10:45pm Sunday 12 July 2020

Is there a role for drugs in elite sport?

Professor Julian Savulescu

Professor Julian Savulescu

As the Essendon scandal rumbles on, it is apparent that, despite years of investment in testing for drugs, it is not working either as a means of detection or as a deterrent. There is also considerable confusion about what constitutes doping.

World leader in practical and medical ethics Professor Julian Savulescu, the Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University, will argue that not only are attempts to stop this type of cheating doomed to failure, but some types of doping are compatible with the spirit of sport. Used in moderation, he says, they may pose an acceptable risk in the context of elite sport.

“We need to both reduce cheating and preserve the spirit of sport, while protecting the elite athletes who are prepared to risk everything to win,” Professor Savulescu said.

“We can only do this byallowing safe levels of physiological doping, where athletes use naturally occurring compounds to enhance their normal physiology, and focusing resources against unsafe doping methods that contravene the spirit of sport.”

Professor Savulescu is the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford and Director of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, and the Institute for Science and Ethics at the Oxford Martin School.

This is a free event. As there is no allocated seating, you are advised to arrive early.

Professor Julian Savulescu will present ‘Why the ban on performance enhancing drugs is ruining sport in Australia’ on Thursday 18 September at Deakin Edge, cnr Flinders and Swanston Sts, Melbourne, starting at 6pm.

 Monash University.

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