World Pro-Doping Agency


I happen to think that I have a relatively moderate view about performance enhancement in sport. My initial position is that the doping dilemma is a genuine ethical issue - one which lends itself to no clear resolution, because there are essentially contested concepts at stake. To this extent, I sympathise with many people involved within the anti-doping movement. I listen to their views, I take on board what they say. To this extent, I also do not shout too loud about the value of a pro-doping stance, even though I am characterised predominantly as advocating this view. For one thing, the doping issue is deeply political and, if one aims to do good philosophy, then taking this into account is critical. Debates surrounding any technological, regulatory issue must engage with the practical ethical problems they present. However, at times, I wonder whether I should be more radical and unforgiving about the case to be made on behalf of doping.

Yet another 'pro-doping' op ed piece passed across my desk today and it has provoked me to consider whether there should be some form of organisation of these disparate views. Perhaps we need to get all the 'pro-doping' views/people together to bring about some form of structured intervention. However, if I do this, I worry that this might compromise my integity by clearly aligning myself with one particular kind of conclusion when, as I say, this issue is more complex.

So, my proposal is to establish a World Pro-Doping Agency as a thought experiment. I wonder how many people would sign up. My first task will be to assemble all papers, people and institutions that have raised questions about the anti-doping movement. However, the end goal is one that seeks to present constructive proposals to the difficult problem of doping in sport. (Watch out for publications of mine using this title.)