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To me, the initial post glosses over the most crucial issue by assuming that the permitted treatments (listed in the SI article) have unknown health risks; for standard prescribed painkillers or rehabilitation programs, I doubt that is true. The risks, if any, are probably well known and acceptable to most people.

If one accepts that performance enhancing drugs actually increase performance to the point of providing a competitive edge (and I think that can not be controverted) the question is what price we are willing to make athetes pay in order to compete. Why not permit performance enhanching drugs that do not negatively impact health , but prohibit those that pose a foreseeable risk of harm (e.g. cancer or kidney disease). To those who would deregulate completely, how can you justify putting athletes in the position of choosing health or success?


There was an article in the New Yorker, about two years ago, saying that most Olympic athletes take various juicing drugs, and they know exactly how long each one stays in their system, and when the drug tests will happen. Apparently the few who get caught just mess up the timing. They also talked about training at high altitude to increase the number of red blood cells, etc., so it's hard to say what's "wrong."


It's not hard to say "what's wrong"! Training at altitude is harder and demands more effort from the athlete. Juicing up doesn't.


Gladwell - please stick to what you do best: aggregating other people's theories and content for your pop business books. It is unseemly for you to try and claim expertise in other verticals like Sports...you are not TF's equivalent. Please don't try...thanks- hey nice pic by the way...


Just goes to show what happens when people stray from the principle of "liberty". Whose business is it of ANYBODY what some one puts into their own body? People have to be free to make bad choices and learn from them. Tough? Yes. Otherwise, we become a nation of busy bodies minding everyone else's business. End the Drug War now! MYOB. imho, fjohn


I think doping is a case of the prisoner's dilemma. Its in the best interest of all teams that no one dopes because without regulation everyone will have to dope to compete. When that happens, they'll all end up splitting the same net amount of money/valor, but now they'll have failing organs and small balls.

This prisoner's dilemma thing is what differentiates doping from normal drug taking. Hyperbaric chambers dont create a prisoner's dilemma, smoking cigarettes dont either.

In this manner, banning 'roids is similar to banning spearing in the nfl. Before the ban, you could help your team by endangering yourself (while demolishing the other team's wr), but once every team has a headhunter, the average team is taking on added risk of physical harm with no added number of wins. The NFL decided that allowing spearing was not worth it, despite how cool it looked.


Players should be vilified because, while previously not banned in baseball, PEDS were and still are illegal, unless prescribed by a doctor. Baseball chose to not ban PEDs, which is why they are guilty here as well, but that doesn't let the players off the hook.
As long as they are illegal, PEDs should be banned from all sports.
Just because testing can't catch up to the newest type of PEDs, doesn't mean we should give up. If amateurs know that there is no penalty for taking PEDs, they will take them and, in most cases, the harm done will far outweigh the benefits of becoming a pro athlete or scholarship athlete.


Where is the union on all this? I can see the owners turning a blind eye or not caring, it's not there long term health. At least salaries are up.


Good to see someone use some actual logic regarding this issue.

mIRCELit Chat

thank you

Brian Harniman

Just a note to Eric who posted on Pistorius....Barry Bonds uses chemical and mechanical means of enhancement. His arm protector allows him to remain closer to the plate, wait longer on pitches to turn on AND locks his arm into a swing that directs the ball up and out... more optimal than the variant nature of a "normal" swing. Note that his protector is almost never talked about. In both cases for Barry, and neither for Oscar, he is adding to the prodigious gifts nature gave him to get more of an advantage over competition.

Don Peterson

Dear Mr. Gladwell,

I am glad you were able to articulate what I have been passionately claiming to my friends and family in our philosophical circle for years: the use of performance enhancing drugs in major sporting endeavors is essentially prone to a vague and arbitrary enforcement standard and therefore should be suspended until a coherent and rational set of rules is laid out.

Besides the fact that I want to see 100 home runs or a 2 minute mile in my life time, I can further envision a standard by which the appropriate use of medical technology will allow those in need of pharmacological therapy the ability to compete without the sticky wicket of a potential "cheater" label assigned to them.

I envision a cultural landscape that embraces accelaerated Human evolution. I believe that these drugs provide a fertile testing ground for appropriate delivery of experimental therapies. We can find a way to reconcile pharmacological remedies with an even playing field in sporting success.

Furthermore, we should allow those willing to risk personal harm, the ability to make their risk known publicly without fear of reprisals if they are going to pursue new frontiers in Human achievement ~ medically, sportingly or otherwise.

This debate outlines a greater moral standard to which we tend hold our gifted athletes: Is it right that our gifted physical specimens spend time away from their talent to pursue academic achievement at the university level? While amateur athletes unable to collect compensation go hungry, their collective achievements foster a climate of corruption and exploitation that far outweighs any evil such regulation is designed to curtail.

I am looking forward to your point of view on these matters and in the meantime, this post was unaided by any performance enhancing technology ~ don't you wish it was, gulp, better?

Mua bán nhà đất, căn hộ, đất nền dự án | Kinh doanh bất động sản

Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch

Charles Foster

couldn't agree more.

medical videos research news





yes end all restrictions on performance-enhancing drugs


great job..thanks for your information


Presumably, some form of synthetic muscle would be less objectionable than actual steroids.

doc holiday

I'm only about 5 months late in posting on this, but chronic steroid use inhibits long-term collagen growth, i.e, your collagen will not have normal elasticity. People that use any type of steroid will have long term health problems. They should be banned, but they are not, simply because they generate cash flow.



Susan French

I love it when people use common sense to make a point. Great commentary!



Brian Siegel

"War on Ignorance"

I am curious as to what you think of this cover/article as a writer for the New Yorker (PR/Buzz move?)

Also, I have pondered frequently about how you mentioned in Blink you feel that your hairstyle changed people's perceptions of you. I agree, dress/aesthetics/looks etc. all drive people to judge in powerful (+ and -)different ways. What I am wondering is if your hairstyle also changed you and how you felt/acted (leading to / adding to others perceptions, as well as your 'energy')?

later bud,


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