El conocido bioeticista Julian Savulescu (director of the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics and the Center for Neuroethics at the University of Oxford) reaviva la polémica sobre el dopaje con su conocida postura respecto al mismo. Con ocasión de los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres, recientemente clausurados, el periódico estadounidense “New York Times” promovió un debate sobre tal tema. Esta es la opinión de Savulescu, que reitera unas ideas ya expuestas en este espacio anteriormente:
“The war on drugs in sports is failing and must inevitably fail. Paradoxically, the zero-tolerance approach to doping is ruining sports.
We should allow drugs in competitive sports for three reasons. First, the ban is ruining the mood and spirit of the game. It’s hard to enjoy any sports narrative if we don’t know who is clean and who isn’t.
Second, the ban is actually bad for the health of the athletes. They currently use undetectable substances and methods with no medical supervision or responsibility. How can this be monitored?
Third, the ban is unfair. Honest athletes don’t have access to safe enhancement methods. Cheaters have the competitive advantage.
Throughout human history, athletes have tried to use various substances to improve their performance. Some doping agents have been permitted – like caffeine, which increases time to exhaustion by 10 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. Athletes used to get stripped of their medals when they tested positive for it. It is legal today because it is safe enough.
As evidenced by the lifting of the caffeine ban in 2004, we should relax the drug ban even more, allowing for performance enhancers in adults (not children) if the drugs satisfy three criteria:
1. They should be safe enough. Safety should be judged relative to the risks of the sport, which are considerable. American football can cause quadriplegia. Medical supervised administration of steroids poses nothing like that kind of risk.
2. The drugs taken should be consistent with the spirit of the sport in question. Steroids do not add some magical ability; they simply enhance the effects of hard training and accelerate recovery from injury. However, beta-blockers to reduce tremors would compromise sports that test the athlete’s nerve, like archery and shooting.
3. The intervention should not dominate or dehumanize performance. Robotic limbs would substantially remove the human element to running. But steroids, growth hormone and blood doping mimic natural processes.
We have the science to enhance athletic performance safely. We should use it.”
Como nos dice claramente en su corolario "tenemos la ciencia para mejorar el rendimiento deportivo de forma segura. Debemos utilizarlo".