The Unethicality of Doping in Sports

Clin Ter. Mar-Apr 2019;170(2):e100-e101. doi: 10.7417/CT.2019.2117.


Performance enhancing drug use in sport arguably constitutes a crisis, and as such, targeted measures are needed in order to stem it. Substance abuse in professional sports and competitions has besmirched many world-class athletes' reputations and standing, in addition to jeopardizing their health. Furthermore, there are many instances of amateur athletes and school-aged competitors who have taken to using such substances as well, significantly exacerbating the overall picture. The widespread acknowledgement of the potentially life-threatening consequences of performance-enhancing drug use has prodded sports organizations and governments into cooperating on many different levels to preserve the ethical grounding and soundness of sport competitions; unlawful substance abuse is in fact liable to undermine the very core of fairness in competition. Doping, along with various forms of cheating, has been recorded throughout the history of sport: prohibition in itself is all but ineffective without reliable and systematic detection strategies and enforcement of sanctions.

Keywords: Doping; Drugs; Ethical issues; Physical enhancement.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes*
  • Doping in Sports / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Schools
  • Sports / ethics*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*