Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Let 'em eat technology

I know I blogged it quite a while ago -- don't know if I have the patience to find a link; maybe I should look for a search engine for this blog? -- but I wasn't sure if I was being serious then. Just as doping has become a big thing in various sports, I suggested that suits would become or were becominbg a big deal in swimming. And sure enough, they've become a focus of attention at the world championships in Rome, as records have been falling like crazy. Do the "speed-engineered, air-trapping, water-impermeable suits" give swimmers an unfair advantage? Germany's Paul Biedermann, who broke Ian Thorpe's 400-meter record wearing one thinks they're worth about two seconds. He thinks they should be banned. Later Michael Phelps, not wearing a supersuit, came back and beat him.

I don't see a good reason to ban them, but then I wouldn't ban performance-enhancing drugs. If they're legal for everyone, I don't see the unfair advantage. You don't run the risk of having your cojones shrink so everybody who wants one (at that level) can use one. I would let adults make their own decisions about whether to take the risks involved with steroids, but i recognie the prerogative of sports leagues and authorities to ban them. But I think the ban is more trouble than it's worth.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Why ban steroids (or any other drugs)? Imagine your a 20-something guy playing triple A baseball, making 75,000 a year and travelling around to the games on a bus. Now you take steroids and improve your game enough to enter MLB. Your salary jumps to 1.4 milion a year and you travel on a private jet to the games. Not to mention the various other perks pro athletes enjoy. How can you resist the temptation? And why should you? Many would argue that the financial gains outweigh any possible long-term health risks. Some might feel otherwise. That's fine. Let individuals choose for themselves.

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