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Challenge Match; beezzer vs Daaskapital Performance enhancing drugs in sports.

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posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 10:20 AM
This debate is on the moral, legal aspects of the use of performance enhancing drugs. This is in no way an endorsement of any type of drug use, nor is it a podium to encourage such use. All T&C aspects will apply to this debate.

Thank you ATS. Today I will attempt to illustrate the hypocrisy that some athletes go through because they used medical compounds that enhanced their performance in their sport career.

Although the phrase performance-enhancing drugs is popularly used in reference to anabolic steroids or their precursors, world anti-doping organizations apply the term broadly. The phrase has been used to refer to several distinct classes of drugs:
Lean mass builders are used to drive or amplify the growth of muscle and lean body mass, and sometimes to reduce body fat. This class of drugs includes anabolic steroids, xenoandrogens, beta-2 agonists, selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), and various human hormones, most notably human growth hormone, as well as some of their precursors. Performance Enhancing Drugs are also found in Animals as synthetic growth hormone.
Stimulants are used to stimulate their body and mind to perform at optimal level by increasing focus, energy and aggression. Examples include caffeine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.
Painkillers mask athletes' pain so they can continue to compete and perform beyond their usual pain thresholds. Blood pressure is increased causing the cells in the muscles to be better supplied with vital oxygen. Painkillers used by athletes range from common over-the-counter medicines such as NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) to powerful prescription narcotics.
Sedatives are sometimes used by athletes in sports like archery which require steady hands and accurate aim, and also by athletes attempting to overcome excessive nervousness or discomfort. Alcohol, valium, propranolol, and marijuana are examples.
Diuretics expel water from athletes' bodies. They are often used by athletes such as wrestlers, who need to meet weight restrictions. Many stimulants also have secondary diuretic effect. (Also used as a masking drug)
Blood boosters increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood beyond the individual's natural capacity. Their misuse is centred on endurance sports like cycling and nordic skiing. EPO is the most publicly known drug in this class.
Masking drugs are used to prevent the detection of other classes of drugs. These evolve as quickly as do testing methods – which is very quick indeed[2] – although a time-tested classic example is the use of epitestosterone, a drug with no performance-enhancing effects, to restore the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio (a common criterion in steroid testing) to normal levels after anabolic steroid supplementation.


So lean-mass builders, stimulants, painkillers, sedatives, diuretics, and masking drugs are illegal in the sporting world.

Some say they provide an unfair advantage.

But some foods, natural products also do the very same thing as these "illegal performance enhancing" drugs.

One athlete who has a nutritionist, or has a home gym with special equipment could be seen as having a performance-enhancing edge over his competition.

An exercise regime is a "performance-enhancer". A trainer is a "performance-enhancer". A coach is a "performance-enhancer". Why can't an individual utilize all facets available to him/her when competing? It is their choice!

How many of us have had pots of coffee prior to finals? How many have had a soothing cigarette before a test? Caffeine? Nicotine? Both are used as performance-enhancing drugs.

Are they good for you?

Certainly not!

But their use is common. Even accepted in the university settings.

As far as opening statements go, this was mine. I now turn the debate over to my worthy opponent, Daaskapital.

posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by beezzer

Good afternoon everyone, i am daaskapital and today, i will be arguing against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports.

I would like to thank the staff, and beezzer for constructing this debate. I would also like to thank those members who are taking their time to view this thread.


Firstly, i would like to state Wikipedia is not a reliable source and should not be used as such. This is due to the fact that the information contained within specific articles can be rewritten by the public.

Secondly, i would like to combat the following article found in the above linked Wikipedia article:

Although the phrase performance-enhancing drugs is popularly used in reference to anabolic steroids or their precursors, world anti-doping organizations apply the term broadly. The phrase has been used to refer to several distinct classes of drugs.

