LANCE ARMSTRONG’S sad saga of doping and lying is over, allowing us to turn our attention to a far more important issue arising from the Armstrong era: what to do about the rise of ever more potent bio-enhancers in sports.
The “arms race” in this new age of augmentation has already begun, said the bioethicist Thomas Murray, former president of the Hastings Center in Garrison, N.Y. It pits enforcers like the World Anti-Doping Agency, armed with strict bans on certain enhancers, against elite athletes — and their trainers, technicians and financers — who are determined to get away with doping.
Antidopers justify their crackdown as a means of protecting athletes from potentially dangerous enhancers, and because the use of bio-boosters is unfair to nondoping competitors. Enhancers also threaten the “spirit of sports,” in the words of the World Anti-Doping Code, which now guides most elite sports.