A Doping Cheat’s Entire Olympic Team Should Be Stripped Of Their Medals
What is the purpose of having the Olympic Games? What is the purpose of elite sports? "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger) is the motto of the Olympics. Why do we want to have Olympic heroes that go faster, higher (although not "higher" as in doped) and stronger? We want to have something to aspire to, to admire. This has a trickle down effect to the whole of society. If our hero jumps three meters high, you'll have millions of little boys and girls trying to jump as high as they can in recess. These children will be healthier, happier and better overall because of this. This is the true value of the Olympics: not which records are broken, but the feelings of excellence and energy it creates. If sports were only about breaking records, we would have rowing olympic teams installing motors on their boats. And doping would be allowed. But breaking records by using dangerous drugs is not an example we wish to portray. Sports are all about health and taking your body to its potential without purposely hurting yourself. Athletes themselves are the representation of human health, vibrancy and fulfillment of potential.This is why no olympic sport exists where you are allowed to cut your own limbs in order to make the cut for a weight division or to weight less for a bobsled race. And this is why doping is not allowed. Sports are also about fair play. Fair play is defined by having all factors and circumstances around the athletes equal. In other words, by having a level playing field on which athletes differentiate from each other purely through their own skills. If an enhancement is taken by one individual (endangering his/her life), and not all of them, then all the rules of the sport are for neigh.
This is why we propose that if one team-mate cheats, everyone in that Olympic team will be stripped of their medal. We define Olympic team as a group of people that represents a nation in a specific discipline in the Olympic games. For instance, the Rowing Olympic team of USA, the Gymnastics Olympic Team of Rumania and so on. We make the difference between a delegation, which is comprised by every athlete sent by a nation and team, which refers to a group of athletes inside that delegation that will participate in one discipline. This difference is present in the Olympic Games Charter [[http://www.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf ]] They even make the difference between teams when they compete in a different category of the same sport, IE, 200 meters races and 100 meters races. By being stripped of their medals we refer only to the ones 'won' in the games where doping was proven to have occurred, not all the medals in the past or in the future.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
1. Not being harsh on doping forces athletes to choose between life and Olympic Glory
Athletes should not be able to get an advantage out of something that will surely harm them. In Boxing, you can be banned for life for using plaster of paris bandages under your gloves. This is because it both harms both your opponent and your own hand. [[http://bit.ly/n17k59]] So you cannot enhance your performance by sacrificing your health. Suicide should not be permitted as a winning strategy. As we have said, sports should be about human beings achieving their potential of strength and speed while maintaining their health. It is a mandate for the Olympic Committee to minimize health risks. When Nodar Kumaritashvili, a luger competing for Georgia died in a Olympic training run, the Olympic Committee inmediately did the following [[http://bit.ly/dnQ601]] This is why even in a sport where your opponent is supposed to hit you, there are regulations that punish certain punches, for example to your genitals. The idea is that you can both be a boxer and have kids. Hockey rules have changed to reflect the need to protect players by "now making any hit to the head — where the head is the principal point of contact — illegal" [[http://bit.ly/kThCOT]] We believe this is a good thing. Harshly punishing teams communicates doping is not condoned and that the rules of the game will be changed to make it a very risky vent
Additionally, there is no inherent reason why athletes need to be protected from the pressure to engage in doping any more than the pressure to train harshly. “N.F.L. players were consistently linked to brain damage commonly associated with boxers and football player… It is found that of the 595 retired N.F.L. players… 20.2 percent said they had been found to have depression [not to mention numerous cases of concussion]”.1 If it is a real ‘mandate for the Olympic Committee to minimize health risks’, (and not just a jump on the bandwagon) wouldn’t this be a better place to start?
Proposition has also argued that there should also be a regulation to protect players from doping since there are different rules to protect players' different 'sections' of their bodies. Of course we need regulations. We support rules and punishments, but players—or boxers—bear their own punishments. The team shouldn't have to be punished unless it can be proven that they collaborated in doping their teammate. Stripping the entire team's medals is not going to protect people any better – it is just going to harm teamwork by making teammates distrust each other, and encourage people to play the “blame game”.
