Last updated on: 8/8/2016 | Author:

Radley Balko Biography

Former Senior Editor of Reason magazine
Pro to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“As we’ve seen with government bans on consensual activity–from alcohol to gambling to cocaine to prostitution–prohibitions not only don’t work, they make the activity in question more dangerous by pushing it underground…

Our society has an oddly schizophrenic relationship with pharmaceuticals and medical technology. If something can be said to be ‘natural’, we tend to be okay with it. If it seems lab-made or synthetic we tend to be leery. But even synthetic drugs and manmade technology seem to be okay if the aim is to make sick or broken people whole again…

It’s also important to note that we consider perfectly natural and acceptable today was quite out of the ordinary not so long ago. 100 years ago, life expectancy in the U.S. was 50 years of age. Today it’s 78. Thanks to technology, medicine, and pharmaceuticals we are today taller, stronger, faster, healthier, and can expect to live longer than ever before…

Sports is about exploring and stretching the limits of human potential. Going back even to the pre-modern Olympics, when athletes ate live bees and ate crushed sheep testicles to get a leg up on the competition, sports has never been some wholesome display of physical ability alone. Ingenuity, innovation, and knowledge about what makes us faster and stronger (and avoiding what might do more harm than good) has always been a part of the game…

[A] free society isn’t really free at all if it doesn’t include the freedom to make what some may believe are bad decisions.”

“Should We Allow Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports?,”, Jan. 23, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Blogger, Washington Post
  • Former Investigative Reporter and Blogger, Huffington Post
  • Former Senior Editor, Reason magazine
  • Biweekly Columnist,
  • Published personal weblog
  • Former Policy Analyst, Cato Institute
  • Articles published in Playboy, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Time, Worth, Slate, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • BA, Journalism and Political Science, Indiana University, 1997
  • None found