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Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Not Use P.E.D.'s?

On several occasions, I've written about the hypocrisy concerning the use of P.E.D.'s in sports (see e.g., "Cheating, Steroids, and the Hall of Fame"; "Lance Armstrong and Cheating"; "Cheating and Sports, Part I: What are the Rules about Breaking the Rules?"). In short, I've asked why are certain forms of cheating are allowed, then why isn't using P.E.D.'s. Or better yet, why are certain forms of performance-enhancing behavior acceptable but others aren't? As someone recently wrote to Chuck Klosterman, the NY Times Magazine's "Ethicist":
The argument against performance-enhancing drugs in sports is that the drugs give players an unfair advantage. But how do P.E.D.’s differ from Tommy John surgery? Or pre-emptive Tommy John surgery? What about rich kids? Is their access to superior coaching, facilities and equipment a similarly unfair advantage? In a society that embraces plastic surgery, Botox injections, Viagra and all kinds of enhancements, what moral line do P.E.D.’s cross?
Klosterman's answer is an interesting counterargument to mine, one that might have some merit ("There Are No Sound Moral Arguments Against Performance-Enhancing Drugs"). It's worth checking out.

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