Centre for Human Bioethics – Why the Ban on Performance Enhancing Drugs is Ruining Sports in Australia

Date/Time: Thu 18 Sep / 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Location: The Edge, Federation Square

As the Essendon Scandal rumbles on, it is widely accepted that, despite years of investment, testing is not adequately detecting those who break the rules and not acting as a strong deterrent to those who are tempted to seek illegal performance enhancement, in addition to considerable confusion about what does and does not constitute doping. In this lecture, Professor Savulescu will argue that not only are attempts to stop this cheating doomed to failure but some types of doping, ‘physiological doping’, are compatible with the spirit of sport, and, in moderation, may not pose an unacceptable risk in the context of elite sport. Only by allowing safe levels of physiological doping in sport and focussing resources against doping methods which are unsafe or contravene the spirit of sport can we both reduce cheating and preserve the spirit of sport, whilst protecting the elite athletes who are prepared to risk everything to win.


Speakers: Prof. Julian Savulescu, Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor,Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University is Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Director of Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics; Director, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics (one of three Wellcome-funded strategic centres in biomedical ethics); and Director, Institute for Science and Ethics, Oxford Martin School. He was recently awarded Wellcome Trust flagship Senior Investigator Award (start 2015). Julian Savulescu is a recognised world leader in the field of practical and medical ethics, specialising in the ethics of new and emerging technologies. He is author of over 300 publications, and edits the Journal of Medical Ethics. He is founding editor of the Journal of Practical Ethics, an open access journal in moral and political philosophy.


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