Should athletes be allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs?
CNN is featuring an op-ed by Ellis Cashmore, a professor of culture, media and sport in the UK wherein Cashmore asserts that athletes should be treated like adults and allowed to make decisions for themselves about their own health and drug use.
No sensible observer of sport today denies the prevalence of drugs in practically every major sport, yet none would argue they can ever be eliminated completely. Money alone guarantees that much. The days of the gentleman-amateur have long gone: Athletes today are competing for high stakes, not just millions, but dozens of millions (Armstrong is worth about $70 million, according to Forbes).
In a culture that encourages the constant search for the limits of human achievement, we, the fans, the consumers of popular sports entertainment, revel in record-breaking, gravity-defying, barely believable feats on the field of play. Promoters, leagues, sponsors, advertisers and a miscellany of other interested parties dangle incentives.
Do you agree with Cashmore that the drugs are there anyway, and that we should stop being such a hypocritical culture? Or should we try to keep the playing field level by not allowing performance-enhancing drugs in any way, shape or form?
How do we enforce that?