"Doping is a part of the spirit of Le Tour"


Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford, offers up a defense of doping in the Telegraph:

Since it began in 1903, riders have used drugs to cope with the ordeal, resorting to alcohol, caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, steroids, growth hormone, EPO and blood doping. But all sports face the drug problem. The enormous rewards for the winner, the effectiveness of the drugs and the low rate of testing all create a cheating 'game' that has proved irresistible to some athletes…

A rational, realistic approach to doping would be to allow safe performance-enhancing drugs which are consistent with the spirit of a particular sport, and to focus on evaluating athletes' health. Some interventions would change the nature of a sport, like creating webbed hands and feet in swimming, and should be banned on those grounds. But the use of drugs to increase endurance is a part of cycling's history.

Reason on 'roids here and here. Nice-to-look-at picture of Julian Savulescu here.