Last updated on: 12/31/2008 | Author:

Michael Sokolove Biography

Contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“[E]lite athletes in many different sports routinely consume cocktails of vitamins, extracts and supplements, dozens of pills a day; the only people who routinely ingest more pills are AIDS patients – in the hope that their mixes of accepted drugs will replicate the effects of the banned substances taken by the cheaters. The cheaters and the noncheaters alike are science projects. They are the sum total of their innate athletic abilities and their dedication – and all the compounds and powders they ingest and inject…

The temptation to cheat is human. In the realm of elite international sport, it can be irresistible… For athletes, performance-enhancing drugs and techniques raise issues of health, fair play and, in some cases, legality. For sports audiences, the fans, the issues are largely philosophical and aesthetic.

On the most basic level, what are we watching, and why? If we equate achievement with determination and character, and that, after all, has always been part of our attachment to sport – to celebrate the physical expression of the human spirit – how do we recalibrate our thinking about sport when laboratories are partners in athletic success?”

“In Pursuit of Doped Excellence; The Lab Animal,” The New York Times Magazine, Jan. 18, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Contributing writer, The New York Times Magazine
  • Former writer, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Guest Speaker, ABC’s Good Morning America and Prime Time Thursday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, CNN’s Paula Zahn Now, National Public Radio shows Fresh Air, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Only a Game
  • None Found
  • Married to Ann Gerhart, writer for The Washington Post
Quoted in:
  1. Should Stimulants Use Be Accepted in Sports?