There is an excellent guest blog on the equally impressive Freakonomics blog today. Joe Lindsey argues that simply making doping legal and an accepted part of sports would not work for a few reasons, among them: financial capacities, international export laws, and the dangers of using drugs not meant for human consumption.
Finally, none of that addresses the moral problems involved in legalizing doping. Doping in sports isnít inherently wrong; itís wrong by the value system with which we judge sports. Sports themselves are by their nature civilized: everyone agrees to follow a certain set of rules. If you donít, thatís cheating. Legalizing doping doesnít change those rules as much as remove them altogether, and then itís no longer a sport, but merely entertainment. Right or wrong, we look to sports and to athletes for an inspiration that mere entertainment cannot provide Ė there is an implicit contract that the sweat and effort we see before us is real and natural. Do you want to see whoís the best athlete, or just who had the best access to pharmaceutical enhancement?