Oxford University professor calls for performance-enhancing drugs to be legalised

Prohibition leads to organised crime, says Julian Savulescu

by Sarah Barth   February 16, 2013  

Oxford Radcliffe Camera.jpg

An Oxford University professor has said that we must legalise performance enhancing drugs in order to prevent the prevalence of organised crime around doping.

Julian Savulescu, originally from Australia, says that it's an impossible task to completely ban all substances, and that it puts riders' health at risk. Instead, he says, the focus should be on reducing the harm to the riders.

''The goal at the moment is to pick up anything that has a performance-enhancing effect, no matter how small the amount. That's obviously an unachievable task,'' Savulescu told Fairfax Media. ''You can't pick up a molecule of testosterone or a single molecule of growth hormone, yet that is what they're trying to do. Instead, the goalposts should be shifted to harm reduction, where you pick up unsafe amounts or unsafe practices.

''As soon as people hear 'drugs' they think heroin and people dead in the streets. But caffeine is an artificial [performance-enhancing] substance while testosterone and growth hormone are naturally produced by the body. The way forward is to look at that bandwidth more critically and see what things are dangerous, in what amounts and do we really want to ban something.

''At the moment, as soon as something is seen to be performance-enhancing it's on the banned list. It's a nonsense.''

Savulescu, who edits the Journal of Medical Ethics, says that two decades of failure around the Tour de France proves his point.

''People have died from cycling accidents from being hit by cars - and Lance Armstrong is as fit as a trout,'' he said. ''The only time cyclists have died is through recreational drug use and through unsafe blood practices like using dodgy blood that's not properly stored, or using somebody else's blood.

''Lance Armstrong passed 200 doping tests yet he has been on a cocktail of doping substances. He's taking them in amounts that were enhancing his performances without affecting his health.

''The only thing that has ruined cycling over the past 15 years is people, left right and centre, having their medals removed and then somebody else [is] implicated in cheating. We need more-enforceable laws.''

Savulescu says that he knows his is not the current thinking, as world sports agencies vy for a 'fresh start' and an end to doping at all.

''What I'm saying isn't going to be accepted at the current time. But there will be another scandal and then another … Eventually soccer will be shown to be rife with doping and there will be a huge push from European authorities.

''At the moment we're like a blinkered horse on the way to the knackery. It's going to get there!

''We need to take off the blinkers and think a little more broadly about the issue.''

33 user comments

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Using PEDs, legal or otherwise, tend to make the race a pharmaceutical contest. Talent will come runner up to the Money-bags who can afford the best laboratory.

This is important because, I mean, can anyone honestly say they feel inspired or uplifted by watching footage of races from the 90s/00s ?

When whatshisface is whizzing up the mountain, I for one don't find myself thinking "wow, that's really inspiring". Instead I just think "Wow, he must've found a particularly pure supply" or "His 'doctor' really deserves a pat on the back."

I agree there may be an argument concerning health risks as pointed out above, but if it becomes a purely pharmeceutical contest then why bother even having the sport at all? May as well watch Robot Wars.

posted by ElCynico [16 posts]
16th February 2013 - 16:39


Undiagnosed heart disease is the iron injections of the 2010s.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1525 posts]
16th February 2013 - 18:46


No I'm sorry John, but all you have to do is read local newspapers and you'll find regular reports of teen and twenty something (usually males) dying in their sleep or sometimes on the football or rugby pitch, none of whom have anything to do with professional sport. An ostensibly fit 12 year old died of a heart attack playing rugby not that long before Christmas. Indeed, in some sports, Football being one, you will also see more and more reports about young footballers forced to give up the game as more sophisticated health screening reveals hitherto unsuspected congenital heart defects, the sort of thing that probably wouldn't be a problem for most people but which could prove potentially fatal in top level athletes who regularly pushes their body to its limits.

Also as an aside, in Italy where EPO was, and possibly still is, available to use over the counter and where allegedly even gran fondo riders regularly use it - you don't seem to see many reports of them dying, something you used to do.

On the question of whether the races of the 90s and 00s inspired me… not sure that is the right word, I certainly enjoyed and was enthused by them. As Dave Brailsford said professional sport needs to be credible as and entertainment - so the bits that I didn't enjoy were Landis's solo attack in the 2006 Tour and Ricco taking off like a rocket in 2008 because their cheating was so obvious and so obviously going to be caught…although even Ricco was sort of entertaining to watch in a cartoonish sort of way.