Not being harsh on doping causes a race to the bottom
Like all other cultural expressions, mankind has steadily civilized sports: banning tactics that deliberately cause injury or harm to other athletes, using more referees so they can monitor competitions better, among many others. The institutions behind these measures are regulatory bodies, who must ensure that any given sport does not decrease its safety levels over time. The best way to do this is by setting minimum standards everybody must comply with, especially those athletes or teams willing to resort to tactics that sacrifice their own long-term health so they can have an edge over the rest of the competitors.
If regulatory bodies did not do this, sports could degenerate as athletes engage in a "race to the bottom". Those who are desperate to win, would voluntarily start putting themselves in harms way by using performance-enhancing, yet health-endangering drugs in order to beat their competition. If they are allowed to succeed by choosing medals over health, then any competitor athlete wanting to win as well would be forced to choose between losing the competition or losing his own health. Thus, the consumption of these substances would go from voluntary to necessary. This would serve as a deterrent for healthy people to practice sports competitively so they can stay healthy, thus disenfranchising the people willing to keep sports clean and setting an horrible example for generations to follow.
In the end everybody loses: all athletes would end up using drugs -and suffering the health drawbacks- without gaining any real edge over their competitors.
Then the Proposition predicts that “In the end everybody loses: all athletes would end up using drugs -and suffering the health drawbacks- without gaining any real edge over their competitors,” which the Opposition sees as an overblown conclusion drawn from the unsubstantiated presumption that the rate of dope-cheating cases has been on the upward slope. There is no warrant of such deterioration of Olympics in Proposition case, nor is there any in the Status Quo.
In order to work the risk has to be too big to take
The truth is that whenever doping is discussed the debate is centered around why do athletes fall into the temptation that banned substances represent, but the main reasons why athletes do not cheat are rarely mentioned. Fact is that the main reason athletes choose not to cheat is the risk of being caught, so this leads to the argument that the risk of cheating has to be so big and the consequences so harsh that more athletes will choose to remain clean.
Sociologist Howard S.Becker published a classic work in 1963 called Outsiders which illustrates that athletes' main reasons to avoid taking illegal substances hardly ever relate to moral standards or health issues, though they may factor in the decision.
The reason for not doping back when the study was made that was given repeatedly was the fear that it would be socially excluding; that it would ruin the athlete's reputation if he or she were caught.
The best way to illustrate how the larger risk represented through the removal of all medals to an Olympic Team will further deter the use of banned substances will be to analyze the situation from a trainer's point of view. In most cases, athletes are either recommended to use the substances by their trainers or at least the trainer is aware of the use of said substances. So, if a trainer knows than one of his athlete's does not stand a chance to win, he may support the use of banned substances. However, if that athlete's decision could hurt the entire team, he would prevent it from happening.
Moreover, side Proposition has mentioned that the trainers and athletes will be far more alert about drug abuses and will not take the risk of sacrificing their whole national athletes. However, there is a significant downfall to this argument. The odds of getting away with dope-cheating are high enough for individual athletes to risk disqualification, and, especially in those teams with little or no record of medal-winning, the coaches would be willing to risk ONE Olympics in the hopes of serendipity. If a coach or trainer feels like one of their athletes is doing poorly and needs a dose to enhance their abilities, they would obviously do it. The Proposition plan is still incomplete, as the risk is still not as harsh as the Proposition believes. It’s not quite a big deal for some teams to still take the risk to hit a jackpot. A better course might be to permanently disqualify dope-cheating athletes, and not their teams. In this case, the consequence is irreversible, and only those responsible are involved.
This policy creates the social pressure needed to stop someone from cheating
For instance, if a soccer player during a match is tempted to commit a gross foul during the game, and he knows he could be expelled for such an action, maybe he would not mind doing so, if for him it is not a big deal to stop playing. But since expulsion means the team will play with 10 players instead of 11, he knows such an action would bring a negative effect for the whole team, so this pressures him into being more careful not to break the rules, because his actions could punish the whole team. Therefore, teammates will be angry at the individual who committed the gross foul and would blame him for the problems he created for the entire team.
