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Legalise it?


SwissVan
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For those who still follow doping threads

Extract from Swissinfo:

 

 

Switzerland's anti-doping commission has rejected a proposal to allow the country's athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs under medical supervision.

The idea from a leading sports scientist to legalise such substances would result in the "death of sport", the commission told a Swiss Olympic Association meeting in Bern on Thursday.

The argument comes in the wake of a recent scandal surrounding team Phonak cyclist Floyd Landis who was stripped of his Tour de France winner's medal after testing positive for abnormal levels of testosterone.

But Bengt Kayser, professor of exercise physiology at Geneva University's faculty of medicine, argued that a continued blanket ban on drugs in sport is both a waste of money and hypocritical.

He believes the only way to combat the growing problem is with a two-pronged approach of giving doctors the discretion to prescribe any substance that does not damage health, and to step up efforts to educate athletes.

"In elite sports I am convinced that we cannot win the war against doping. If you want to get rid of drugs in sport you will have to do away with sport itself," he told swissinfo.

"You only have to look at the way Switzerland tackles the problem of recreational drugs with a mixture of solutions to see how you can effectively lessen the damage."

Dismissed

Anti-doping commission president Hans Hoppeler dismissed Kayser's argument that the current system is not working and simply drives the problem underground into the hands of criminals.

"The perception that we are losing the fight against doping is wrong. Drug taking is prevalent is some areas, like cycling, but the reason that not so many athletes are caught in general is that only a few actually cheat," he told swissinfo.

"We must continue to improve the quality of testing, educating athletes, close more loopholes and weed the bad people out of the system. But we cannot expect miracles; we will need another seven or ten years."

Legalising doping would force more athletes to take drugs to compete on a level playing field, which would put the public completely off sport, he added. Furthermore, it would encourage children to imitate their heroes.

But Kayser accused the authorities of isolating sport from society by putting too much pressure on stars to lead perfect lives.

"Why do we ask sports people to set such examples? You cannot expect an athlete to display superhuman behaviour and always pay their taxes. This attitude is fraught with hypocrisy," he said.

 

swissinfo, Matthew Allen

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Once you open the door to "safe" performance enhancing drugs the limit will be stretched, and it will become a case which drug has the best result. In any case whats safe and works for one might not do the same for another.

Agree on the "Not pay tax" suggestion Thumbs%20Up
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Doping is just a form of cheating, nothing more nothing less.  It is the fact of cheating that is at issue, not the fact that cyclists are receiving injections.  I suspect that many (most?) cyclists doing a three week grand tour are receiving injections and/or drips to assist them.  That does not mean that they are doping.  They are only doping if they are receiving injections of naughty stuff.

 

It seems to me that the problem with doping control is that it is too complicated.  The list of banned substances is reputedly large, and many substances are difficult to detect, e.g., EPO.

 

Reduce the list of prohibited substances, simplify testing and monitor athletes over the course of their careers and things get very simple indeed.

 

In this, doping controls are like tax regimes.  The more complicated they get, the less efficient and the less effective they become.  But, like tax regimes, doping control regimes have a strong political element, hence all the wrangling between the UCI and WADA, and the noble aims seem to take a second place to administrators making sweeping pronouncements and looking good for the cameras.
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