Letter: Ethics of the race to be stronger, faster, higher

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The Independent Online
Sir: Another Olympics, another doping scandal. I can't help wondering why such a fuss is made over the use of performance-

enhancing pharmaceuticals. We live in a drug-saturated culture, drugs help us live longer, often keep us alive in extremis and have an increasing role in our leisure time, even in the way we wage war. Why make an exception of sport? It's, at the very least, like giving out a speeding ticket at the Indy 500, if not a denial of modern culture and its values. These pharmaceuticals are the products of the same technological culture that give us the Lotus superbike and Michael Jordan's trainers.

Some, if not all, of these drugs may have debilitating side effects, due in part to their uncontrolled use, and which are perhaps less than the effects of simply participating in many sports: women's gymnastics, for example.

Ethics of the kind spouted by those 'governing sport' have nothing to do with those that really control modern sport: the ethics of money and mass entertainment. These real ethics dictate that sportsmen shall go further, higher, faster . . . It's a war, a ratings war.

Yours faithfully,