Tag Archives: doping

Genetic Advantages in Sports: When Do They Count as “Doping”? ELSI Friday Forum, Friday December 9th 12 pm EST

Join us on Friday, December 9, 2022, for the next ELSI Friday Forum: Genetic Advantages in Sports: When Do They Count as “Doping”?

What is the essence of sports, and how does that impact the way doping is defined? The sports world is already preparing for an inevitable wave of “gene-doping” as gene-transfer technologies advance and become more widely available to all ages. On the one side, genetic modifications that improve human performance can be considered enhancements that threaten fair competition. However, gene transfer technologies can be used for a wide range of characteristics, thus blurring the lines between therapy and enhancement. This gray zone requires reflections and decisions on whether there is a moral difference between a genetic advantage that is inherited versus acquired. Could gene-transfer be a way of leveling the playing field? Or does it threaten the essence of sports fundamentally?

Panelist: Sarah Polcz, JSD, MSc, JD (Stanford Law School)
Panelist: Silvia Camporesi, PhD, PhD (King’s College London)
Moderator: Thomas H. Murray, PhD (The Hastings Center)

To continue the conversation please join fellow audience members for an informal discussion in a Zoom meeting immediately following the forum. The link will be placed in the Zoom Chat during the forum. For those who cannot attend the live event, the forum will be recorded and archived on the ELSIhub Video page.

Closed captioning and/or transcripts will be provided for live and recorded events.

By registering for an ELSIhub event, attendees agree to abide by the ELSIhub Code of Conduct: https://elsihub.org/news/code-conductTime

Dec 9, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Webinar logo

To register for the webinar click here:

https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Sr7ZBGtJTCGhgjO_2m0eXg

“A flickering flame: is the Olympics ideal dead?” My contribution to BBC World Service Newshour Extra

This BBC Newshourextra episode was broadcast on July 29th/20th/31st.

You can download the podcast (mp3) here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04263n3flickering flame

“The important thing in life is not to win but to take part, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”. So said the founder of the modern Olympic movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, at the end of the 19th Century. How does his noble ideal fit with the modern phenomena of professionalism, doping, individual financial gain, nationalistic pride, huge corporate sponsorship? Is the Olympic ideal still alive? In this week’s edition of the programme, as the Rio Games approach, join Owen Bennett Jones and his guests as they discuss the present and future of the Olympics”.

Contributors

Andrew Steele – British Olympic 400m athlete at Beijing 2008 games

David Goldblatt – Author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics

Dr Silvia Camporesi – Lecturer in Bioethics and Society at King’s College London.

Professor Andy Miah – Chair in Science, Communication & Future Media at the University of Salford

Pat Myhill – Director of Operations for the UK Anti-Doping agency, UKAD

Sponsors should be held responsible if their athletes dope

Camporesi S, & Knuckles JA  (2014). Shifting the burden of proof in doping: lessons from environmental sustainability applied to high-performance sport. Reflective Practice15(1), 106-118.

One of Lance Armstrong's former sponsors...

One of Lance Armstrong’s former sponsors…

In this paper, co-authored with James A. Knuckles, we analyse the role of incentives in high-performance sports, borrowing concepts from sustainability policies and applying them to the context of doping in sports. Professional athletes discount their future health in exchange for desired enhanced performances. In the same way, many industrialised societies discount future environmental health for short-term economic returns, jeopardising the future of the planet. We propose a solution to alter this discounting, by applying the lessons from environmental sustainability, which has long proposed shifting the burden of proof away from regulators in order to alter the practice of discounting the planet’s future health for current economic gains, to high-performance sports.

We argue that the burden of proof for doping should not rest on the athlete or the team of sports doctors, but should rest instead on the sponsors. Under this system, WADA would retain and strengthen its own testing, and impose severe penalties on the sponsors of any athlete found to be doping.

Only by making the companies accountable for the athletes they sponsor, can we de-link sponsorship money from a win-at-all-costs mentality in sports that in turn leads to doping, and subsequently to discounting the future health of the athlete.