Viewing entries tagged
doping

Olympism in Action

Olympism in Action

Last weekend, I was in Argentina for the Olympism in Action Forum, invited by the International Olympic Committee to speak about doping. The event took place in advance of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Here’s a quick overview of what took place, but it doesn’t really capture what I said in full.

Broadly speaking, I discussed how society must decide how far it is prepared to push health and longer lives, in order to come to terms with the doping dilemma. We live in times of profound experimentation with biotechnological changes, which make any notion of the natural athlete as a criterion of value within sport an historically redundant notion. This wider cultural shift is what calls into question the anti-doping mandate and is among the biggest problems our society has yet to solve.

Higher, Faster, Enhanced?

Higher, Faster, Enhanced?

After a full on week of doping controversies with the Fancy Bears website hacks, I gave a talk at Future Fest this weekend on the future of sport and the use of human enhancement.

There's a major problem about to explode with the Therapeutic Use Exemption and this could change  a lot about how we make sense of the distinction between therapy and enhancement. As always, sport is at the forefront of figuring out crucial bioethical problems that will confront our radical transhuman future.

 

 

 

Neurodoping is the next big thing

Neurodoping is the next big thing

This week, I interviewed for the new publishing platform, The Ringer, on a piece about neurodoping. Some interesting stuff about how much more could be done by athletes to enhance performance, and a good example of something that does not yet engage the anti-doping authorities. Should it? Probably not, but it might, so who knows what will happen next.

Anti-Doping has a bigger problem than they realise

Anti-Doping has a bigger problem than they realise

This week, Gizmodo wrote a piece which really sets out why the anti-doping problem is far greater than authorities imagine and why they cannot begin to tackle the extent of it with a mediocre budget available to the World Anti-Doping Agency. The piece does not get too focused on the ethics, but the wider culture of human enhancement that surrounds sport.  Take a look here.

Is the Olympic Ideal over? (No)

Is the Olympic Ideal over? (No)

This week, I interviewed for BBC Newshour Extra on the state of the Olympic movement. We covered everything from the role of arts in the Olympics, the rise of e-sport, the importance of nationalism and, of course, the doping debate. It is a really fun programme, with some pretty serious issues covered. Take a listen here

BlueDot Festival

BlueDot Festival

This weekend, I had the chance to speak at the BlueDot Festival, an amazing science, art, and music festival at the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. My talk was part of a programme of events curated by Josh McNorton at FutureFest and I focused on the era of human enhancement and how it's playing out in the world of sport. 

 

Should blood doping be legal in sport

Should blood doping be legal in sport

This week, I featured in an article on doping within the magazine Men's Health. My quotes:

“Athletes are in the business of attempting to transcend human limits,”
“Especially at the elite level, sport is inherently a relationship between technology and nature,” 
“Sports organisations have a moral obligation to ensure that they are investing in the safest forms of performance enhancement for athletes,”
“Managing the health and safety risks associated with performance enhancement – that’s the priority.”

Anti-Doping is set up to fail

Anti-Doping is set up to fail

While in Lausanne last week, I interviewed for SportCal on the doping debate, in a week where more positive tests were revealed, this time from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games samples. Callum Murray did a good job of pulling together my views on where we are and why anti-doping can't work. Sir Craig Reedie offered a brief reply to the article, noting the years of engagement WADA has had with me on this subject.

Throughout these years, i've always tried to find common ground as a starting point. It's sometimes hard, as my view often is seen as fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport. I completely reject this. I am passionate about sports, I care about their role in society, and I want the best for athletes. I just don't think anti-doping does that.

Reedie's proposal - outlined in his response - is to bring more money into anti-doping through media sponsorship may change that, but it still feels like a drop in the ocean, when at the heart of the problem is a question about the future of humanity and our biotechnological future.

DIY Steroid Labs

DIY Steroid Labs

A big story broke this week on Sky News, which has been investigating the rise of DIY steroid labs around the UK. It tells a story of how body building and performance/image enhancement is not just a matter for the world of elite sport to address.

My arguments focused on the cultural shift towards enhancement and the need to re-appraise the morality and law surrounding such practices. If so many people are doing it, it's hard to still claim them as morally bankrupt.

If we can just address the health risks more effectively, then we need not worry. This means a harm reduction model and supervised doping.