Last updated on: 11/13/2008 | Author:

Bengt Kayser, MD, PhD Biography

Professor of Exercise Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva
Pro to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“We believe that rather than drive doping underground, use of drugs should be permitted under medical supervision.

Legalisation of the use of drugs in sport might even have some advantages. The boundary between the therapeutic and ergogenic – ie, performance enhancing – use of drugs is blurred at present and poses difficult questions for the controlling bodies of antidoping practice and for sports doctors. The antidoping rules often lead to complicated and costly administrative and medical follow-up to ascertain whether drugs taken by athletes are legitimate therapeutic agents or illicit.

…Furthermore, legalisation of doping, we believe, would encourage more sensible, informed use of drugs in amateur sport, leading to an overall decline in the rate of health problems associated with doping. Finally, by allowing medically supervised doping, the drugs used could be assessed for a clearer view of what is dangerous and what is not…

Acknowledging the importance of rules in sports, which might include the prohibition of doping, is, in itself, not problematic. However, a problem arises when the application of these rules is beset with diminishing returns: escalating costs and questionable effectiveness.”

“Viewpoint: Legalisation of Performance-Enhancing Drugs,” The Lancet, Dec. 2005

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, 2002-present
  • Director of the Institute of Movement Sciences and Sports Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva
  • Member, Editorial Board, Harm Reduction Journal
  • Member, American Physiological Society
  • Awarded grant from the Swiss Federal Sports Commission for a health promotion project for the students of the University of Geneva, 2005
  • Awarded grant from the Carlos and Elsie de Reuter Foundation for the acquisition of a hypoxia breathing device, 2004
  • Awarded an honourable distinction from the European Academic Software Award (EASA) for the project, 2003
  • Awarded the Merck-Frosst Fellowship for research within the Canadian Network of Centers of Excellence in Respiratory Medicine, 1995-1996
  • Elected as final Dutch national candidate scientist-astronaut for the European Space Agency space program, 1991
  • PhD, Free University of Amsterdam, 1994
  • MD, University of Amsterdam, 1986

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