Friday, November 25, 2011

This house would allow doping in sport - moderator's introduction

The subject of this debate is inspired from Yannick Noah’s article regarding Spanish sport and its success throughout recent years published in Le Monde magazine. Many cases of doping have been reported, some of which have even proved to be organised by trainers or personal doctors. Fuentes’ case is one of the most popular cases of organised doping dating back to 2006. Even though this case caused a mediatic buzz, spanish authorities preferred to turn a blind eye to it and to this day, the accused remain unpunished. French cyclist Jeannie Longo, on the other hand, has been subject to suspicion for years and has seen her reputation soiled on many occasions.

The different treatment of athletes regarding doping has stirred a sentiment of injustice not only among athletes, but also among the public in general. Why do some get massacred while others go completely unguilty ? Is it cultural? Could it be that the french value ‘clean athletes’ while the spanish ‘bread and circuses’ ? In any case, it is without a doubt a legislative problem. Different countries have different ways of settling these matters which makes international competition all the more unjust. Being a very lucrative business, more efficient and invisible methods of doping are being elaborated. Waiting for the perfect control test to come along, we might just as well hope pigs fly. Facing the inefficiency of control tests as well as laxist legislation rendering all form of justice impossible, we propose a solution to solve this problem : allow doping in sport.

The current European legislation forbids the use of performance enhancing  drugs by athletes. Although this legislation has been very slow to put into place, it has not yet proved to be efficient. Use of performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes dates back to the Cold War when eastern German sport was largely implied in politics. Yet it is only in 1989 that the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe was created. Its objective has been to set a certain number of common standards and regulations in order to help control and minimise the usage of performance enhancing drugs. This has not been very easy as ordinary products such as coffee or less commonly ginseng also have impacts on the performance of individuals. This is why control tests are subject to controversy: the consumption of sometimes ordinary products may lead to a positive control test. In this article we will limit our definition of “doping” to the use of any drug forbidden by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

by VB

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