I'm not sure that the argument that if PEDs were legal it would be al all about the team with the best drugs for any number of reasons. One practical one being that PEDS all come from drugs that are being developed for clinical use which cost tens of millions to develop, so there is never likely to be some secret wonder drug that one team has. They are all going to be using the same stuff and no cycling team ever is going to be in a position to develop it's own drugs… unless of course Pfizer or Smith Kline or whoever decide to inject some money into the sport by sponsoring teams and putting them on their R&D programs.

The main reason though that the argument that it will become a race between chemists doesn't stack up for me is that the teams that do best will always be the ones with the best riders, support staff and equipment and those teams in the future, as now, will be the ones with the biggest budgets. In professional sport money buys success.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
16th February 2013 - 19:26


Sorry Tony, I reckon you're (sadly literally) dead wrong here. The benefits from EPO and similar drugs stack up with dosage. More EPO = faster riding = more chance of complications from thickening blood etc. Even more EPO = even faster riding = even more chance of complications from thickening blood. Taking your argument to it's logical conclusion it's only a matter of time before we get to the point that several riders die on every big race or grand tour because they got too close to the built-in limits in our bodies.

That may be entertainment to you, but not to me. Nor I suspect to most readers of this website. You do yourself and your readers an injustice with your comments.


posted by NorthernRouleur [26 posts]
16th February 2013 - 19:39


Savulescu, a world-renowned philosopher and bioethicist, has argued for a decade that prohibition doesn't work but instead promotes links to organised crime.

Why, Savulescu is like totally right. Only last week, I was dodging bullets on Mare Street from rival EPO dealers. To say nothing of the bloody HGH wars in Liverpool and Manchester, chain gangs of lycra-clad, uzi-weilding assassins terrorising the A58 and A579.


posted by Argos74 [352 posts]
16th February 2013 - 19:43


What becomes of riders who do not want to take these risks? Just because it's hard to keep drugs out of the sport doesn't mean the goalposts should move to a different place because it's easier to manage. What makes sport exciting is believing that the events you're watching are humanly possible, as soon as there are doubts about the athletes conduct behind the scenes then it becomes less enjoyable, even if it's legitimised doping, it takes it away from a believable accessible sport, it becomes something else. All it's doing is moving the goalposts, and then the goalposts will have to be moved again when there is no meaningful reference point to police athletes, why do they need to be moved at all?

If doping is to be legitimised I'd like to know how absolute blood doping values influence different cyclists, for example, if a tall cyclists fares better or worse than than a shorter one, if a previously successful non doping cyclist would be dropped from the team if the cyclists responds badly to doping products, or becomes a relatively worse cyclists.

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posted by the_mikey [155 posts]
16th February 2013 - 21:17


What a prat!

posted by jimmyd [109 posts]
16th February 2013 - 21:38


"Savulescu, who edits the Journal of Medical Ethics," His motives need to be investigated, and he should be checked for drug use himself, surely his entire train of thought is unethical.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [264 posts]
16th February 2013 - 22:01


...as world sports agencies vy for a 'fresh start'...

Clearly road.cc doesn't believe in the journalist's performance enhancer known as the spell checker. Vy? Really? Vie is what I think you meant.

BTW, this "academic" sounds like a real ass. Who uses the expression "fit as a trout" anyway? But then it is hardly surprising to hear such opinions, focusing solely on those who cheated their way to the top, and forgetting the honest workers in the peloton, coming from an Oxford man. That place is stuffed to bursting point with arrogant, winner-takes-all types. It is practically a condition of entry.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [170 posts]
16th February 2013 - 22:28


There's more merit to his argument if you apply it to legalising recreational drugs. Sport on the other hand is about feats of human endeavour, not a pharmaceutical showcase.

Where would you draw the line? Elite riders only? Cat 2? Juniors..?

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posted by CraigS [135 posts]
16th February 2013 - 22:54


Prohibition leads to organised crime.

Thats true. Perhaps we should legalise Heroin, bank robbery, child pornography, and human trafficking to avoid all the organised crime it leads to.

What a sap. Just looking for attention.

seabass89's picture

posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
17th February 2013 - 0:58


Er no, that's not how EPO works. The reason micro-dosing EPO became the preferred method of doping is that you can get the gains from quite a small dose. So there's no need to load up on the stuff as people did in the early days.

