A League of Their Own? Evaluating Justifications for The Division of Sport into 'Enhanced' and 'Unenhanced' Leagues

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (1):31-45 (2012)
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Cheating through the use of illegal performance enhancements (such as doping) is a persistent problem in sport. It has been suggested that one response to this problem is to separate sport into two parallel leagues. One league would resemble sport as it is currently practised ? i.e. with restrictions on use of particular enhancements ? and the other would not possess these restrictions, allowing those that wish to use currently illegal enhancements to do so. In this paper I articulate the ?two leagues? proposal further and subject it to critical scrutiny. The proposal fails. It does so by failing to address conceptual confusion regarding enhancement use in sport; by replicating in the new league the current problems associated with enhancement-based cheating; and by creating new problems. In an attempt to revive it I describe other possible justifications for the proposal, based on its promotion of personal autonomy, and rights-based justifications. These fail, with the exception of a group right claiming provision of the enhanced league as a participatory good. I conclude that this latter use of the proposal is the only sensible one, but it nevertheless faces significant obstacles



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Michele King
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Doping: Just Do It?J. Angelo Corlett - 2013 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 7 (4):430-449.

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References found in this work

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.
Justice, Fairness, and Enhancement.Julian Savulescu - 2006 - Annals of New York Academy of Science 1093:321-338.
On the argument that enhancement is "cheating".M. Schermer - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (2):85-88.

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