From anti-doping to a 'performance policy' sport technology, being human, and doing ethics

This paper discusses three questions concerning the ethics of performance enhancement in sport. The first has to do with the improvement to policy and argues that there is a need for policy about doping to be re-constituted and to question the conceptual priority of ‘anti’ doping. It is argued that policy discussions about science in sport must recognise the broader context of sport technology and seek to develop a policy about ‘performance’, rather than ‘doping’. The second argues that a quantitative enhancement to a sporting performance has no value and is, thus, unethical, unless the motivation behind using it implies something meaningful about being human. Thus, unless the use of the technology is constitutive of our humanness, then it is not a justifiable method of altering (rather than enhancing) performance. This rules out the legitimacy of using performance enhancement to gain an advantage over other competitors, who do not have access to similar means. Finally, the third argument claims that sport ethics has had only a limited discourse and has failed to recognise broader theoretical ideas in relation to performance modification, which might be found in the philosophy of technology and bioethics . Collectively, these positions articulate important concerns about the role of science in sport and the ethical discussions arising from them.
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