Should There Be a Separate Olympics for People Who Take Steroids?
Jan 23 2013
So Lance Armstrong has been handed a lifetime ban from his sport (his sport is cycling, btw) because he was jacking himself up with steroids for a large chunk of his career, competing, winning, lying about doping, and suing anyone who accused him of doping. Those last couple of points don't have anything to do with the ban, that was just him being a dick.
The thing is, when nobody thought he was doping, everyone thought he was the most astounding sportsperson on Earth. Remember when everyone bought those yellow wristbands? No one really knew what they were for, they just knew there was some kind of link with old Lance. Plus, it turns out everyone in cycling dopes, so they're pretty much on a level playing field already, right? That got me thinking: What would happen if we stepped it up a notch? London, should there be a separate Olympics for people who take steroids?
Jorge, marketing: A separate Olympics?
Yeah, one for people on sports enhancing drugs.
Simply no. I don’t think it should be allowed.
Wouldn't you enjoy watching it, though? It'd be like watching superheroes do the high-jump.
Yeah, it would be exciting for sure. But it's still cheating. If you can just push a button that makes you better, that's cheating. It's wrong and sends the wrong kind of message out to fans.
Ali: I don’t think that'd be alright, no.
Wouldn't you want to see what's possible in the realm of performance-enhancing drugs?
I don't know—I think there'd be too many side effects to justify it. There's already a lot of pressure on the National Health Service in the UK because of people abusing drugs. I think a sporting event where all the athletes are encouraged to take drugs wouldn't set a very good example.
Julia, au pair: No, it definitely shouldn't be allowed.
But don’t you want to see how fast people can run on steroids?
Yeah, a bit, I suppose. I'd like to see it and it would be exciting, but I'd rather see it without the drugs and all done naturally.
So there's no changing your mind?
No, it's completely wrong to let people compete if they're taking drugs.
Sam, unemployed: No, not at all. Definitely not.
Wouldn't you want to see how high a human could perform?
Yes, but under natural means. Pushing the physical limits of the human body, but as we are now. I mean, you could just add bionic legs or other bits of machinery to a person. How far would you take it?
You think steroids are the same deal as bionic legs?
Yeah, it's all artificial, isn’t it? Why not just test the boundaries of the human body as it is? They're doing a pretty good job of it already.
Would you be into an Olympics for people with bionic limbs?
Well yeah, of course I would.
But I thought doping was the same as bionic limbs?
OK, well, I guess if everyone is doping so they're all on a level playing field, then that's alright.
Terry, student: No way. No, that would be a terrible idea.
Not even one little bit?
No, because you can't commend someone in the same way if they've taken performance-enhancing drugs. Like, if Armstrong hadn't doped, he would have gone down as a legend. Now people just think he's a dick. Unfortunately, the younger generation will probably think it's fine to take the drugs and cheat now.
But say every person in the event was on drugs—that would be fair, right?
No, but I’m saying that we shouldn’t have them at all. Why should we have an aid? The people who get the most applause are the ones who did it naturally and go through it with their own troubles.
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