Thursday, October 11, 2012

Drug Testing PBA Champions?

Jason Belmonte asked on his Facebook page if we think elite bowlers should be drug tested. He thinks anyone who wins a PBA title should be tested in order to promote "good health to our kids" and "a clean sport to everyone." Most who have commented so far, including Malaysia's bowling champion Shalin Zulkifli, agree with Jason. But I roundly, albeit respectfully, disagree. This is what I wrote:
"Jason, if there were evidence that bowlers are using potentially dangerous performance enhancing drugs to improve their scoring, perhaps I'd support drug testing. However, I see no indication that bowlers are doing this, and it's difficult for me to even imagine what kinds of drugs would significantly enhance a bowler's performance, given the nature of the sport. Therefore, since I believe that drug testing constitutes an invasion of personal privacy justifiable only in cases where the need to ensure competitive fairness and to protect the health of the participants supersedes the right to privacy, and because I don't see evidence that some bowlers are using drugs that give them a demonstrably unfair advantage over others or imperil their health, I oppose drug testing for bowlers.
 However, if bowling were to become an Olympic sport on condition that its competitors, like all other Olympic competitors, submitted to drug testing, then I would, albeit reluctantly, support it. Otherwise, I think drug testing bowlers is a solution to a non-existent problem."
What do you think about drug testing bowlers at the elite level? Do you believe it would combat an existing problem?

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