As for your last point, well you've twisted the meaning of what I said so much that there's no real point in responding.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
17th February 2013 - 1:45


seabass89 wrote:
Prohibition leads to organised crime.

Thats true. Perhaps we should legalise Heroin, bank robbery, child pornography, and human trafficking to avoid all the organised crime it leads to.

What a sap. Just looking for attention.

Or should go the other way and ban alcohol, tobacco and sugar? Okay, last time they tried banning that first one it wasn't a spectacular success.

Not sure you can bracket together heroin, bank robbery, child pornography and human trafficking in an argument abut harm reduction.

The middle two are are innately harmful and involve unwilling victims.

Heroin on the other hand is a drug people take out of choice (at least at first) and the question has been raised more than once as to why it is that we criminalise some addictive mind and mood altering substances and not others? Fags and booze must have killed millions more people than heroin ever has, but we tax those and use the revenue generated to try and mitigate some of the harm done.

How would you legalise human trafficking? Surely the only way that could be done would be to let people go and live in whatever part of the world they wanted to in which case it would simply become immigration and the human traffickers would be out of a job. I suppose that would reduce harm.

I'm sure he was looking for attention though.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
17th February 2013 - 2:21


Your comment regarding the cost of developing drugs and them not being available to use as PEDs is way off the mark. There are plenty of examples of drugs that haven't passed clinical trials being used in sport. The winning edge comes from getting them before the others do.

This guy should never be editing a journal on ethics. Daily Star, perhaps.

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posted by Tovarishch [59 posts]
17th February 2013 - 7:57


What does he have to say regarding Claire Squires?

Tovarishch's picture

posted by Tovarishch [59 posts]
17th February 2013 - 9:05


It's good to see someone talking sense about drugs in sport, as with drugs in society.

What are the arguments against PEDs ?

Purism ? Anyone who thinks cycling, even without drugs, is some pure competition clearly has no concept of the sport and its history. Races are agreed and fixed on a regular basis and the riders put on a show, which everyone enjoys.

Cost ? We don't seem to mind that some teams invest in advanced technology, training and research beyond the means of others. Should anyone starting a local race with Lightweight wheels be given a handicap.

Health ? Cycling is inherently more risky than taking PEDs. I did a race last week where a guy had a blowout doing nearly 100km/h downhill. He came closer to death than a lifetime of EPO would bring him. Tommy Simpson ? Give it a rest - we're not talking about amphetamines and brandy any more. If drugs were approved they would be prescribed and monitored under medical supervision, not handed out furtively and without proper controls and follow-up.

Legal ? If teams (and their doctors) were responsible for providing PEDs then they would have a duty of care for the health of the rider. Anyone injured would be able to make a claim against the team, instead of it being swept under the carpet. Insurance companies hate paying out and would be the first to control any potentially harmful drugs.

It makes a lot of sense, and even if you disagree the response of saying don't even talk about it is just sticking your head in the sand.

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posted by abudhabiChris [700 posts]
17th February 2013 - 9:53


I'm going to stick my oar in here. In terms of qualification to comment I have 2 degrees in Analytical Chemistry and Toxicology, and I worked in research for a number of years before switching careers.

Savulescu makes some good points, however he has added commentary or justification which is not well thought out or he is ignorant of relevant facts which undermine his main argument. There also seems an element on popular sensationalism there too. It is this commentary which is getting everyone hot under the collar by the looks of it.

At the heart of the matter is the continuing difficulty of limit of detection, especially with molecules synthesised by the human body.

As an example Contador was convicted of doping because of the presence of clenbuterol. The amount detected was 40 times lower than the WADA allowed level, but since it is not a naturally produced molecule in the human body, it is easy to find and easy to be confident that it is there. Technically Contador did not dope as the level found was below the limit, but practically WADA, UCI and CAS agreed that presence is enough to convict. Despite that there is an argument that the lab should not have even flagged the test.

