By Wladyslaw - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Of course, I am talking about the buzz word "drugs".  To use and allow in our precious sports.  There are so many ways you could go in the discussion of drugs in athletics.  I will not go in depth about the pros and cons of drugs.  First I want to touch briefly on philosophy.

What is the reasons we use drugs, "legal" and "illegal", in the first place?  In the legal sense, it is mostly to fix an issue with our body, either in pain management or inflammation control.  Of course, this is not all.  But for the majority of cases, it is true. That is what we are talking about today anyway.  Legal drugs.  For consenting adults. 

The illegal substances are not what I want to discuss.  We can't change that.  The laws will have to be changed through normal channels.  Congress, social reform and other changes in society.  We will leave those things for other days.


Why do we try to control what a person puts in their body in the sports realm?  Is it because we are concerned about their health?  Do we want to make a level playing field for all competitors?  Some would have you believe that.  And maybe they believe that themselves.  In reality though, everyone is responsible for their own health.  Not some governing sports agency.  As far as the level playing field is concerned, you will never have that.   The athletes will always be a step ahead of the control agency that does the testing.  It has always been that way.

And for what?  To say "gotcha"?  It is sports, after all.  And we are talking about legal substances here.  Is all this cat and mouse, back and forth, pee in a cup and give me your blood stuff really worth the effort?  I really don't think so.

Here is what I want your opinion on:

Shouldn't we allow all legal substances to be used on athletes, regardless if it "enhances" performance or not?  I say yes.   

And if you allow legal substances, all forms of "doping" should be allowed too.  Monitor it for safety.  Give access to everyone.  Quit trying to be the morality police.  It never works.  After all, if you are looking out for the athlete's safety,  shouldn't doctors be involved?

By Educación Física -, Public Domain,

Here is what is listed in wikipedia about "doping" in sports: 

  •  doping is the use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors
  • The reasons for the ban are mainly the health risks of performance-enhancing drugs
  • Anti-doping authorities state that using performance-enhancing drugs goes against the "spirit of sport"
  • According to a study commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), 44% of athletes had used banned substances.  Only 0.5% of them were caught.

I can think of many reasons to allow Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and very few against.

             First of all, you are catching less than 1 percent of PED users. 

             If PEDs are regulated, they will be under doctor supervision and thus safer.

             Athletes will use them no matter what you do

             Catching athletes in the act can be difficult

             So many substances to test for

             So many athletes in competition  and a narrow window to detect malfeasance

             New drugs being introduced all the time

source:  Nina A. J. G./Flickr

In addition to that, many drugs that are not specifically performance enhancers still can improve strength and recovery in ways that break the current set of rules.  Caffeine is a known performance enhancer that improves reaction time and endurance.  The regulatory authorities are going back and forth on making it illegal to use caffeine.  How crazy is that?  It would be easy to have some caffeine in a food or drink and not be aware, I would think. 

Another way to avoid screening for the drugs that are banned is micro-dosing.  Banned drugs in small enough doses to avoid detection by the machines used.

There are becoming more and more ways to enhance performance.  Where do we draw the line?  I suggest there is no way you can prevent the vast majority from doing these things to make their bodies faster and stronger.  And if you cannot prevent most of them, why do it at all? 

Doctor's should be involved in every aspect of things the athletes do to their bodies.  This will make it safer.  Let me know where you stand.