So, this policy creates peer pressure. Athletes working within a team, will want their teammates to behave properly and not to consume prohibited substances. If those who do not use drugs did not care in the past about whether or not their teammates used drugs or not because that was "their own business", will now be forced to care since they could be affected. So now everyone is pressing drug-users to stop consuming them, because now it is everyone's business.
First of all, even if we pass this resolution, we’ll still be testing the athletes the same way; it’ll be done randomly or in cases of suspicion. Second of all, having harsher consequences doesn’t mean that doping will cease to exist in Olympic Games. All the proposition will achieve is actually encouraging this problem to get bigger and stronger. Although, in ancient Greece, Olympics used to be more for entertainment, nowadays, it’s not the Olympics without competition. Winning a medal is and has been their ultimate goal of the athletes’ lives. They’ve been training for years, practicing everyday and dreaming of the glorious moment when they feel the medals in their hands. They’ll do everything in their power to survive and make it to the top finalists. They won’t want to disappoint their families, their coaches and most of all, their country. What can stop them from trying even harder to win? Proposition world will create even more pressure for athletes to win and push their limits since the games will be up for “fair ground”. There’s countless number of athletes using the stimulants. New products are constantly coming on the market and new techs are being offered to them. The temptation to use the products will be significantly high. Since they would have access to new materials and not want to let down their people, they’ll be urged to be more careful and use improved methods not to get caught. The tests will catch only those who are careless.
Therefore, like the proposition side has stated, this policy creates peer pressure. It’ll lead this problem into urging and forcing the athletes to try harder and do anything to win. That will definitely include being even more careful not to get caught. Passing this resolution will worsen the problem that we have today.
There's no I in team
In these cases all that knew and didn't say anything were in the wrong: the dopers, the team-mates and the coaches.
Wen you're on a team, what can be considered just? No matter what you know or ignore, you shouldn't by principle expect to benefit from anything but fair play from your team. Team sport athletes know that each of their contributions could help them win or cause them to loose. If one of their members is doped they can't expect to win. Even in the case of individual sports,athletes in the Olympics go to represent a team and a nation, and they shouldn't expect to be considered apart from them as they could at Wimbeldon.
Team-mates can be part of the solution. How does peer pressure fare against money and just wanting to win? Money is tempting, but you need the favor of your team in order to perform at all. If this policy is enacted and your team-mates see you are doping, you will have a hard time on practices and this will affect your performance. And you need this to win. We're sure that Marion Jones has a rough time in sporting events today.
The clear role team mates would play in solving the problem for good dwarves the pain the elusive truly innocent individual sport team member could feel.
Why should we penalize the whole team for making the wrong assumption that their teammate would think twice before doping because s/he will have the entire team to consider? Some athletes are willing to cheat even if they know they are risking their career. Then, here is quite obvious question, is an athlete going to prioritize their career or their team's career? Assuming that their team's career might 'increase the risk' is not going to necessarily prevent any athletes from dope usage, and this is because each individual are even willing to sacrifice their own. Thus, our opposition has also stated that there is ‘peer pressure’, which would apparently make the athlete ‘uncomfortable’, which is illogical. At the end of the day adding pressure to someone will not guarantee that they will make a decision one way or the other. The choice ultimately rests in the hands of the athlete.
1• To paraphrase Seinfeld:
So... What's the deal with doping?
Dear judge may be confused with what is the SQ according to Opp. They say:
That our model isn't neccessary since the percentage of positive results is declining.
That “as seen in the past and in the present, cheating is inevitable”
That the commercial an popularity incentives to get doped are increasing like never before.
That "athletes are getting away without their dope-cheating penalised"
That athletes are finding even more ways to get doped and go undetected.
We denounced opps wanting to distort the evidence they presented: they didn't show a decline but picked and chose the years that fitted their assertion. We said even if so we want it to be zero. But we gave evidence that it's not declining and that amongst top performers it's very common. If incentives are getting bigger and doping is not declining as a result we need to do something else to avoid the race to the bottom of the top athletes.
