Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) should be permitted in professional sports.
Debate Rounds (3)
Performance Enhancing Drugs are defined as substances used to improve performance in a variety of fields. We're talking about steroids, lean mass builders, stimulants, nootropics, painkillers, sedatives, blood boosters, etc- not caffeine and green beans.
PEDs should not be permitted for use in professional sports (or sports at any level) for a number of reasons. First and foremost, PEDs present an enormous health risk for athletes that use them. They lead to many severe health problems, including but not limited to heart and circulatory problems, psychiatric disorders and inhibited growth and development (http://www.mayoclinic.org... and http://www.livestrong.com...). The law, in the broader view of things, aims to generally protect people from making poor decisions. If all people are treated as equals under the law, it is the duty of the law to aim to protect athletes just as it aims to protect drug users. It is therefore the responsibility of the law to warn athletes away from taking performance enhancing drugs. In the broader scope of sport, it can be appreciated that teenage athletes who train among adult ones or share the same coaches would also turn to PEDs used by the people around them (were PEDs legalized and accessible), which would not only pose even more serious health concerns but also set trends about drug culture in general, spreading the reach of recreational drug use even further.
Sports are enjoyed by people because they are a visual demonstration of what human beings can achieve, individually or collectively. They are designed to amaze and put on a show, and we watch them to celebrate this human achievement. If athletes took PEDs, we would be celebrating chemical achievement, instead. Thus, PEDs could be appreciated to undermine the central philosophy of sport.
Finally, a counterargument could be that not all athletes would need to take PEDs and some may choose not to without consequence- however, this is not true. Even if some athletes uphold moral or health standards to not take PEDs, they have their freedom of choice infringed upon: if they want to be successful, they will also have to take drugs. Allowing any athletes to take PEDs means no longer protecting any athletes, even ones that don't want to use dangerous drugs, from these things. This is exemplified in the American Scientific Magazine: "Game theory highlights why it is rational for professional cyclists to dope: the drugs are extremely effective as well as difficult or impossible to detect; the payoffs for success are high; and as more riders use them, a "clean" rider may become so noncompetitive that he or she risks being cut from the team" (http://www.scientificamerican.com...).
Two more websites consulted:
Your move! :)
Legalizing PEDs would serve to level the playing field. According to the New York Times, more than a third of the top Tour de France finishers since 1998 have been confirmed to be doping while racing, despite efforts to stop them (1). So, the statistics clearly indicate that those who obey the rules and do not dope have a relatively low chance of performing well. If those who did not not use Performance Enhancing Drugs in the Tour de France were instead allowed to dope, those racers would have had the same advantages as those who currently dope illegally, and the playing field would have been more even.
One of the primary reasons people enjoy watching professional sports is because they showcase the highest level of human achievement. Allowing PEDs to be used would raise the level of competition and skill in professional sports. This would thus make achievements in sports seem even more unthinkable and impressive, which would thus make more people attend these sporting events. As described in Forbes, "A huge part of watching sports is witnessing the very peak of human athletic ability, and legalizing performance enhancing drugs would help athletes climb even higher (2)." This shows that Performance Enhancing Drugs can raise the level of sports, which can make sports even more of a spectacle. For example, during the 1990's, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa used steroids, their respective games were usually sold out with people who wanted to see their heightened abilities (2).
I will now refute my opponent's arguments.
My opponent argues that PEDs provide with a large risk for athletes. However, Athletes who are using PEDs are already in a dangerous industry, and frequently become injured regardless of whether or not they use drugs. In the year 2013 alone, the NFL reported at least 152 concussions, and was forced to spend up to 765 million dollars to settle claims of traumatic head injury brought by former players (3). So, PEDs do not provide with a large injury risk compared to the inherent risk of professional sports.
My opponent also argues that allowing PEDs takes away from true human achievement. However, being an athlete requires a high amount of skill regardless of whether or not you use PEDs. Hitting a home run, for example requires excellent timing and a perfect swing. Using PEDs may increase the distance of this home run, but hitting a it is still a spectacle of your own human, not chemical precision. So, performing in sports requires intricate skill, no matter what. It is thus clear that PEDs do not take away from human achievement.
As such, I affirm.
