Segments in this Video

Performance-Enhancing Drugs Debate (02:49)


Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Forum Chairman Robert Rosenkranz outlines the topic of the debate and introduces moderator Bob Costas.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Competitive Sports: Debate "Housekeeping" (02:59)

Moderator Bob Costas states the motion, explains the debate format, and introduces the panel members for each side.

For the Motion: Norman Fost (07:08)

University of Wisconsin Pediatrics and Bioethics Professor and Bioethics Program Director, Norman Fost argues that athletes have been using performance-enhancing drugs for millennia and refutes claims that they increase health risks or undermine attendance.

Against the Motion: Richard Pound (07:43)

World Anti-Doping Agency Chairman and law firm partner, Richard Pound argues that performance-enhancing drugs compromise athlete health and sports integrity.

For the Motion: Radley Balko (07:22)

Reason Magazine senior editor and investigative journalist, Radley Balko points out moral and medical hypocrisies in banning performance-enhancing drugs, and argues that prohibitions don't work in society.

Against the Motion: Dale Murphy (07:42)

Former Major League baseball player Dale Murphy argues that legitimizing performance-enhancing drugs would negatively impact youth; the only way to achieve a level playing field would be to force their use.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs Health Risks (01:37)

Richard Pound (against) states that, while more athletes have been killed playing baseball or football, data on health consequences from steroid use is incomplete.

Setting Professional Sports Rules (02:33)

Radley Balko (for) clarifies that, while athletes should follow league rules with respect to performance-enhancing drugs, Congress shouldn't mandate or ban their use in private organizations.

For the Motion: Julian Savulescu (07:38)

University of Oxford Practical Ethics professor Julian Savulescu argues that performance-enhancing drugs are inevitable and aren't against the spirit of competitive sports; they should be legalized and regulated.

Against the Motion: George Michael (07:26)

Sportscaster George Michael names baseball and football players that died young or suffered serious injuries after using unregulated steroids.

Legalizing Performance-Enhancing Drugs (04:29)

Norman Fost and Julian Savulescu (for) argue that drug regulation would allow health risk research and narrow the competitive advantage among "cheaters." George Michael (against) says that it would inhibit drug-free players.

Performance-Enhancing Drug Motivations (03:51)

Richard Pound (against) discusses challenges of detecting illegal drug use. Julian Savulescu (for) and George Michael (against) debate whether it can be eradicated, given financial incentives to cheat in sports.

Predebate Audience Vote Result (00:51)

For: 18 - Against: 63 - Undecided: 19

Performance-Enhancing Drugs for Healing (03:59)

Norman Fost and Radley Balko (for) and Dale Murphy (against) debate whether HGH used for injury recovery should be lumped with other competitive sports drugs.

Performance-Enhancing Technicalities (01:26)

Richard Pound (against) rejects the comparison of Janet Evans' greasy swimsuit to the use of anaerobic drugs in gaining a competitive advantage.

Democratizing Competitive Sports (07:54)

Radley Balko (for) argues that legalizing performance-enhancing drugs would level the playing field. Norman Fost (for) argues that athletes should be able to take drugs to heal faster.

Competitive Sports Drug Use (03:28)

Panelists debate Bob Costa's question of whether steroid use can be distinguished between injury recovery and enhancing performance.

Zero-Tolerance on Steroids (02:41)

Radley Balko (for) compares people dying of unsafe alcohol during prohibition to banning performance-enhancing drugs and argues that it would be safer to legalize them in competitive sports.

Ethics of Steroid Use (07:21)

Dale Murphy (against) and Norman Fost (for) debate whether performance-enhancing drugs give athletes an unfair advantage, increase domestic violence, and facilitate adolescent use.

Upholding Sports Community Values (03:08)

Julian Savulescu (for) compares the ban on performance-enhancing drugs because of child use risk to drinking alcohol. George Michael (against) discusses screening flaws in the first year of drug testing.

QA: Congress Involvement (04:01)

Radley Balko (for) and Dale Murphy (against) debate whether allowing performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports should be a political decision.

QA: Natural vs. Enhanced Competitive Ability (02:27)

Norman Fost (for) and Richard Pound (against) debate the limits of defining performance enhancing drugs used by athletes.

QA: Performance-Enhancing Ethics (01:35)

Richard Pound (against) explains that drug use in competitive sports is unethical because it's against the rules.

QA: Performance-Enhancing Drug Advantages (02:32)

Radley Balko (for) argues that competitive sports drugs should be legalized for athlete safety and Norman Fost (for) clarifies that underage steroid use should be banned.

QA: Objective Competition (02:34)

Radley Balko (for) agrees that performance enhancement examples used in other industries can't be compared to competitive sports, because they are governed by a rule framework.

Closing Statement Against: Richard Pound (02:20)

Pound argues that performance-enhancing drugs shouldn't be used in competitive sports for public health reasons.

Closing Statement For: Norman Fost (01:51)

Fost argues that there's not enough scientific evidence linking steroid use to serious health effects to ban them in competitive sports.

Closing Statement Against: Dale Murphy (02:27)

Murphy argues that allowing performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports puts athletes choosing not to use them at a disadvantage.

Closing Statement For: Radley Balko (01:23)

Balko argues that performance-enhancing drugs should be allowed in competitive sports based on their inevitable use, and questions the morality of their ban.

Closing Statement Against: George Michael (01:31)

George Michael gives an example of a young baseball player who committed suicide after his parents forced him to stop taking steroids.

Closing Statement For: Julian Savulescu (02:03)

Savulescu argues that performance enhancement isn't against the spirit of competitive sports and that certain drugs should be allowed and regulated.

Time to Vote (03:01)

As the audience votes, Costa asks panelists whether there should be two tiers of sports divisions—those using performance-enhancing drugs, and those not.

Audience Vote Results (01:07)

Predebate - For: 18 - Against: 63 - Don't know: 19 Post-debate - For: 37 - Against: 59 - Undecided: 4

Credits: We Should Accept Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Competitive Sports: A Debate (00:24)

Credits: We Should Accept Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Competitive Sports: A Debate

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We Should Accept Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Competitive Sports: A Debate

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The debate over athletes' use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs has taken on newfound urgency in recent years with more and more revelations of widespread use throughout the sports world. Are these athletes breaking the rules for an unfair advantage over others? Are they endangering their own health, and that of younger athletes encouraged to follow suit? Or is it hypocritical for society to disdain drug use for sports, when it encourages consumers to seek drugs to treat all sorts of ailments and conditions? Has the risk to athletes been overstated? Should we accept performance-enhancing drugs in competitive sports?

Length: 118 minutes

Item#: BVL58289

ISBN: 978-0-81609-868-2

Copyright date: ©2008

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