Major League Baseball is reportedly on the verge of the largest drug bust in sports history.
Some 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, allegedly purchased performance‐enhancing drugs (PEDs) from Bio Genesis, an "anti‐aging" clinic in Miami.
Boxers, soccer players, and football players suffer concussions, runners and basketball players blow out their knees, and tennis players injure their ankles and elbows.
The first marathoner, Pheidippides, collapsed dead from the effort, and many since have suffered the same fate.
Our disapproval of PEDs is surely more than a disapproval of the hyper-competitive spirit that motivates their use. They're expensive, and not everyone can afford them.
This problem is particularly acute in international competitions such as the Olympics, where poorer countries struggle to provide their athletes with cutting-edge technologies and facilities.
But even aspiring Major League players can't necessarily afford PEDs when the average contract for a first-year minor leaguer is only 0 per month.
Inequalities can't be the main problem with PEDs, however, since we could just as easily eliminate them by subsidizing PEDs as by banning them.
As a philosophy professor, I can't help but ask: What makes these drugs so bad? In spite of all the focus on the use of PEDs in sports, this simple question of ethics is harder to answer than it might seem. A natural first suggestion is that using PEDs is wrong because it's cheating.
Below are six popular yet flawed reasons for rejecting PEDs--and a less-familiar seventh reason that explains what's really wrong with them. In an article for Salon titled "A-Rod Isn't a Cheater," the philosopher Alva Noe questions whether it's cheating when "a whole generation of the best and most promising athletes has been doing it."Of course, it is still cheating.