While some anti-doping agencies may apply the term broadly, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) most certainly does not. The World Anti-Doping Agency is considered one of, if not the largest anti-doping agency in the world. WADA provides a list of substances which are prohibited here:

The fact that some specific (albeit) limited everyday products may provide similar benefits is irrelevant in this debate, simply because they are not prohibited by large anti-doping agencies. All sports men and women should abide by the rules set out by their respective anti-doping agencies. Just because some natural foods provide similar benefits as performance enhancing drugs does not give athletes the right to abuse illegal substances (thus breaking the anti-doping codes). After all, if the effects are similar, they could just abuse legal substances, instead of illegal ones.

Furthermore, while exercise regimes, coaches and trainers are "performance enhancers," they most certainly are not illegal substances.

Why can't an individual utilize all facets available to him/her when competing? It is their choice!

While it is their choice as to whether or not they abuse illegal substances, the simple fact is that they are not allowed to. Athletes must abide by the codes of their respective anti-doping agencies. That is the reason why there are consequences for abusing performance enhancing drugs.

I will challenge your statement about the use of legal substances before tests and such. While Caffeine and Nicotine may be used to enhance one's performance, they are legal. There is a difference between legal and illegal performance enhancing drugs. Further, the use of those substances in a university setting can not be compared to the use of illegal substances in sports settings. Both settings vary greatly in distinction.

I will finish this opening statement by stating that even though some athletes abuse illegal substances, they should not, as it is against the codes of anti-doping agencies. Furthermore, if the effects of legal foods are similar to that of illegal substances (as beezzer states), then there is no reason whatsoever to abuse illegal performance enhancing drugs.

I would like to thank beezzer for his opening statement, and i pass the debate into his hands now.

posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 01:46 AM
I would like to thank my opponent and point out that he is correct in differentiating the difference between legal and illegal performance-enhancers.
Yet, if legality were the only issue then a myriad of countries would "legalise" certain chemical compounds to provide the edge required in the sporting world.

He also pointed out that performance enhancers do occur and do exist. Thereby illustrating the arbitrary attitude that the sporting world has with performance-enhancers.

The illegal nature of performance-enhancers was categorized to prevent uneven edges or advantages in sporting events. Yet by their very nature the "legality" is arbitrary.

My opponent pointed out that performance-enhancers DO exist. People use performance-enhancers every day. Legalising some, while keeping others illegal shows the random approach to performance-enhancers and also shows why the rules and regulations surrounding performance-enhancers needs to change.

I would like to ask my opponent a question. If a legal exercise regime provided the same performance-enhancing benefits as an illegal compound, then should the exercise regime be made illegal?

Because in the end, it still provides for that uneven advantage that sporting events try to eliminate.

And if the point of banning performance-enhancers is to eliminate an uneven advantage, then wouldn't allowing ALL performance-enhancing compounds actually provide a better and more even, level starting point by eliminating any and all "legal" edges that performance-enhancers provide?

posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 09:15 PM
reply to post by beezzer

Thank you for your second statement beezzer.

Legality is a major issue surrounding performance enhancing drugs, but it is not the only one. I will go deeper into other issues later on in this body.

Beezzer states that performance enhancing drugs were categorised in order to prevent uneven edges in sports. While this may have been one reason for the banning of performance enhancing drugs, there are numerous others. Furthermore, the legality of performance enhancing drugs are not arbitrary (as beezzer states). This can be seen through the fact that anti-doping agencies have prohibited specific substances not only due to the legality of the substances, but also due to the severe health risks and ethics associated with said substances.

beezzer states that it is arbitrary that some performance enhancing substance remain legal, while others are classed illegal. I disagree with that statement:

The substances found on the prohibited list are there because they are damaging, they provide specific advantages, and they encourage frowned upon behaviour on behalf of the athletes. What if a young man, just turned 20, broke into the sporting world and was influenced to start taking drugs in order to beat others? Ethics will quickly drown if the prohibited list were to be revised (in order to legalise the substances within).

Furthermore, there are noticeable differences between some legal substances and the substances located on the prohibited list. I will use your example of caffeine from your first statement. Caffeine is not a long term substance. One takes it and gains a short term boost as a result. Yes, caffeine is a performance enhancer, but it is not a long term one. Taking caffeine will not give one a decisive advantage over an opponent if they decided to go run a marathon for example. I understand that there are some powerful caffeine substances out there, but they are not the same as say, taking steroids.

