DRUGS IN SPORT
Use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics has been recorded to as early as the matches of the Olympiad, when the marathon was won by Thomas Hicks after receiving an injection of strychnine. The first official ban on”stimulating substances” with a sporting organization was introduced by the International Amateur Athletic Federation in 1928.
Using medication to cheat in sports isn’t new, but it’s getting more effective. In 1976, the East German swimming team won 11 out of 13 Olympic events and later, when some athlete failed a dope test, the team sued the government for providing them anabolic steroids.
In 1992, Vicky Rabinowicz interviewed groups of athletes. She discovered that athletes, generally, believed that other athletes used substances.
Much of the writing on the use of drugs in sport is focused on this sort of evidence; however, there’s very little objective evidence of illegal, taboo, and dangerous activities intentionally committed by athletes via doping. The anecdotal picture tells us that our efforts to eliminate drugs from game to have failed. In the absence of good evidence, we are in need of a strong argument.
The objective of”cleaning” up the game is unattainable. Further down the track, the specter of enhancement looms large and dark.