EPO however is not so easy. EPO is naturally produced, and the body's production of it can be increased by legitimate means (hyperbaric chambers, certain legal drugs or simply being born and living at altitude). Currently the test for EPO relies on the fact that the body produces EPO in a very specific form, which can naturally switch to a second form in the body after production at a known rate. However EPO produced in a lab is synthesised in both forms at a different ratio. The lab test for EPO looks for the ratio between the 2 forms, and if it is not within a defined range of ratios it is flagged up as artificial. The second form of EPO is not toxic, therefore legal labs producing EPO don't bother to separate the forms, due to cost. A lab producing EPO for dopers explicitly however are looking at a higher profit margin, and would be able or even willing to separate the two forms and supply an EPO in a legal ratio. In fact from rumours of an undetectable EPO I believe this is being done now. Incidentally the 2 forms problem is now very well understood and a required part of drug development ever since the thalidomide tragedy was fully understood. Left thalidomide is non toxic and performs exactly as the original developers believed. Right thalidomide is a highly dangerous teratogen and responsible entirely for the tragedy of the 70s. (I hope I've got those the right way round). Modern techniques (chiral chromatography) can reliably separate thalidomide forms and it could be re-certified for use, though it would be a brave man to sell it under the thalidomide name.

Testosterone is produced by the body in wildly varying amounts depending on age, gender and even emotional state. Setting a limit for this is close to impossible because it requires establishment of a base level and then allowing for the natural variation of the body. To tell if an athlete has increased their level artificially by a small percentage, which may be enough to influence performance is very difficult. How often has an athlete pleaded naturally high testosterone levels? Sadly not impossible, and so hard to measure.

So, if a PED is undetectable, or it cannot be safely labelled as a doped quantity without generating false positives, why make it illegal? If you are looking at taking away an athlete's livelihood for 2, 4 or more years you do not want to be doing it unless you are sure of your facts.

I've seriously considered this problem from my professional background and I have thought long and hard about whether EPO and other drugs would be better legalised and their usage controlled and monitored, rather than banning them and fighting an impossible battle to detect the cheats. It is not a simple question, and I always end up coming back to the same thing, as a fan I do not want drugs in sport, even on a level playing field. Ethically I cannot condone what my brain says may be the only practical option for the future. That is why I don't agree with Savulescu, not because he's wrong on any intellectual level but because it FEELS wrong.

posted by robdaykin (not verified) [309 posts]
17th February 2013 - 11:00


And now some thoughts. This post is intended to provoe discussion, preferably not just on this board.

Here are some ideas about going forward in all sports. They are not all practical, but lets throw some debating points out.

Really strict No Needles policies come in. If an athlete has a needle mark it should be documented and the injection to have been either administered under authorised supervision, or in an emergency such as medical treatment following a bad crash, the athlete should be excluded from competition for a minimum period.

Unfortunately needles are not necessary for many drugs, so a wider strategy is needed. If a drug is on the WADA list it must be a prescription drug for everybody on the planet. Otherwise just get your soigneur to nip over a border and buy some legally. All drugs on the banned list are to be supplied with inert markers which cannot easily be separated out (non trivial and expensive to do though, forcing normal non athlete treatment costs up).

Team doctors seem to be at the heart of every scandal so let's do something there. Doctors should be independent of teams and centrally certified and monitored. Those doctors should always and only work in sport and should be subject to audit and scrutiny. There will be limits placed on their prescription books such that they are banned from buying, supplying or prescribing EPO, HGH, testosterone etc and all prescriptions to be audited, with randomly selected cases submitted to a review board for corroboration of treatment. Athletes with a legitimate need for drugs on the banned list should be excluded from competition for an appropriate period depending on the drugs used, up to and including life exclusion., and by accepting this ban, the athlete can be treated by a non sports doctor. Medical records and treatment to be reviewed before an athlete enters sport at the highest level. Drug companies should be regulated and monitored so they do not supply to sports doctors. Doctors should not work with a team or rider for a prolonged period. Ok there needs to be continuity of care in long term cases such as injury recovery, but once a doctor has worked with a rider for say 2 years that doctor may only treat that rider in an emergency for example if the doctor is the medical cover for a race. All doctors visits to be logged centrally, and analysed for patterns. Patterns may not identify cheats, but may well help target where to look by seeing secondary effects, none of which occur to me offhand, but there will be some.

Biological passports look for trends and secondary effects over the long term, but maybe we need to add more factors to the currently tracked ones.

Athletes are increasingly identified at a young age, so their entire medical history should be relevant evidence. There seem to be a number of athletes with serious medical conditions in childhood who compete at the highest level. This seems to be interesting data and worth a look at. I'm not saying they are cheats, but there may be lessons to learn there.

