Sunday, October 4, 2009

A-Bombs and PEDs

Performance enhancing drugs have been used in professional sport since the nineteenth century (in other words, since the beginning of professional sports). For Claire Salomon-Bayet, professor emeritus at the Sorbonne, our perceptions of the use of drugs in sport changed after "the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" (1). The bombings caused humanity to realize that science had limits that needed to be considered and controlled.

This had obvious ramifications in the world of professional sport, where Amphetamines, cocaine, and steroids were widely used to improve performance. Did this scientific enhancement of human achievement also have its limits? The fact that doping became a criminal offense not many years after the war lends credence to Salomon-Bayet's theory.

Speaking of the limits of science, perhaps scientific training regimes, shoes designed in a laboratory, technologically advanced weight training machines, and wave-reducing pools should also be banned...

(1) Les Métamorphoses du sport du XXe au XXIe siècle: héritage, éthique et performances. Ed. Charles-Louis Foulon. Villeneuve d'Ascq, France: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2005. P. 87

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