Last updated on: 10/22/2008 | Author:

Joe Lindsey Biography

Contributing Writer for Bicycling magazine
Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“One, not all cyclists dope, nor do they want to…The vast majority of cyclists who would prefer to race clean…are instead tempted to dope simply to keep up with the small minority who aggressively dope for a competitive advantage…Modern oxygen-vector doping is so effective, a rider has two choices: dope and keep up, or stay clean and fall behind…

Second, not all doping techniques are created equal. The most effective regimens are also the most sophisticated and expensive…So if doping is legalized, the sport’s richest riders and teams will have access to techniques that lesser lights don’t. The playing field, never level, would be tilted permanently.

Medical laws and medical ethics prevent us from letting athletes use these substances outside of a clinical trial. But athletes, who eagerly seek out anything that will give them a competitive edge, will still try and get them…Simply put, wherever you draw the line, something, some technique or substance, will always be off-limits. And so you’ve merely moved the line, not erased it…

Finally, none of that addresses the moral problems involved in legalizing doping. Doping in sports isn’t inherently wrong; it’s wrong by the value system with which we judge sports. Sports themselves are by their nature civilized: everyone agrees to follow a certain set of rules. If you don’t, that’s cheating. Legalizing doping doesn’t change those rules as much as remove them altogether, and then it’s no longer a sport, but merely entertainment. Right or wrong, we look to sports and to athletes for an inspiration that mere entertainment cannot provide – there is an implicit contract that the sweat and effort we see before us is real and natural. Do you want to see who’s the best athlete, or just who had the best access to pharmaceutical enhancement?”

“Why Legalizing Sports Doping Won’t Work,” New York Times, July 27, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Contributing Writer, Bicycling magazine
  • Instructor, University of Colorado Continuing Education
  • Member, Society of Professional Journalists, National Sportscasters, and Sportswriters Association
  • Contributor, Outside
  • Former Contributor, Rodale Press
  • Former Associate Editor, Bicycle Guide
  • Former Associate Editor, Bicyclist magazine
  • Graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, 1995
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?