Last week I attended the British Library TalkScience discussion about the ethical, social and legal implications of performance enhancement in sport – Doping in Sport : fair game?
Owen Gibson of the Guardian chaired the panel with expert speaker Professor Chris Cooper of Essex University, Professor Andy Miah of Saliford University and Nicole Sapstead of UK Anti-Doping.
It was a highly interesting debate – how far are we willing to push the limits of human potential? Scientific evidence optimising sporting achievement through training and diet is an acceptable part of athletic activities, whereas performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and EPOs are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The big question – Do we legalize substances that enhance performance so we can control, administer and monitor athletes in a safe environment? If so, how far do we take science? Is this morally acceptable?
It was interesting to hear the different views between the Professors – Chris Cooper against substance use with a moral and legal influence, Andy Miah on the other hand keen to continue enhancing athletes’ performance.
What do you think? Should performance be solely a physiological status enhanced by dedicated training and optimal eating habits? Or do you believe the use of ‘man-made’ substances should be acceptable to enhance performance?
It isn’t just at an elite level, this applies to me and all of you reading this. How far are we willing to go to ‘better’ ourselves? We are constantly bombarded by advertising campaigns for vitamins that make our hair shine, shakes that make us run faster or protein bars that give us bulging muscles.
Let’s rely on us! Give our body the credit it deserves, look after it, feed it well and keep it sufficiently hydrated and you will see how well it performs. After all, we are all human …..