ARE THE BANS JUSTIFIED? A PHILOSOPHICAL CRITIQUE OF THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY’S ANTI-DOPING CRITERIA
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are the institution responsible for upholding doping bans in professional sport. WADA’s criteria for upholding anti-doping bans constitute three arguments from; performance enhancement; health risks; and the spirit of sport. However, the continued prevalence of doping within certain sports begs the question; are the bans justified? Within this dissertation I shall argue towards a re-conceptualisation of WADA’s anti-doping criteria. In doing so, I shall argue that WADA’s current anti-doping criteria is weak as it is conceptually vague, and suggests a moral distaste for drugs rather than a philosophically sound position. However, I will outline that a potentially sound argument to reject doping lies within the notion of the spirit of sport, but not as WADA have articulated it. Subsequently, I shall suggest that WADA adopt the criteria of John Gleaves (2010), in 'No Harm, No Foul, Justifying Bans On Safe Performance Enhancing Drugs'. I shall go on to further the suggestions of Gleaves, whereby I shall suggest Gleaves' rejection of doping is too generic to apply to sport as a whole, and propose a context specific, particularistic, approach to doping in sport. In conclusion, I argue that under WADA’s current criteria, doping bans cannot justifiably be upheld in sport. However, using Gleaves' framework applied with my ethos specific suggested approach, WADA may be able to justify their anti-doping position.
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