Should athletes be given the choice to use performance-enhancing drugs? Yes
Freedom of choice. If athletes wish to take drugs in search of improved performances, let them do so. They harm nobody but themselves and should be treated as adults, capable of making rational decisions upon the basis of widely-available information. Even if there are adverse health effects in the long-term, this is also true of both tobacco and boxing, which remain legal. Yes
Already athletes use all sorts of dietary supplements, exercises, equipment, clothing, training regimes, medical treatments, etc. to enhance their performance. There is nothing ‘natural’ about taking vitamin pills, wearing whole-body Lycra suits, having surgery on ligaments, spending every day in a gym pumping weights, running in spikes, etc. Diet, medicine, technology, and even just coaching already give an artificial advantage to those athletes who can afford the best of all these aids. Since there is no clear way to distinguish from legitimate and illegitimate artificial aids to performance, they should all be allowed. Yes
Levels the playing field. Currently suspicion over drug use surrounds every sport and every successful athlete, and those competitors who don’t take performance-enhancing drugs see themselves as disadvantaged. Some drugs can’t be tested for, and in any case, new medical and chemical advances mean that the cheats will always be ahead of the testers. Legalisation would remove this uncertainty and allow everyone to compete openly and fairly. Yes
If legal then drugs can be controlled and monitored by doctors, making them much safer. Athletes on drugs today often take far more than is needed for performance-enhancement, running needless health risks as a result, simply because of ignorance and the need for secrecy. Legalisation allows more information to become available and open medical supervision will avoid many of the health problems currently associated with...
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