2• Will our model be effective?
We've shown it will. They completely ignored the coach and the calculation he'll have to do about risk if our model is passed, as explained in our yes point #3. We spoke about the possible new interest of delegation heads to do internal tests in order to prevent their whole team from being stripped of medals. To this we added the peer (from team-mates) and social pressure from a whole country. We explained this will help change the culture inside teams. The athlete himself will have to decide not only to risk himself but his team-mates. Many won't want to have that amount of "blood on their hands" if they are found out. Those who will risk it will have their team-mates and coaching watching in order to avoid it.
3 • Is our model justified?
Opp's objections to stripping the team of their medals is their innocence. They even accepted part of our model! We answered their concern about careers being ruined by pointing out that dopers get suspensions and fines the teammates won't. They will just not win medals, just like it would happen if they had been 4th or 5th.
We gave you a beautiful illustration of the friend that gives you stolen goods. Is not right for team mates to benefit from the cheaters performance and win medals, those are tainted. And second, that there are two groups of innocents at stake: the cheater's teammates AND teams without doping members. One or the other is going to suffer the consequences of the cheaters action, we should side with the teams where none cheated. Also they aren't there to represents themselves but their country. So they can't expect to be considered individuals.
We also gave you the following analysis: even if the rare innocent, knows-nothing-athlete is affected somehow, the harm is smaller to that done to the other teams, country, sport, fans that got cheated out the medals, the fairness and the heroes. And smaller than the health harms we want to avoid
The whole team should not be held accountable for something that they might not have been aware of.
In a classroom of students, there is almost always going to be a few kids that cheat because they see the benefits that cheating without getting caught will bring, such as high grades and happy parents. If one of those children were to get caught cheating, it is not justifiable to punish the entire class. Further, we would like to emphasize that the fear of the entire class being punished is not going to deter those already tempted by the outcomes of a good result from cheating. The position of the Opp today is not that going against the rules set out by the IOC is okay. What we are trying to argue is that the whole team should not be held accountable for something that they might not have been aware of.
The only reason that Prop seems to justify the chances of a whole team losing its medals that it had been training for years to get, is that greater consequences may reduce cheating. However, as seen in the past and in the present, cheating is inevitable, and we see that putting so much at stake and justifying such unfairness will not bring any benefits to the fairness of the games.
They also made a strong point out of incentives to cheat increasing due to the commercialization and popularity of the event. We contend that these increased temptations have to be matched with stronger disincentives than we have today so doping can be eradicated. Facing the ire of fans, colleagues and coaches is a strong blow for people wanting to be idols, and hurting the chances to win of their friends and teammates will give them emotional reasons to stay clean.
They argue that it's unfair to strip people of "legally" acquired medals. First, in competitions like a relay race, if a member uses drugs, the entire team benefits from that performance so their medals are tainted. On the other hand, it is even less fair for a team with no cheaters to lose to a team of cheaters. It isn't like failing a whole class because someone cheated on their test, it's like failing a group essay if one of the members plagiarized part of the content, even if the other members weren't aware or chose to ignore it.
"Fortune" Allows Certain Teams, as well as Certain Athletes, to Take Unfair Advantages
Furthermore, most of the times, the entire team wouldn’t be aware of any surreptitious intake of chemicals by athletes prior to Olympics. Thus, the entire team must not be held responsible, as other teammates have little or no direct control over one’s dope-cheating. The Proposition never provided any justifications on penalising the violating athletes and their teammates alike, where the teammates may have had no idea about one individual’s secretive wrongdoing.
Of course its It is unfair some teams that do not get caught. But in the balance doping is dangerous and it’s unfair for ALL the teams that participate and don't cheat, the fans, the IOC. Even if the policy could affect completely innocent team-mates (and many aren't innocent as we explain in our 5th point) we think that possibility pales in comparison to the unfairness in the SQ where just one team member is justly punished but his team, country, fans might benefit from the medals.
