What is wrong with doping? Bio-ethical reflections on enhancement in elite sport
The project consists of four studies in practical ethics.
(i) What is wrong with doping? Bio-ethical reflections on enhancement in elite sport.
Faced with the question "What is wrong with doping?" philosophers commonly depart from the notion of the spirit of sport. In order to know whether doping is wrong and whether anti-doping is justified, the argument goes, we need to understand what purpose sports serve and how doping and anti-doping relates to that purpose.
In this paper we argue that the focus on the spirit of sport, whereas reasonably apt to justify (at least some level of) anti-doping today, may be too narrow or even diverting tomorrow. Sport takes place within a wider societal context. At least in Western societies, this context involves a) a considerable progress within biotechnology (including genetics), and b) what seems increasingly permissible attitudes towards biomedical enhancement. What if, in a future scenario, substances and methods that offer athletically relevant enhancements are widespread in society, and their use meets requirements on informed consent and medical control? What if more people than not use substances or methods that are considered doping in competitive sport today? Would their use in sport still be wrong?