“Enhancing human bodily function is, of course, common in health care on the planet Earth. Pediatricians enhance the immune system of children by administering vaccines. Innumerable researchers, with public funds, try to extend the normal life span. And of course, coaches, trainers, and physicians work feverishly to enhance athletic performance in hundreds of ways, often with assists from unnatural machines, diets, supplements, and drugs.
It is now standard practice…for long-distance runners and bicyclists to raise their hemoglobin concentration to unnatural levels to enhance performance. There is no moral outrage about this if it is done by simply working at a high altitude for a few months before the competition, or sleeping in a low-oxygen tent. But if an athlete autotransfuses his own natural blood before an event, or uses the approved version of erythropoetin, he is accused of ‘blood doping’ and may be banned for life.
If enhancement is the moral linchpin of this policy, we should be equally critical of all athletes who seek to enhance their performance, whatever the method.”July 2004