Lastly, Opp seems to be saying that since some teams will get away with doping because of luck and some won’t, this policy shouldn’t be implemented. But the same risk present in the SQ but with individual punishment. This is like saying that since there are criminals and their collaborators that aren't caught, then we shouldn't prosecute anyone. We think once you have a couple of "unlucky teams" that get stripped of medals you'll see a reduction of people trying their luck.
Heavy punishments such as striping an athlete of their medal should be person-specific.
We also want to point out that these athletes who have and are going to use dope are willing to risk their career for the glory of winning. Putting their team’s victory at risk to create ‘social pressure’ is not going to decrease motivation for an athlete to use dope.
We would like to remind that the other athletes in the team who are being stripped of their medals have played safely and accordingly to the regulations and deserve the medal as every other athlete. The proposition has failed to prove why these athletes also deserve to lose their medals and get the same punishment as the athlete who has made the life changing decision and we believe that this is not going to prevent any athletes who are willing to risk their career from risking their team's career.
Opp complements this asserting that those teammates "get the same punishment as the athlete who has made the life changing decision", but that's not true. Marion Jones got her medals stripped AND a 2 years suspension[[http://lat.ms/pQSTH7]], her teammates only faced having their medals stripped (no suspension).
Then they remain rather inflexible by saying "Putting their team’s victory at risk to create ‘social pressure’ is not going to decrease motivation for an athlete to use dope". Really? Not even a little bit? Not even in some cases? Sportspeople balance the odds of winning (thanks to dope) and its benefits vs the odds and consequences of being caught, and the health issues. Adding drawbacks that will make them infamous among their fans, colleagues and sport authorities is bound to be factored in; and hurting their friends and team members will be factored in too. Some athletes are willing to hurt themselves, less are willing to become infamous, and most will bark at the possibility of hurting others.
Marion Jones' case, involved a relay race.So her teammates benefited from her performance and won medals. Her team-mate's winning appeal doesn't advance opps case: Their own evidence shows that the appeals court ruled that way because "rules in 2000 did not allow entire teams to be disqualified because of doping by one athlete"[[http://usat.ly/djqiUg]]. Those are the rules we want to change, because -as the court admitted- that kind of ruling is 'unfair to relay teams that competed "with no doped athletes"'. Opp hasn't engaged us on this unfairness the court spoke about, that involves more
Punishing the entire team is unjustifiable especially when an athlete who doesn't even participate can ruin the whole team's career.
Also, we have to consider the alternate athletes of the team. The motion does not deal with Olympic participants, but team members. We should be aware that a team is often made up of the number of people they require plus an alternate. An alternate athlete is given the opportunity to participate in a competition when the main athlete gets injured or sick; they may not play in the game but are still considered as a member of a team. Alternate athletes may not even participate in the game, but for the fact that they used dope, they have the potential to ruin their whole team’s career. With this in mind, it is evident that punishing the entire team is unjustifiable.
A friend calls you and says: "My uncle died, left me everything in his apartment. Help me move the stuff out and I'll give you some of it". You go and work hard and then turns out your friend lied: he was stealing the stuff. You acted in good faith but is not rational to expect to be given your work's worth. Still, you wont go to jail.The team mate wont be fined or such but cant take the proceeds of cheating.
A whole team can win just with one person’s contribution. Recently Venezuela lost the Copa America in the SF because of one missed penalty.
On Alernate participation: they're on team but if they don't participate in the game/race they won't be tested/win medals. So no harm there.
We want to denounce they used their evidence deceitfully in their rebuttal of our race to the bottom point. As judge knows, when you compare the highest level of a series to another you will always conclude that a trend is downwards; even when this is wrong. They took 1976 (1.4%, the highest) and compared it to 2008 to conclude that there was no evidence of a race to the bottom. If you take another starting date (let’s say Barcelona 1992) you would see a significant increase. So, there's no clear evidence that cheating has decreased in recent years or that it will decrease. Even more, if we look closer at the 20 suspended athletes in Beijing 2008, 6 were previous Olympic champions, world champions or finalists in the bigger events in their sports before 2008 (Moreno [[http://bit.ly/qlWAtv]], Halkia [[http://bbc.in/oNPMNa]], Alves [[http://bit.ly/r0Pfdz]], Pessoa [[http://bit.ly/qwI3kK]], Seroczynski [[http://bit.ly/nIOfUv]], Tsoumeleka [[http://es.pn/rnbV0i]]) and 5 actually got a medal before being DQ [[http://bit.ly/PgeMK]] so this comes to 11 out 20, which shows a race to the bottom between top performers or those who won in past.
