Sunday, July 20, 2008

Should Doping be Legalized?

Thanks to Scott who points out a discussion in Le Monde about whether or not doping should be legalized (http://vidberg.blog.lemonde.fr/2008/07/20/faut-il-legaliser-le-dopage/). On this site many say doping should be legalized since the Tour is only about money anyway and the noble ideals of sport amount to a hypocritical charade.

But those who say yes to doping are forgetting the number of "old school" cyclists who died in their forties and, more dramatically, the case of Tom Simpson, who died during a climb in 1967 after taking too many amphetamines. In effect, drugs were technically legal on the Tour before 1965. Almost all the cyclists had "help" and many died young.

Unless the cyclist are nothing more than expendable gladiators, doping must remain banned.

And the exclusions for doping contribute to the soap-operaesque saga of the Tour...

update: See conversation re this topic on Podium Café.

2 comments:

scott said...

But it's the precisely soap-opera dimension that devalues the Tour. Why bother paying attention when it later turns out they were doping and they end up getting expelled. Landis killed my interest in this event. I'd almost rather pay attention to amateur crit or kermesse races. The only way to solve the problem of the Tour is either to permit doping or take the money out of the sport, which obviously ain't gonna happen. I don't really see how a death or two is an argument against doping--especially when the risk of injury and death is a part of so many other sports. The riders know the risks better than anybody--why should we be so patronizing, especially when we know that most of them are already doping?!!

Joe said...

I think doping should be legalized. I can envision that cycling and other endurance sports could turn into an environment where athletes and scientists could work together with the use of drugs to make safer drugs that would increase a mans endurance. Who knows what it could lead to? Maybe it would lead to breakthroughs in medicine. Sure, in the beginning there would be athletes that would suffer as a result of being the guinea pig. But how is that different than the way it is now. At least with legalized drugs, it could be controlled better and the athletes would have access to the latest and safest drugs of the day.