Are asthma drugs on the prescribed list still? I seem to remember Roman Feillu dropping out of the TdF after a mountain stage because his asthma inhaler could get him banned. Why on earth if you could have a life threatening asthma attack are you attacking in the mountains? Should all athletes who need prescription medication be excluded from the highest levels? e.g. ban asthmatics or anyone with a condition requiring possible intervention with banned drugs?

posted by robdaykin (not verified) [309 posts]
17th February 2013 - 11:02


The problem is that competitive cyclists (and sportsmen and women) will use whatever advantage they can get. Ultimately this will lead to them testing any legal limit (e.g. 50% hematocrit), trying out unclassified and untested drugs for which there is no known safe limit or may even destroy competition by making the athletes so similar that they all the same (although unlikely).

Actually the problem comes at youth level too where abuse of drugs at early age for competitive advantage to reach the pro level may have disastrous consequences. No one knows what the long term effects of usage is, and sometimes drugs have permanent effects on the developing body (in the case of the adolescent brain, there is an indication that marajuana usage destroys memory making - an example of a developmental issues).

I see some point in legitimising PED. But I don't think they have anything to do with sport as everything to do with practicality. His argument about health is a bogus one considering we don't know if Armstrong on any other athlete will require heart surgery, or kidney replacements later on in life, lest we not forget Florence Grifiths-Joyner and that Arnold Schwarzenegger had to have heart surgery.

I would have to say that this article (by the academic) seems ill-advised and possibly paid for by interested parties (UCI, sports clubs owner, athletes and Lance Armstrong). I think philosophically we are poorer as people where we accept doping in Sport. No longer do we accept our natural ability. We may as well cut our legs off and stick on longer blades, or put an engine on our bikes, or enhance ourselves in whatever fashion makes us fastest, strongest....the test is no longer about us but what we can do to ourselves to be top dog.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1625 posts]
17th February 2013 - 11:29


One other note, prescription drugs are costing more and more to develop with increasing legislative requirements and the difficulty of identifying new bioactive molecule types, however those costs are defrayed by giving a drug company a time limited patent on a drug, requiring competitors to buy a license to produce that drug during the restricted period. Without this period of protection no company would do any research. It also explains why new cancer drugs are too expensive for the NHS, because the company is trying to recover the research cost of many drugs, one of which has been approved. Lots of research in pharmaceuticals of late is in how to identify a drug of value with low side effect likelihood cheaply using molecular and biological modelling before even trying synthesis or production or trials. That's part of where my move into IT came from, working a lot with computers instead of chemicals.

Once that time limit expires the drug can be manufactured and supplied by any pharmaceutical company. Which is why paracetamol is 29p for 8 grams nowadays. A number of drugs of abuse have expired patents, and some are not patentable, so the cost of production can be quite low and legal. Research into PEDs probably looks at effects and side effects of public domain drugs and how to use them for performance, not for clinical use. So drug research for PEDs is probably quite cheap, riding on the distant back of the pharmaceutical industry. Which is handy because it cuts down the list of drugs which might be PEDs to those which have been submitted for approval and so are publically documented (though not necessarily approved for use in humans) . The bad thing is that PED developers possibly look at potentially harmful synergy effects in cocktails of drugs to provide advantage at lower levels. These synergies must be tested for and documented as part of certification (see the DO NOT TAKE IF YOU ARE TAKING ONE OF THESE bits on any drug leaflet).
Not saying that happens, but the thought that it might worries me a lot.

posted by robdaykin (not verified) [309 posts]
17th February 2013 - 11:30


100% agreed. The medical care needs to be taken out of the hands of the teams. Responsibility for paying for medical care needs to be centralised, so that the medics can focus on the long-term well-being of the athletes, and are not under pressure to make any particular athletes perform better than the others.

posted by Paul J [820 posts]
17th February 2013 - 11:54


I have no interest to watch or be associated with a sport where the athletes take PEDs to be at the top of their game. It's boring and unsporting.

posted by David French [49 posts]
17th February 2013 - 17:10


As a poster up there alluded to, the involvement of organised crime in sport is surely not because of PEDs - even dosing athletes up would give no reliable assurance of a desired result. Match/race fixing - that's where organised crime comes in.

