Would You Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs?

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About Oliver Lee Bateman

Good Men Project contributing editor Oliver Lee Bateman is one of the founders of the Moustache Club of America and Penny & Farthing, two blogzines specializing in flash fiction and creative nonfiction that he co-curates with web developer Erik Hinton, medical consultant Nathan Zimmerman, and freelance writers Christie Chapman and J. R. Powell. He is a lawyer as well as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Follow him on Twitter @MoustacheClubUS or on Google+. Oliver's Spring 2014 US History From the Civil War to the Present course is being live-streamed by UTA. You can access these lectures by clicking here.


  1. Nick, mostly says:

    Thank you.

  2. You bring up some interesting points. Perhaps it’s my lack of interest in professional sports, but I don’t really care if athletes are doping. On the rare occasion when I do watch a game, I just want to be entertained. It seems as if every athlete who’s at the top of their sport is automatically accused of taking some sort of anabolic steroid but only because the accusation is usually vindicated by testing and testimony after much denial. That part of sports, including Lance Armstrong’s recent fall from grace, is not entertaining.
    In your second hypothetical situation, the young man is simply using what is available to him. As I mentioned in response to a different article, many aspiring young professionals are taking drugs such as Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin …etc, to increase attention span and focus for improved grades in high school and college. Better grades mean more and better opportunities. Some are prescribed. Some are not. Some of those prescribed are supplying those who are not.
    These decisions are only unethical if they’re against the law or professional standards. In your first hypothetical, the decision to use dianabol is against the law and against professional standards in sports. In your second hypothetical, the young man went to see a doctor and was prescribed Bupropion. Using a prescribed treatment is neither against the law nor against any professional standard.
    Therefore, is it ethically defensible to treat a healthy individual in order that he might excel is a given career? That depends on whether the treatment is legal, prescribed by a doctor and acceptable with regard to professional standards.
    Is it ethically defensible to deny him that treatment? Again, that depends on whether the treatment is legal, prescribed by a doctor and acceptable with regard to professional standards.


  1. [...] to construct a body that would be heard long before it was ever seen, I looked past the freakish performance-enhancing drug creations that festooned the nigh-pornographic pages of FLEX.  The only other male body that I cared [...]

  2. [...] by mafia hitmen, had salvaged his declining career in the late 1980s by beefing up (via “juicing,” most likely) to play the role of “the World’s Strongest Man” in feuds [...]

  3. [...] their working lives.  This is, I believe, one of the signal questions of our current century:  what counts, in baseball or in any other endeavor, as “performance-enhancing?”  The stark, unsubtle response indicates to me that we do not yet possess a sophisticated enough [...]

  4. [...] aside, this is a subject in which I’m extremely invested.  I’ve written about it at length as it relates to my own experience with PEDs, but it seems as though the point is always missed, [...]

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