Letting the Athletes Choose: A Realist-Ethnocentric Rationale for Removing the Ban on Performance Enhancing Substances in Elite Competitions
University of Wales
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Performance enhancement has been actively present in sporting environments for the last four decades, and a reality since the ancient Olympic Games. There is no accepted argument for either accepting or prohibiting performance-enhancement in sport because the authors attempt to provide an all-encompassing case. This thesis shows that this is not possible by providing an argument for permitting doping in elite sport by advocating several key themes which take precedence over arguments presented by those opposed to performance enhancement. Through the use of authors such Dixon, Simon, Russell and Morgan the combined position of realism with reflective ethnocentrism is described to justify an alternative, Janus-faced, conceptual position from which to critique sport. The application of broad internalism provides an internal ethic to sport which varies depending on the level of competition. At the elite level of competition such internal morality is secondary when compared to winning, and the rewards that come with such success. Such a position is reliant on the autonomous jurisdiction of the athletes themselves, and there is no evidence to suggest that paternalism is an acceptable means for restricting the liberty of individual athletes. Even with the introduction of performance enhancement elite competitions will still be fair and equal, so there are no over-riding concepts to prevent athletes from using such methods. Whether their use will be accepted by the public however, is a question that requires further investigation.
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