1. "Legalizing PEDs would serve to level the playing field. According to the New York Times, more than a third of the top Tour de France finishers since 1998 have been confirmed to be doping while racing"
Response: Not only should they not be legalized, there should be more enforcement to keep them out of sports. It's not a strong argument to say "some people are doing it anyway, we might as well make it legal so everyone can". Some people do cocaine! Furthermore, rich athletes from wealthier countries will have access to the latest, highest-quality PEDs while poorer athletes from poorer countries which don't have the same medical or scientific advances will not be able to keep up. As long as PEDs are available (or even legal), the playing field won't ever be level. PEDs are one of the largest factors that make the playing field not be level, because they give a foothold to wealth and country of origin as deciders of athletic performance.
2. "One of the primary reasons people enjoy watching professional sports is because they showcase the highest level of human achievement. Allowing PEDs to be used would raise the level of competition and skill in professional sports."
Response: Allowing PEDs would raise the level of competition in an extremely uneven manner, and we would showcase chemical achievement instead of human achievement (as outlined in my first argument).
3. "My opponent argues that PEDs provide with a large risk for athletes. However, Athletes who are using PEDs are already in a dangerous industry, and frequently become injured regardless of whether or not they use drugs."
Response: I would call it an invalid argument to say that, because what they do is dangerous already, it doesn't matter that PEDs could make their lives more dangerous. All people are under the law and the law should protect all people. Welders have a more dangerous career than teachers, but it isn't any less against the law for them to use cocaine.
4. "My opponent also argues that allowing PEDs takes away from true human achievement. However, being an athlete requires a high amount of skill regardless of whether or not you use PEDs. [...] Using PEDs may increase the distance of this home run, but hitting a it is still a spectacle of your own human, not chemical precision."
Response: I agree that there is a side of sports not affected by PEDs, but I think that this argues my side of the debate more than it does yours- we will celebrate the same skills, changed or unchanged by PEDs, as human achievement. The use of PEDs therefore does not increase this human achievement and should not be celebrated, it only adds chemical achievement to what is already amazing. This is not something we want to celebrate, as it is outside of the central philosophy of sport, and it is certainly not worth the health risks or other disparities (as outlined above) the PEDs would bring to sport at any level.
My opponent argues that it does not make sense to legal PEDs with the intention of leveling the playing field. However, I have provided evidence that says that a majority of athletes in some sports use PEDs. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to eradicate PEDs. This has been seen recently in sports such as baseball. Despite continuous effort by Major League Baseball to take PEDs away from the game, PED use is still widely present. This shows that it would simply be less cumbersome to allow everyone to use PEDs than to attempt to remove them entirely.
My opponent also observes that PEDs increase chemical achievement instead of human achievement. However, I have shown that professional athletes still are incredibly skilled, regardless of whether or not they use PEDs. Furthermore, I have shown that people do in fact celebrate "chemical" achievement. An example of this would be the MLB Home Run races in the 1990's, when a majority of the contenders used PEDs. During this point in MLB history, there were more fans and spectators than ever before, which shows celebration of what my opponent dubs "chemical achievement." So, it is clear that PEDs do not eliminate human achievement, and any chemical achievement that they provide is still celebrated.
My opponent refutes my argument regarding the inherent dangers of sports by comparing it to teachers and welders who use cocaine. This argument cannot be weighed in this debate for two reasons. First, Professional Athletes are paid much more than welders or teachers. Second, PEDs are much less dangerous than using cocaine. Professional Athletes are being paid much more than teachers or welders, and they are also submitting themselves to the inherent danger of their sports. And I would observe that this argument was mainly put into my constructive speech to show that the dangers of PEDs do not come close to outweighing the inherent dangers of sports. Because of this, the contention regarding the dangers of PEDs cannot be weighed highly.
My opponent finally argues that chemical achievement will never be celebrated, as all that people celebrate is human achievement. I do accept that people embrace human achievement in sports, as I even said that in my constructive speech. However, I have also shown that chemical achievement can be celebrated, which increases the appeal to watch professional sports.
So, it is clear that PEDs do in fact level the playing field, make sports more appealing, and should in fact be legalized in professional sports. So, I affirm the resolution that Performance Enhancing Drugs should be permitted in professional sports, and I urge a pro ballot.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KonstanBen 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and spelling were even. Sources were 3-3. Arguments, in my opinion, came down to two things. The Aff is able to show the lack of practicality of not permitting PEDs. The Aff was also successful in proving that people enjoy watching PEDs boosted performances.
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