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I just want to throw this out for discussion – but frankly I am a little confused about the whole issue of “doping” with professional athletes.

Normally, when one thinks of drugs, illegal substances come to mind. Without exception, these are drugs which are mind altering. On the other hand, the “drugs” used by athletes are intended to be body altering – and in many instances the substances are not illegal, even thought there use may violate the rules of the professional organization under which the athlete operates.

Go into any vitamin shop or health food store, and you will see entire sections of the store devoted to a wide range of “energy enhancers” and body building enhancers. These are used routinely by non-professional athletes – mainly by body builders.

So my concern is where is the line between the readily available and supposedly acceptable products and the unacceptable products involved in the various doping scandals? Again, I realize that breaking the rules of one’s professional organization is in itself cause for action.

In the current Spanish scandal, why was the investigation conducted by a “police” agency? Again, it’s my understanding that these are not controlled substances, and do not violate any laws. Past investigations have been conducted by the governing bodies of the various sports.

Finally, as to the whole question of taking a non-controlled “drug” to improved one’s body and subsequent performance – is this really a bad thing? Maybe not really analogous, but in auto racing, the teams constantly try to improve the performance of their cars. They must abide by NASCAR rules, but otherwise they are free to experiment to make the car a winner.

I guess this could make the point either way – but going to a high altitude to train will have to some extent the same effect on the product of red blood cells.
 

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Properly supervised there is a good case to be made for using drugs in the extremes of sport to restore normal levels and improve health, but the drug war hysteria of larger society (almost entirely US instigated) has taken over and despite the futility of a zero tolerance policy it's probably going to be increasingly criminalized, to the detriment of all involved.

If they are going after entertainers in the form of sporting figures they should go after all the actors and musicians too (not just Robert Downey Jr).
 
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