Performance-Enhancing Drugs, Sport, and the Ideal of Natural Athletic Performance

American Journal of Bioethics 18 (6):8-15 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The use of certain performance-enhancing drugs (PED) is banned in sport. I discuss critically standard justifications of the ban based on arguments from two widely used criteria: fairness and harms to health. I argue that these arguments on their own are inadequate, and only make sense within a normative understanding of athletic performance and the value of sport. In the discourse over PED, the distinction between “natural” and “artificial” performance has exerted significant impact. I examine whether the distinction makes sense from a moral point of view. I propose an understanding of “natural” athletic performance by combining biological knowledge of training with an interpretation of the normative structure of sport. I conclude that this understanding can serve as moral justification of the PED ban and enable critical and analytically based line drawing between acceptable and nonacceptable performance-enhancing means in sport.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,296

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sport, Performance-enhancing Drugs, and the Art of Self-imposed Constraints.Sigmund Loland - 2018 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (1):87-100.
Can a Ban on Doping in Sport be Morally Justified?Sigmund Loland - 2011 - In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities. Blackwell. pp. 326–331.
Performance-enhancing drugs as a collective action problem.J. S. Russell & Alister Browne - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 45 (2):109-127.
Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sport: The Ethical Issue.Warren P. Fraleigh - 1984 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 11 (1):23-28.


Added to PP

150 (#129,740)

6 months
22 (#129,165)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?