Sport plays an important role in society: It is a major social and economic activity, it contributes to public health, it is entertainment, and achievements in amateur and professional sports are sources of motivation and pride. In popular sports, the rewards in the form of prestige, fame and revenues can be significant. Some athletes are therefore tempted to cheat and use performance‐enhancing drugs, even when it may seriously threaten their health. Yet, doping is not just a health issue; it is unfair to other athletes and in complete opposition to the idea of competitive sports that the best shall win in a fair contest.
…doping is not just a health issue; it is unfair to other athletes and in complete opposition to the idea of competitive sports that the best shall win in a fair contest.
Doping in sport is illegal. Most governments have signed a UN convention against doping, but some are rather lenient or negligent in their attitude. For many countries, achievements in sport are closely tied to national pride, and the temptation to use prohibited methods can therefore be stronger than respect for the rules or concerns about the health of athletes. Anti‐doping regulations based on strong scientific and legal principles can therefore help to prevent abuse and ensure fair contests for athletes in all disciplines.
The World Anti‐Doping Agency (WADA) regulates the use of performance‐enhancing substances through rules set down in its code, which is signed by most countries. However, it remains a problem that violators can use illegal drugs, yet avoid being caught for doping, and therefore, athletes can sometimes win by unfair means. At the same time, it is important that the net to catch violators is not too fine—that attempts to increase the sensitivity of the test methods do not undermine specificity—so that …
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