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Morgan’s Conventionalism versus WADA’s Use of the Prohibited List: The Case of Thyroxine / Andrew, Bloodworth; Michael, McNamee
Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Volume: 12, Issue: 4, Pages: 401 - 415
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Morgan has argued that attitudes to the medicalisation of sports are historically conditioned.While the history of doping offers contested versions of when the sports world turned againstconservative forces, Morgan has argued that these attitudes are out of step with prevailingnorms and that the Wor...
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Morgan has argued that attitudes to the medicalisation of sports are historically conditioned.While the history of doping offers contested versions of when the sports world turned againstconservative forces, Morgan has argued that these attitudes are out of step with prevailingnorms and that the World Anti Doping Agency's policy needs to be modified to better reflectthis. As an advocate of critical democracies in sports, he argues that anti-doping policy mustacknowledge and reflect these shifts in order to secure their legitimacy. In response, wecritically present the World Anti-Doping Agency's policy that incorporates the Prohibited Listof Substances and Methods for athletes. We evaluate the validity of the therapy-enhancementdistinction in relation to its role in both justifying and sustaining the operation of theProhibited List. In particular, we focus on the case of thyroxine, which has been the subjectof controversy in athletic doping. While thyroxine is not currently banned, critics haveclaimed that its use in the absence of a relevant pathology is tantamount to doping. Wechallenge Morgan's claim that a conventionalist defence of the therapy-enhancementdistinction is the best available, and his conclusion that this properly supports a morepermissive stance towards performance-enhancing drug use. Furthermore, we reject hisconventionalist support for democratic line drawing in relation to doping and in particular thestatus of thyroxine with regard to the prohibited list. We offer a modified defence of the statusquo, a qualified, naturalist account of health and disease, where athletes may be prescribeddrugs that are genuine responses to medical necessity that do not, or do not typically, threatenthe goods of athletic excellence.
Thyroxine, therapy, doping, enhancement, conventionalism
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