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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Performance Enhancement Drugs

Been following the farce on the Marion Jones case with interest. Seem like the whole thing has now moved into an entire new direction.

There are now calls for the acceptance of 'performance enhancement' drugs. The argument put forth is that in other industry, people are allowed to take drugs to stay ahead e.g. lawyers popping some pills to stay alert in court; and even simple things such as drinking coffee, caffeine loaded drinks and even the good old chicken essence. So why not the steroid based products?

In a way, the argument sounds logically and I might take it one more step - in time to come, what is deemed not acceptable now will become acceptable later when a new class of even more powerful performance enhancement drugs is discovered. After all, the difference between those who took it and those who didn't is so minuscule that it is very difficult to attribute the win to the drug alone. I am sure there have been cases of athletes taking the drugs who lost out to those who didn't.

So is it right to call them cheats?

After all, which one of us have not taken something extra to help boost our energy, strength or stamina. I know of one guy who swears by some exotic Chinese herbs and drink it daily. I am sure all of us have our secret formula be it a simple caffeine loaded red bull, ginseng drink or energy gel. How then do we make sure we don't cross the line between what is legal and what is not? And who determines what is legal or not anyway?

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