Are life time bans in sport a reasonable punishment for athletes who violate the anti-doping regulations
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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It is suggested that professional athletes who are caught using drugs which are on the banned lists of the World Anti-doping Association, the International Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committees in order to enhance athletic performance, should face a lifetime ban from competitive athletics. Drawing on Deontological and Consequentialist theories I will argue that lifetime bans are reasonable, under certain circumstances. Firstly, I clarify the meaning of the concept of sport, in regards to fair play, the rules, and cheating. Secondly I discuss drugs and rule violations in sport, with particular focus on the individuals' intent. Once these are outlined the study introduces the reader to the concept of punishment, in the light of moral theory and rationales for the act. Part of this process is to highlight the differentials between forms of punishment. The study evaluated whether 'Life Bans in Sport serve the Appropriate Purpose'. The key findings were the purpose of the lifetime ban is to prevent the athlete from re-competing, deter other athletes from using performance enhancing drugs, and to restore justice to the athletes and society affected by the offender. Finally, the study evaluated whether 'Life Bans in Sport are Reasonable'. The key finding I acknowledge is lifetime bans are reasonable, under certain circumstances. The athlete must be proven guilty of intently committing the offence by the recognised authorities.
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