it is. Is it safe for men to bulk up to 350-400 pounds to slam into each other? The average NFL career is about 4-5 years long and many live the rest of their lives in pain. Women athletes train so hard they stop menstruating from low body fat. Have you looked at what is done to teenage gymnasts? Pitching a baseball is an unnatural motion that destroys arms and elbows.Level playing field?
Maybe all this is unfair, but sports are inherently unfair. Some athletes naturally gifted and waste their talent. Some are gym rats that persevere against all odds. Some have intangibles that make them more valuable to a team than as an individual. In the end, it takes a different type of person - both mentally and physically - to become a professional and world class athlete. If we can safely enhance that ability, or be willing to let the athlete assume any risk, I'm ok with that.Plenty more where that came from. Read the whole thing.