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Spirit
May 11th, 2003, 09:38 PM
Amy and Betty are friends with competitive natures. Each morning, they get together to drink coffee and to eat a few jelly doughnuts, then they play tennis against each other at 12 noon at a local club, using wooden rackets with cat-gut strings.


Part 1:

After several months, Amy shows up with a different tennis racket than her normal one. At first, Betty doesn't say anything, but Amy is just blowing shots past her left and right. So Betty asks her, "How are you doing that?"

"With my new racket," Amy replies. "It's made of a new substance called graphite instead of wood."

"That's not fair," Betty says.

"Sure it is," Amy replies. "It's a tool we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. It's available to everyone. You're an adult; you can buy your own. Nothing's stopping you."

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said. They do.

That afternoon, Betty buys herself a graphite racket. Her play against Amy becomes equal again.


Part 2:

After a few more weeks, Amy's play improves again because her strings don't break. Betty asks her, "How is that possible?"

"I'm using new strings that are synthetic, not cat-gut," Amy replies.

"That's not fair," Betty says.

"Sure it is," Amy replies. "Just like with our rackets, our strings are a tool we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. It's available to everyone. You're an adult; you can buy your own. Nothing's stopping you."

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said. They do.

That afternoon, Betty switches to synthetic strings. Her play against Amy becomes equal again.


Part 3:

A few weeks later, Amy has whole-grain cereal with skim milk for breakfast, while Betty continues to eat doughnuts.

"You don't like doughnuts any more?" Betty asks.

"I like them," Amy replies. "But I think I can play better if I put healthier things inside my body. You see, our bodies, just like our rackets or our strings, are tools we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. What I'm doing here is available to everyone. You're an adult; you can do the same. Nothing's stopping you."

Whatever, Betty thinks to herself. Until a more energetic Amy beats her badly.

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said (in case the way she beat her was just a fluke, or something). They do.

The next day, Betty begins to eat healthier foods, also.


Part 4:

During the next couple of months, Amy begins beating Betty more often again. Betty finally asks Amy how she's doing it.

"I discovered a great training program," Amy says. "And I hired a special trainer who knows all about this stuff. He's training me in ways I've never thought of before. It's making me healthier and I can last longer."

"Is that fair?" Betty asks.

"Sure it is," Amy replies. "Like I said before, our bodies are tools we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. What I've done is available to everyone. You're an adult; you can do the same. Nothing's stopping you."

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said. They do.

Betty hires a special trainer and follows his instructions. Her play against Amy becomes equal again.


Part 5:

Over the next few weeks, Amy begins beating Betty more often again. Betty finally asks Amy how she's doing it.

"I discovered an ancient Chinese drink," Amy replies. "It's made from completely natural herbs brewed in hot water over a period of several days. It's kind of like tea. It helps the body use energy more efficiently."

"Is that fair?" Betty asks.

"Sure it is," Amy replies. "Our bodies are tools we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. What I've done is available to everyone. You're an adult; you can do the same. Nothing's stopping you."

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said. They tell Betty they've never heard of such a thing, but if it floats Amy's boat, ancient Chinese tea drinks sound fine to them.

Betty finds the recipe for the drink and uses it, also. It makes her feel great, and her play against Amy becomes equal again.


Part 6:

Over the next few weeks, Amy begins beating Betty more often yet again. Betty finally asks Amy how she's doing it.

"I'm taking a drug that helps my body work better," Amy says. "It's called ephedrine."

"Is that fair?" Betty asks.

"Sure it is," Amy replies. "Our bodies are tools we use during the course of our tennis game, and we should do everything we can to make our tools better and more useful. What I've done is available to everyone. You're an adult; you can do the same. Nothing's stopping you."

Betty asks the owners of the tennis club if they agree with what Amy said. They tell Betty it's unethical and they ban Amy from the club for two years.


Question:

Compare and contrast the club owners' reaction in Part 6 to their reactions in Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Why is taking a synthesized drug to help the body perform better different than ingesting natural and healthier foods and training that same body with better, scientifically-researched methods?

"Doping" is prohibited for two reasons:

1. It is sometimes considered harmful to the human body (see here (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/prevent/sports/doping.html) and here (http://www.cafdis-antidoping.net/en/browse.cat.asp?category=8)).

2. It is considered cheating.

Although you are free to address either of these issues in your answer, the primary purpose of this question is to analyze Reason #2.

ddf
May 11th, 2003, 09:53 PM
Why are you writing about doping?

starr
May 11th, 2003, 09:54 PM
obviously the road Amy went down is the road many olympic and professional athletes have gone down and have made it work for them.

What gets me is the holier than thou attitude Carl Lewis had toward Ben Johnson and it turns out Carl Lewis was doping too. He just didn't get caught.
Arnole Schwarzeneger freely admits that he used steroids in winning the body builder competitions and everyone else did too.

Let's not forget that most of the drugs used to enhance athletic performance are illegal substances. That should probably go in your number one.

I just think the playing field should be level. And we aren't talking about adults here either. Most of these players get into performance enhancing drugs when they are quite young. I was reading something by someone associated with junior tennis in Florida and he said the use of growth hormones there was rampant.

CappyMania
May 11th, 2003, 10:25 PM
Why are you writing about doping?

Cause it's a part of professional sports!

Human Growth hormone is something that WTA players would use if they would use something.

Ryan
May 11th, 2003, 10:37 PM
Very nice "essay", it takes a different spin on doping and why/why not it should be used. When it is put in a story like that it's hard for me to say people shouldn't be allowed to.

LisaRaymond
May 11th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Scenario 6 is cheating because there are rules that everyone agrees to abide by and the drug in #6 is, presumably, prohibited by them. #1-5 are things that are permitted by the rules and everyone knows that they are permitted. Should whatever drug was being taken in #6 be allowed under the rules, then, IMO, it is not cheating or immoral because everyone has agreed that people, including themselves, may do it without censure if that's what they are willing to do to be good at their job.