Anyway. My simple thoughts - we must try to root out the cheats. Sport is worth watching and performing because it tests the limits of the human body. Without that, bleh. Might as well watch WWF wrestling.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
17th February 2013 - 17:20


the_mikey wrote:
What becomes of riders who do not want to take these risks? Just because it's hard to keep drugs out of the sport doesn't mean the goalposts should move to a different place because it's easier to manage. What makes sport exciting is believing that the events you're watching are humanly possible, as soon as there are doubts about the athletes conduct behind the scenes then it becomes less enjoyable, even if it's legitimised doping, it takes it away from a believable accessible sport, it becomes something else. All it's doing is moving the goalposts, and then the goalposts will have to be moved again when there is no meaningful reference point to police athletes, why do they need to be moved at all?

If doping is to be legitimised I'd like to know how absolute blood doping values influence different cyclists, for example, if a tall cyclists fares better or worse than than a shorter one, if a previously successful non doping cyclist would be dropped from the team if the cyclists responds badly to doping products, or becomes a relatively worse cyclists.

What he said. How do you measure pure talent when some are clean and some take peds. Before you all say it I know I am a dreamer, but we can all dream.

posted by cuski22 [7 posts]
17th February 2013 - 19:32


well he is from Australia & it has now emerged how widespread the use of doping is across lots of their top sports. its hardly surprising he has that attitude with the way they are such sore losers
(i am joking of course, sledging is after all a top ozzy sport))

posted by rynew [1 posts]
17th February 2013 - 20:49


I think this man has a slightly wrong perspective. Or maybe I do.

There may be several arguments that doping is not harmful to the users, it facilitates more exciting events and so on.

Call me old fashioned, but that's not what sport is about. I like athletes who push themselves to the limit, suffer, and even though they don't necessarily win they are still respected because they have the "sporting spirit" and a will to win.

If doping was legal then, in my opinion, no athlete would really be respected because you would just think "Oh, he just needs to fix his drug programme".

Thor Hushovd explained his view about racing in the mid-2000s, that "I was crying up mountains because I was in so much suffering, but just unable to keep up."

To be honest, I love moments when athletes crosses the finish line, and breaks down in absolute joy. That doesn't seem to happen when you dope since you are just "ticking boxes" as Millar described it.

Again, in my mind, this discussion just has the completely wrong focus. Sport is about the humans pushing themselves to their natural limit. For me, that's what makes it magical. If PED's were legalised I would stop watching sports all together, and suddenly I would have ALOT of free time Tongue

seabass89's picture

posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
18th February 2013 - 13:00


Interesting viewpoint - let's legalise it to stop organised crime. As if legalising anything ever made any illegal practice go away. By this token we'd abandon all our laws and go back to bashing each other over the head with clubs (and it would probably become an Olympic event to...)

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [295 posts]
18th February 2013 - 14:20


Instead, the goalposts should be shifted to harm reduction, where you pick up unsafe amounts or unsafe practices

What exactly does this achieve? You still have a set of limits, you still have to test and enforce those limits, and people will still push the boundaries of the limits to maximise performance. All you have done is push the limits of what is acceptable further out (and ironically that would probably increase harm because there would be more of an incentive to move towards the limits in a new world where PED use is "accepted").
The same rules apply to all cycle sport, not just pro racing, so what would happen to the rest of us in the non professional world? I don't want to start ingesting PEDs to remain competitive in my hobby. As pointed out by another poster above, how about PEDs for kids?

You have to give this guy the benefit of doubt, because he is being filtered through journalistic reporting, but as reported here, his ideas just sound half baked, with no real understanding of the consequences.

posted by kcr [102 posts]
18th February 2013 - 14:50


The funny thing is that no one here has said I think he (the academic is right). Instinctively I think we are all against it. This is the direction that sport needs to go.

The latest from WADA seems to be pushing the agenda. The find of steroids and blade runners house should highlight that drugs have already hit the paralympics. This shouldn't be a surprise given the commerciality of the enterprise and should highlight that drugs are already prevalent in the regular Olympics.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1625 posts]
18th February 2013 - 16:16


What about turning it the other way. The athletes need to take drugs to keep their bloodlevels UNDER a certain level.

For example - nobody is allowed to compete with a hemocrit (or how you spell it) above 45.

Your Oxygen uptake level can't be over 85. Etc.

Now THAT's an idea!

seabass89's picture

posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
18th February 2013 - 19:40