Originally posted March 8, 2018
Here is an excerpt:
Today’s great ethical debate is not about payment but drugs. Last week, the digital, culture, media and sport select committee accused Bradley Wiggins of “crossing the ethical line” for allegedly misusing drugs allowed for medical purposes to enhance performance.
The ethical lines over drug use are, however, as arbitrary and irrational as earlier ones about payment. Drugs are said to be “unnatural” and to provide athletes with an “unfair advantage”. But virtually everything an athlete does, from high-altitude training to high-protein dieting, is unnatural and seeks to gain an advantage.
EPO is a naturally produced hormone that stimulates red blood cell production, so helping endurance athletes. Injections of EPO are banned in sport. Yet Chris Froome is permitted to sleep in a hypoxic chamber, which reduces oxygen in the air, forcing his body to produce more red blood cells. It has the same effect as EPO, is equally unnatural and provides an advantage. Why is one banned but not the other?
The article is here.