An ethical consideration of doping in the competitive sporting environment.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This article provides a review of the arguments both for and against doping in competitive sport in regards to the four main areas of discussion: Harm, fairness, the ideal of sport and the possible unnatural and dehumanising consequences of doping. Through the breakdown of each area this article shows both sides maintain strong ethical arguments and in turn also have areas of fallibility. Thus for an athlete to be condemned for doping is morally questionable if the athletes decision is in fact based in good ethical reasoning. However it is suggested that a large portion of those athletes who dope or would consider doping base such choices not on the ethics of such actions but on the economic rewards achievable through sporting success. These athletes are of a lombardian mind set and through the use of the prisoner’s dilemma matrix this article determines that such athletes will act in a self-serving way (doping) to achieve their desires, even though such decisions will eventually be self-defeating due to the number of lombardian athletes acting in the same self-serving manner. However there are athletes with alternative outlooks, these include; coubertinian, naessian and brownian athletes. Whilst the lombardian position might be the most influential and lead to decisions made without regard to ethics, removing the lombardian influence would allow athletes from the remaining perspectives to base their decisions on earlier outlined ethical discussion. This article outlines two methods to achieve this: first, by reducing the lombardian mind-set through enforcement action, thereby removing the athletes ability to be self-defeating, and secondly by changing the economics of the sporting environment.
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