A piece in Ode Magazine starts off asking about the role of society vis a vis the Tour de France doping. Unfortunately by the third paragraph the article drifted astray -- way astray.
If a conclusion is drawn it should be ascertained from the valid data preceding it. Let's take a look:
I just read the news about the third doping case at this year's Tour de France: Italian rider Riccardo Ricco has tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO. And of course, as it happens so often with sportsmen who are associated with artificial performance-enhancing measures, Ricco was "booed by spectators when he was taken off the Saunier-Duval team bus by police Thursday," the AP report said.
Poor Ricco! I don't think using drugs was such a great idea, but I do feel we need to ask ourselves some serious questions before we condemn him. After all, in the rest of society, performance-boosters have become increasingly commonplace.
OK, now here it comes, the litany of horrible pharmaceutics:
* People take Prozac so they can better manage psychological pressure. * Students take Ritalin to improve their grades. * Middle-aged men take Viagra to spice up their sex lives. * Shy people take Paxil so they can handle social situations. * Writers, musicians and other artists take other stimulants to stand out in their fields.
Cliche list. Inaccurate information.
- Prozac is not prescribed 'to manage psychological pressure'. Fluoxetine is prescribed for mood disorders, anxiety disorders like OCD, Autism, and other medical disorders. The key is 'disorder'. The diagnosis 'psychological pressure' will never be found in a medical record.
- Students do not take Ritalin to improve their grades. Methylphenidate is prescribed for patients with ADHD to ameliorate inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. An improvement in grades may be a benefit with the appropriate work effort.
- Middle aged men do not take Viagra 'to spice up their sex lives' (what an incredibly insensitive remark). Viagra is used for impotence -- the inability to achieve an erection. "Spice up". Yeah, We suppose crutches are used by amputees to beat the airport rush.
- Shy people take Paxil so they can handle social situations. There's an example of an egregious abuse of drugs. huh? Patients with social anxiety are clearly cheating the system and should simply stay isolated at home.
- Writers etc. tale stimulants to stand out in their field. Huh? Ok, you lost us at 'stand'
Seems this writer distorts medicine, or twists medical treatments to support a illogical argument that EPO abusers like Manuel Beltran is paying for the sins of the Prozac Society.
And Marion Jones took insulin mimicking those horrible diabetes who inject insulin so they can eat pizza...
In modern society, athletes have become heroes. Sports stars aren’t so much role models for society as reflections of it, albeit reflections with exceptional talent. Athletes take performance-enhancing substances mainly as a consequence of our sky-high expectations and the huge commercial interests involved.
Ultimately they are part of the same achievement-oriented society we are, in which he use of stimulants has become normal. The appropriate response is not moral outrage, but a relaxing of the enormous pressure we put on them: Just do your best, kid. That’s all you can do.
OK, we understand the conclusions; however please present preceding arguments developed to support the conclusions rather than a roll call of popular press target medications.
PEDs, and medicines are simply molecules. Molecules are not evil. The use or abuse of the molecules is the issue.