Episode 65: Julian Savulescu discusses doping in sports

This month, we consider the role of enhancement in sports with Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Click here to listen to our conversation.

savulescuThese days, we take it for granted that taking drugs to enhance athletic performance is wrong. After all, it’s cheating: the rules of all professional sports place strict limits on which drugs their athletes are allowed to use, and for good reason. That way, the competitions associated with these sports can remain a test of the athlete’s hard work and natural ability, rather than a test of who took the most extreme (and potentially dangerous) chemical shortcut.

Our guest, however, believes that the current limits on doping in sports are too strict. Certain kinds of doping–such as blood doping with transfusions–are safe as long as they keep the athlete’s performance within the bounds of what a human being can do. Furthermore, since many of these methods involve nothing ‘unnatural,’ they are extremely difficult to test for, and it’s unrealistic to think that any kind of doping which can’t be tested for isn’t currently being employed wherever possible. The incentives are just too strong.

Tune in to hear Julian Savulescu make the case for (a limited degree of) doping in sports!

Matt Teichman






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