The use of performance-enhancing drugs and supplements, or ‘doping’ as it is commonly called, has played a very central role in sports, possibly for as long as sports have been played, but certainly most obviously for the past sixty years of sport.
Notable examples of drug cheats include Tyson Gay, Marion Jones, Ben Johnson and possibly the most notorious of all: Lance Armstrong. The fact that they are all guilty of cheating is indisputable, despite the absurd claims of some of the athletes that they had been duped, sabotaged or betrayed by others.
However, even to this day there are fans of these cheats, living in a state of denial and unable to accept that their idols could have been so shameful as to break the rules so many times and for so long. Although this blind adulation is probably just a case of outright delusion, there is no denying that performance-enhancing drugs and supplements will continue to be utilised by deceitful competitors as long as people continue to be born with different genetic attributes, and possess differing degrees of moral standards.
Perhaps nowhere are the chemical differences resulting from genetics more obvious than with the widely varying levels of testosterone produced by different genders. This is because, as this article highlights, recent research has confirmed long-held assumptions that higher levels of testosterone have been found to significantly benefit endurance and strength.
With the current state of most sport divided into separate male and female competitions there is clearly an enormous advantage for transgender women to compete in the female competition, because if they naturally produce more testosterone, they will automatically be gaining an unfair physical boost over their opponents.
However, because some males naturally do not produce much testosterone, and some females produce more, to be truly fair, does there need to be a pre-race blood test for all to divide everyone into categories according to the levels of testosterone in their systems? Why is it acceptable that people with naturally higher testosterone should be allowed an unfair advantage over everyone else just because they are born that way, and yet those born with naturally lower levels not be allowed to supplement to make up the difference?