If a doctor repairs one’s broken leg and after a few medications, the person has regained the ability to play the game again then the organizers allow him to participate in the event. He is considered eligible for the event. Why this also is not considered a case of performance enhancer?
I tell you the only difference between this stated example and the use of actual performance enhancer is that in the former the regained capacity or the ability is usually only subnormal/suboptimal than the normal performance and hence it doesn’t catch much attention of the so called regulatory body or the public. I vouch vociferously that if the same treatment would have resulted in super performance than the previous one or better performance than any other normal sportsman, there would have been lot of fuss about it and people would have started crying foul about his inclusion in the sport and would have rejected right forth. So what it comes out that, when someone performs better (irrespective of ways) it becomes cynosure and people start discussing the matter with so many pros and cons; ethics and moral, rule and regulations. People start analyzing the case whether it is good or bad, or it should be allowed or disallowed and like that.
Right from the time of its origin, human has evolved from a poorer to mediocre to advanced type of life form on earth.
And this has been possible because human has strived hard to imbibe from its surroundings the best available. He has learnt to utilize the best selectively out of every good and bad from its nature. If the process of selection in an attempt to make itself best suited and adapted to circumstance had been stemmed, the present status of human form and capacity perhaps would have been illusionary. The very basic process of evolution itself entails that because of its creativity human will always come out with newer achievements that will alter his present and then he will learn to adjust to that alteration. The important message of this statement is that the progress will not stop, or in other words, the human endeavor will not stop and no one can stop it from happening. The only thing that will happen as a process of evolution is that adaptation and adjustment to the altered/newer situation. And by putting ban on the use of the so called drugs (performance enhancers) we as human being are trying to stall that process of evolution that is harmful for a natural process of evolution. Over the time knowingly or unknowingly, we have changed the nature and to be competent survivors we must have to adjust to these changes rather than expecting these changes to be stopped from happening.
If improving performance by the use of drugs is against the ethics then I think all medical science’s endeavors, the engineering assistances, social supports which directly or indirectly alter performance should be unethical too in the sport community.
By the sere definition of “competition for such sport events” it is clear that one who is better will win. And we know that not all individuals are equally fit, agile and competent. If someone eats 10 eggs per day and I eat 1 egg per day neither of these can be termed as unnatural and hence should not be considered unethical and immoral. The difference is simply because he has tried to improve his body in such a way that he can tolerate consumption of 10 eggs but I cannot. Similarly, if someone can enhance his performance by taking some drugs/molecules/synthetics substance, it should be considered as a genuine process of improvement. On the one hand we say, exercise is ok, good plain of nutrition is ok, good medical support is ok. so why the use of chemical/drugs is not ok? On the name of ethics and moral values we cannot advocate hypocrisy. If a competition is the test of ability and capacity, the means of attaining such capacity cannot be held unethical or immoral so far so it doesn’t harm other participants.
A very raw illustration to understand this sort of hypocrisy is that suppose there is completion of race. All participants are practicing hard. All are eating good healthy nutritious food and the one is not eating milk in his diet. If the former performs better and outshines later in the race, the conclusion should not be drawn that milk should be banned from the diet of participants. Rather conclusion should be made that the person who didn’t take milk didn’t make use of all the available measures to enhance performance. And his defeat is obvious and indicative that he is not the fastest. One another message hidden behind such competitions is that as a human being we take it as challenge with the nature that to what extent we can achieve the improbable. Competitions are modus operandi to encourage human beings to try for the best for its achievement. The best will come out only after immense input, dedication and over all utilization of hidden or overt resources. And what today we are, is the outcome of acceptance instead of restriction or ban.
Human will evolve, that is a fact. We will have to support it either consciously or inadvertently. Putting ban on the use of performance enhancer will flout the hard core central message of competitions that the observed performance is the best. Under such ban theory the best of human against the odds of nature will never come out because he/she was not allowed to construct himself /herself in the best possible way.
The classical musicians commonly used beta blockers to control their stage fright. These drugs reduced the physical effects of stress and the quality of musical performance was better. Although elite classical music is arguably as competitive as any elite sport and the rewards are similar, there is no stigma attached to the use of these drugs. I am telling you one example how hypocritical are our thoughts. For increased stamina and higher oxygen carrying capacity increase in the red blood cell count in the blood is accountable. There is no difference between elevating your blood count by either altitude training, or by hypoxic air machine or by taking EPO (Recombinant erythropoietin). But do you know only the last is illegal? So all the differences in ban or no ban, is in our perception, our explanation and our thesis. Human beings bear the impact of natural differences. Do we want to let the person remain as he is born? If he wants to overcome his natural limitations by using any available means, can we say him being immoral or unethical? Perhaps truly said, “By allowing everyone to take performance enhancing drug we level the playing field”.
If at all they are advocating the ban of such substances on the basis of their being unnatural, then I say we are living in an ever changing environment. The substances which were not even conceptualized ten years ago now are part and parcel of our life. The foreign gene containing agents which could not even be imagined few years back now are being used for treatment, consumption and living. So the lesson is that we are learning to accept the changes. We are evolving to assimilate the changes. Similarly, the use of drugs which seems unethical and immoral at first instance will look very much justifiable and acceptable once we quit our hypocritical thinking. When all athletes will have equal rights and permission to use all available resources, I don’t think there will be any such issue like immoral or unethical use of substances.
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