As an answer to beezzer's question:

If a legal exercise regime provided the same performance-enhancing benefits as an illegal compound, then should the exercise regime be made illegal?

I answer with no. Legal exercise regimes may provide advantages over other regimes of other athletes, but it is still not the same as taking illegal performance enhancing drugs. Ethics wise, it is healthier, physically wise, it is healthier. And overall, it provides a better attitude in the sport one is participating in.

To combat beezzer's last statement, i will again disagree. Getting rid of the uneven advantage is a priority of banning most performance enhancing substances, but it is not the only one. Legalising all drugs on the prohibited list may make it even, but it will completely damage the sports world. There is no point to watching athletes compete with each other if they aren't even their true selves so to speak. Further, there must always be a competitive edge, a healthy one. Making sports even (through leagalising drugs) would be unfair to those who have put in the hard work (ethically). It would also discourage healthy lifestyles and the healthy competitive nature that sports have (for the most part) today.

I would like to conclude this statement by thanking beezzer for his points, and i again hand the debate over to him.

posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by daaskapital

Thank you Daas. I would now like to present my closing statements.

Legalities are an arbitrary construct used to create an artificial foundation for a specific aspect.

In this case it is performance-enhancers in the sporting world. The fact that drugs are made illegal AFTER the fact show that they do work in enhancing the performance of an athlete.
Records are made and broken every day by people drive to excel in their chosen sports profession. Long-term effects in many sporting events are still being explored.

Female Gymnasts: does their training reduce growth rates, delay maturation and increase the risk of long-term skeletal injury?


All entirely legal.

Take American football for another example.

Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional Football: An Evidence-Base Perspective


Again, all entirely legal.

Yet blood-doping isn't because of health risks? Steroid injections aren't because of health risks?

These athletes are adults. (children are another issue, in my humble opinion) As an adult, shouldn't the individual be responsible for the health and relative safety of their own body? Why should a panel of judges dictate how far an athlete should or could go in his/her chosen arena?

In this debate we have looked at illegal and legal performance-enhancers. And I feel that it is a matter of perspective that determines the legality. Just performing in athletic activities carries a certain inherent risk.

We have discussed advantages, fair and unfair and their arbitrary nature. Any advantage should be considered as "fair". Because it is only making the athlete perform "better". Like an exercise regime, or a special diet, the athlete uses these aspects to be better than his/her opponent. "Drugs" are no different. Competative sporting events are all about being better than the other person. Being stronger, faster, than your opponent is what sports is all about.
As an adult athlete, it should be their own choice as to how far they want to go, how much they want to work, how much they want to give of themselves in order to excel in their chosen profession.

I would like to thank Daaskapital, for accepting the challenge and ATS, the mods for hosting this debate.

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 01:00 AM
reply to post by beezzer

Before i begin my closing statement, i must thank beezzer for his closing statement.

Yes, performance enhancing drugs to work. They do aid the athlete in achieving whatever results they desire, but if (as beezzer states) athletes can achieve the same desires through legal substances and legal athletic regimes, why abuse illegal substances at all? There is no point in abusing them.

In response to your sources, injuries are natural side effects of participating in sports. Athletes are bound to get injuries at one point or another. And while the injuries found in your sources are serious in essence, they do not compare to the damage that can be done by using illegal substances.

According to the WADA, blood-doping side effects include:

Like the other forms of blood doping, transfusions have serious medical consequences. Another person’s blood may contain a virus, which is unwittingly passed on during the transfusion. An athlete uses his or her own blood, can put themselves at significant health risks if the procedure is not done properly or if the blood is not handled or stored in a proper manner. In addition, unnaturally high red blood cell levels increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary or cerebral embolism.

The health risks associated with blood-doping far surpass the average sports injury. One could conclude that it would be safer to use normal methods of achieving desired results (athletic regimes etc) instead of depending on the use of a life threatening methods such as blood-doping.

I agree that grown athletes should be responsible for their own body, but the rules are there to stop fatal practices. The rules are there to uphold the values of the respective sport. Individual athletes shouldn't abuse illegal substances simply because they want to win. Doing so, they are disrespecting themselves, their trainers and their sport.

