- Senior Honorary Fellow at City University (London, United Kingdom)
- Pro to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"
“Today, sport’s dirty little secret is drugs, and it is high time we made them legal. Performance-enhancing drugs may not be desirable, but they are here to stay. What we can do away with is the hypocrisy.
Insiders know that many – perhaps most – top players in all sports take drugs to train harder and feel no pain during play. The trainers, sports doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and managers of the big names make sure banned substances are taken at the safest and most efficient levels, and when they can, the governing bodies look the other way…
What many of us don’t realise is that sports doping rarely gives you a free ride. If you or I were to take anabolic steroids and sit down in front of the telly, we would not build muscle or speed or endurance. Drugs allow you to train harder. They help you recover more quickly from a hard session so you can work hard again the next day. Some drugs boost the body’s propensity for building muscle or its ability to use oxygen, but you still have to do the work…
Tales of sport doping go back to ancient Egypt, where the hoof of an Abyssinian ass ground up and boiled in oil was prescribed to improve performance. In the 19th century, boxers took heroin before going into the ring. The legendary 1960s Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg has confessed that he took amphetamines before matches.
The main effect of banning such substances has been to turn performers and their coaches into liars and cheats. We should legalise performance-enhancing drugs so that they can be regulated and athletes on the way up – whose entourages do not yet include savvy physiotherapists and doctors – don’t overdose and do themselves damage.”
“It’s the Real Dope,” New Statesman, Aug. 14, 2006
- Involvement and Affiliations:
- Senior Honorary Fellow, City University (London, United Kingdom)
- Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, Department of Journalism and Publishing, City University
- Former Correspondent, Sunday Times
- Former Deputy Sports Editor and Literary Editor, Time Out
- Former Research Fellow, Armstrong Browning Library, Bayler University
- Articles have appeared in Washington Post, Guardian, Mirror, Express, India Times, Sydney Herald, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Times Higher Education, and New Statesman
- PhD, City University
- MA, Stanford University
- Dual British and American citizen