Argument Paper, MLA Style (Hammond)
17 March XXXX
Performance Enhancement through Biotechnology
Has No Place in Sports
The debate over athletesâ€™ use of performance-enhancing
substances is getting more complicated as biotechnologies such
as gene therapy become a reality. The availability of these new
methods of boosting performance will force us to decide what we
value most in sportsâ€”displays of physical excellence developed
through hard work or victory at all costs. For centuries, spectators
and athletes have cherished the tradition of fairness in ...view middle of the document...
Such therapies are breakthroughs for humans suffering from
muscular diseases; for healthy athletes, they could mean new world
records in sports involving speed and enduranceâ€”but at what
cost to the integrity of athletic competition? The International
Olympic Committeeâ€™s World Anti-Doping Agency has become so
alarmed about the possible effects of new gene technology on
to support his
athletic competition that it has banned the use of gene therapies
and urged researchers to devise a test for detecting genetic
modification (Lamb 13).
Some bioethicists argue that this next wave of performance
enhancement is an acceptable and unavoidable feature of
competition. As Dr. Andy Miah, who supports the regulated use of
gene therapies in sports, claims, â€œThe idea of the naturally perfect
athlete is romantic nonsense. . . . An athlete achieves what he or
she achieves through all sorts of meansâ€”technology, sponsorship,
support and so onâ€ (qtd. in Rudebeck). Miah, in fact, sees athletesâ€™
imminent turn to genetic modification as â€œmerely a continuation
of the way sport works; it allows us to create more extraordinary
â€œQtd. inâ€ is used
for an indirect
quoted in another
performancesâ€ (Rudebeck). Miahâ€™s approval of â€œextraordinary
performancesâ€ as the goal of competition reflects our cultureâ€™s
tendency to demand and reward new heights of athletic
achievement. The problem is that achievement nowadays
increasingly results from biological and high-tech intervention
rather than strictly from hard work.
Better equipment, such as aerodynamic bicycles and fiberglass
poles for pole vaulting, have made it possible for athletes to
record achievements unthinkable a generation ago. But athletes
Source: Diana Hacker (Boston: Bedford/St. Martinâ€™s, 2007).
themselves must put forth the physical effort of training and
practiceâ€”they must still build their skillsâ€”even in the murky area
of legal and illegal drug use (Jenkins D11). There is a difference
between the use of state-of-the-art equipment and drugs and the
modification of the body itself. Athletes who use medical technology
to alter their bodies can bypass the hard work of training by
taking on the powers of a machine. If they set new records this
way, we lose the opportunity to witness sports as a spectacle of
human effort and are left marveling at scientific advances, which
have little relation to the athletic tradition of fair play.
from the writerâ€™s
main argument to
Such a tradition has long defined athletic competition.
Sports rely on...