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Season 2010 Episode 11.14.10

Why We Play: Sports, Drugs, and Meanings

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Why We Play: Sports, Drugs, and Meanings
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The controversy over elite athletes using anabolic steroids, growth hormone, and other performance enhancing drugs largely overlooks three crucial issues. First is the context of athletic competition, the forces that press athletes to consider using drugs, and the nearly universal desire among athletes for a level playing field. Second is the far larger community of amateur athletes including tens of millions of young people. Third are a set of disputes over the meanings of key concepts in sport: What is a level playing field and is it achievable or even desirable? What constitutes fairness in sport? Why does sport accept, even need, seemingly arbitrary limits on equipment and other rules? And, finally, what makes sport worthwhile, a meaningful human endeavor: In other words, why do we play? Dr. Thomas H. Murray takes on issues of fairness and justice; social policy ideas like harm reduction strategies in drug policy; reflections on liberty, paternalism, and public health; off-label and non-therapeutic drug use, including use supervised or promoted by physicians.moreless
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