by Kavon Fiennes
I argued my pro-drug position with the need to end drug testing in sport about six weeks ago in an earlier column. My colleague Cato Rand is not in agreement.
I am happy to see Nick Gillespie from Reason TV joining John Stossel to talk about the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports, in this clip posted to YouTube. We’re coming from the same position. It’s a great discussion.
Do you want to end ‘cheating’ in sport? That’s easy. All you need to do is get governments the world over, to pass a law that will ban sports altogether that will make it illegal to compete against your fellow man on the field of play. That’s the only way to end drug use in sport. Extreme, but true.
Forgive my digression: It’s interesting that we tend to be reluctant towards the notion of free markets and competition in business, and instead favour cheating through protectionism where businesses get cozy with politicians!
Back to my topic….You think drugs are harmful? So is actual sport, if not more so. If drugs are to be safe, then we must lift its use out of the underground. Their use is near ubiquitous in professional sport. We are only deluding ourselves if and when we believe that sports figures are competing “drug free”, including Jamaican athletes. (I risk the wrath of Jamaica’s ultra-nationalists by those last three words)
Just what constitutes cheating in sports? Isn’t it defined by some arbitrary law (words on paper) that defines “morals” and “ethics”? Cheating I think, would be in scenarios such as starting a race 10 metres ahead of the rest of the field, or running off the mark before given the starter’s signal; or playing a game where a team hides older players to compete against a younger team within an age-restricted competition.
What constitutes a “performance enhancing agent”? Isn’t it just a label that some official affixes to a substance? Are vitamins aids to performance? Will someone who is on supplements not do better than someone not on supplements? Is proper nutrition not the same thing. In elite sports, sportsmen not adequately nourished will in general perform worse than those with a in-home dietitian.
And can someone explain why is the government (in some countries like the US) involved in the investigation of drug cheaters in sports? It certainly is not politically profitable to pursue cheaters; and most certainly such actions by the state are at a cost to the taxpayer.
Everyone should be free to use whatever regimen they deem appropriate to prepare themselves for competition. We need to end drug testing in sport.
Kavon Fiennes is creator of the RightFromYaad blog. He is a 30-something year old ‘Black’, sometimes ‘Brown’, Jamaican. He is a former socialist, nationalist and Democrat, turned Libertarian and semi-conservative since his mid 20′s. He still holds lingering left-wing views on the way society ought to treat the destitute and elderly.