Interview for Stephanie Pertuiset @AFP on the Yannick Noah headlines around doping, published by a range of French newspapers, including Liberation & Le Temps. Here are some of the quotes from the raw invu in English:
1) Former tennis champion Yannick Noah said he is in favor legalizing doping to stop hyprocrisy. In France, every one shot at him, saying basically that doping is a really bad thing leading to Circus Games. Do you think it is a taboo nowadays to say something like that ? Why antidoping has such be legitimated ?
"Anti-doping is a worrying kind of dogma, which leaves little scope for serious ethical debates about elite sports practice. Anyone who speaks against it is quickly shunned by the sports world, but enough people have made this kind of argument now. It's time people listened to what's being said - anti-doping is broken."
2) I found you were quoted as saying the fight antidoping is at the opposite of its own objectives. Can you explain why ?
"Elite athletes are placed in a situation where they need to find a way of gaining an edge over their competitors. Inevitably this will involve using performance enhancing technologies and we have to act responsibly and recognize that this is a situation that the sports world has created. As such, it must take responsibility for developing more effective enhancements, which are available to all. As well, if the goal of anti-doping is to protect athletes from harm, then it fails. Instead, athletes pursue products on the black market and put themselves at even greater risk than if the doping technologies were legalized and under medical supervision"
3) WADA, national antidoping agencies and governments always put in front the so-called health issue. Do you think AD is a real health issue or led by others motivations ?
"All sports are a risk to health, with or without doping. Some doping technologies may increase that risk, but that increase could be moderated considerably if doping were out in the open. Health risk in itself is not a good enough reason to ban doping, there has to be something more too it - the moral dimension - and this is really not a robust reason to prohibit many doping forms"
4) The way the tests are done, all the wherabout system, the breach in intimacy… could all these things have an ethic justification according to you ?
"Not at all. We find ourselves in a world where kids in high schools are being tested for sport related drugs. How far are we prepared to go in violating personal privacy to attempt to protect a level playing field? I think it's gone too far and, like Yannick Noah, sympathize with the idea that a change is necessary"
5) Do you think sport can keep living in its own square while the rest of society is taking substances to be better an more performant ?
"Far from it. The world of sports is soon going to hit a massive road block with anti-doping. We live in a world where the use of human enhancement technologies - from laser eye surgery to cognitive enhancements - are becoming features of 21st century living. What value will anti-doping have in an era where everyone has been genetically selected and optimized? None. Sports need to make changes soon, or risk being completely redundant activities"