onsdag 19 maj 2010

Artificial enhancement in sports


I write my column Genes and Juice in TCS Daily on 11 August 2006.
Athletic doping scandals vs. the real benefits of artificial enhancement
Two major scandals in the run-up to this week's European athletics championships in Gothenburg have reignited the debate over doping in sports. American sprinter Justin Gatlin (holder of the men's world record in the 100 metre sprint) and cyclist Floyd Landis, the 2006 winner of the Tour de France, were both found to have synthetic testosterone in their bodies, and now face losing their titles.

Track-and-field has always been the sport in which most doping cases have been discovered. After the fall of the Soviet Union an extensive government-sponsored doping program was unveiled. The various sports federations of the Eastern bloc had methodically doped their athletes. In fact, it is widely believed that many of the astonishing, still-standing world records by Soviet and East German athletes made in the 1980s will be unbeaten for a time long as they depended on artificial help.
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