The "panel of judges" have the right to decide what an individual athlete can and can not do, because the athlete ultimately falls under the auspices of their respective anti-doping agencies (when in the sphere of drug taking).

In regards to beezzer's last statement, i say that:

Taking prohibited substances is illegal under the codes of anti-doping agencies, so it isn't "fair" if an individual athlete abuses them, even if it means that they are getting "better." It would be fair however, if the athlete obtains the same skills through accepted and legal methods.

It is the individual athlete's choice of how far they want to go. But in the end, abusing illegal substances damages the morality and health of the individual. In the end, abusing substances damages the respect of the individual and their respective sport in general.

That is why illegal substances should remain on the prohibited list of all international anti-doping agencies.

I would like to thank beezzer for the challenge. I would like to thank the moderators for organising this debate, and i would like to thank all those who have taken the time to read this debate. It has been a pleasure.

Thank you all.


posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 03:22 PM

In the "Performance enhancing drugs in sports" debate, I will examine the arguments by round.

For his opening, beezzer offers a lot of text from Wikipedia regarding these drugs, and then argues that there are everyday substances that mimic some of these effects, to a degree, which are not banned. Fair enough, but not a very strong opening statement, in my opinion. Daaskapital responds with a great opening that rips apart his opponent's point of view cleanly. He does, however, provide an opening for beezzer by citing legalism. But opening round goes to Daaskapital.

In the middle round, beezzer jumps on that legalism opening, but in a strange way, stating that if a country was to legalize, say, steroids, suddenly all of their athletes could use steroids. At least I think that's what he was saying, but it's the world sports regulators who say what is legal to use in a sport or not, so I don't know why he said that. He does shift gears, though, and suggests that exercise methods could also be made illegal, because they are "performance enhancing." Daaskapital responds to that very well, I think, noting that the point of these bans are to prevent both damage to the athletes and to prevent an unfair advantage -- if doing more pushups is an advantage, there's nothing to prevent everyone from doing more pushups. Middle round also goes to Daaskapital.

beezzer's closing statement was his strongest, I think, presenting an essentially Libertarian argument that the athletes in question are largely adults, so they should be able to judge the risks of these drugs and choose what is right for them. There are some big problems with that, such as the influence on children or on other athletes, who might feel forced to take substances that they don't want to, just to be able to compete with others who do, but that is for Daaskapital to address, not me. In his closing statement, he doesn't really address that core weakness of beezzer's post, but does make a number of good points. It is close, but I think that beezzer has a stronger closing round.

However, overall, I think that Daaskapital has a stronger basis throughout the match, and, on points, I give him the victory.

Beezer wins this one, his arguments for what has long been considered a taboo subject were absolutely calm, rational and on target. He puts the whole practice in a new light, and while Dass had some valid points, he couldn't get past the entire why not argument that Beezer put forward. Very interesting to read, and very hard to judge when your whole life has been spent hearing how bad this is


beezzer does well to provide a distinction between legal and illegal "agents", covering different aspects of "enhancements".

daaskapital counters nicely by providing a list of illegal substances controlled by the WADA, and sets the stage by questioning "why" athletes would use such substances.

beezzer's logic in round two edges him ahead a bit, countering opinion against actual fact. Indeed, why not make all things illegal or legal, and is successful in pointing out a particularly striking bias.

daaskapital goes on the defensive and counters each of his opponent's quite well, adding health risks to athletes as another point in his favor.

beezzer finishes out his position by pointing out that in professional sports the participants are adults, and therefore should be free to choose.

daaskapital once again counters, staying focused and on topic, that the rules are in place for the safety of the athlete, the WADA decides what is safe, and sports are intended to be fair and equal.

While both debaters had solid arguments, and each presented very valid positions, daaskapital was able to stay focused, and even though he spent the majority of the debate on the defensive, his overall position is what convinces me that he earns the debate win.

Daaskapital wins his first debate.

Beezer Im sorry...still no luck!

Thanks to the Judges!!!!!

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