Categorical Team Punishment Jeopardises Team Network
But Opp keeps ignoring that we're not relying solely on social pressure, we also said in yes #3: our measure will make unnacceptable for teams the risk of going to the olympics with doped athletes. In the past the the US olympic Committee hid tests results in order to allow dopers to go and earn medals. They had a good chance to win and in the worse case scenario the cheater got busted, and the consequences for the team were the same as if he hadn't shown up AND someone else in the team could still win medals in that discipline. But, if we start stripping the entire team of medals, the incentives for the USOC will change: now the best thing for the delegation is making sure there aren't any dopers in any team, so they don't jeopardize their teammates chances, in order to do this Olimpic teams worlwide will have incentives to outsmart their athletes attemps to hide their doping, which will also increase the quelity of doping tests worldwide.
Yes, relays demand teamwork and cooperation. And the notion that either we all play clean or we all get stripped of medals works with this idea. What they describe as inspecting others is know as benign peer pressure and is a well known management technique.
Also, opp is surrendering the debate: "A team must be blamed and punished as a group only when the teammates were actually aware of the cheating". They're supposed to oppose every stripping of medals except for doping cheat.
Summary- punishing the 'entire' team by taking away their medals not going to bring intended benefits prop suggests.
1. Whether social pressure is going to decrease motivation for athletes to dope
2. Whether it is fair to punish the entire team.
Only advantage to this motion prop suggests is how stripping the entire’s team will put pressure on both the teammates and athletes to not dope. In SQ, motivation that drives these athletes is one&only, the Olympic glory. This motivation remains the same even if this motion were to pass thus athletes would still want to dope. Also, an athlete is not likely to voluntarily tell the team that s/he is doping, especially with social pressure. Motivation remains firm and teammates will not know, so this will not prevent an athlete from doping, but prevent him/her from telling. We wish to emphasize that when athletes dope, they risk their own career. If athletes are willing to risk their own career, they will not be more hesitant in risking others’.
Prop talks about how it is unfair for other teams who didn’t have a doped member in their team. As entire team does not lose/win because of an individual, a team’s result can’t be singularly credited on one member who used dope. Prop concedes that it is unfair for the team who did not dope, yet they persistently argue that it's fair to punish the other members who equally didnt dope.
We first talked about how it is unjust to punish the entire team especially if they weren'tt aware of dope usage in their team. Prop relies on heavy assumption that they were aware of their teammate using dope. Even when this is the case, prop defines striping the medals as a ‘harsh punishment’, and opp is not convinced at all why these other teammates deserve the same punishment.
Also, having exceptions adds onto unfairness disad. Having some athletes escape with dope usage leads some athletes believing doping and not getting caught is plausible, and it gives an unfair advantage to teams that do not get caught. Later, opp also brought up the problem of whether we should strip the entire team even when an alternate teammate is on dope yet has no influence on the group’s performance.
Opp argue that this harsh punishment should be person-specific; prop’s says athletes who dope get harsher punishments and this will only result in ‘sadness and disappointment, ..and a lot of sympathy from the public’. This resolution deals with not just docking some points but ‘stripping’ a team of their medals, ignoring the rest of the team who chose to stay clean. There will not be any ‘sympathy from the public’ unless they concede it’s unfair. Prop outlined this as a punishment. What did the teammates do to deserve any punishment?
Lastly, we believe this jeopardizes a team’s relationship with one another. It will arouse more suspicion and bring down team cooperation. Opp supports trust they have for each other – reason for not noticing occasionally – therefore today's motion will not bring the intended benefits prop wants.
What do you think?