Doping and Nutritional Supplements - Parallel Lives

Nov 03 2006 | 4:07 PM

The physical performance of an athlete is a personal achievement, which is only ensured by the moral rules and law, and is projected as a good that serves as an ideal to society. Therefore the athlete struggles for the one, true, fair, good, kind and free, a procedure of beauty and goodness.

The cases of negative phenomena such as doping, violence, etc, aren’t few; phenomena which spoil this procedure and render sports practice liable. Many times in the past we have occupied ourselves with the phenomenon of doping; furthermore, as far as law is concerned, many studies have been published, while recently it has also been defined legally. However, the phenomenon is “alive and kicking”. Especially after the big doping scandal that broke out at the beginning of the Olympic Games of Athens, another relative problem came to light: the nutritional supplements and the way how they are being distributed into the market (of physical and sport activities). Many aspects of this problem have a scientific interest also from a legal viewpoint, because they are not solely related to the legitimacy of their distribution, but because of the effect they have on the health of young people who inundate gyms, as well as to their future physical condition.

It is also being investigated the aspect related to the sport activity in the field of doping. This is also confirmed by the Balco case.

?� Doping reflects modern sport with all its recognizable characteristics and indicates that:

  • it is its true-born child and the unavoidable battle against it isn’t more than a gentle alibi with which we deny its own presence, but not its unknown existence,
  • sport and competitions, the meaning of which relies on physical performance, as well as the athletes’ record in perpetuity, stand in captivity of the Roman idea of Citius Altius Fortius, and
  • the athlete is not but a modern nexus, lying down –like a miserable, mature victim- ready for the dearly paid spectacle, and all that it entails.

?�� The nutritional supplements have one and only meaning: the counterbalance of an unbalanced nutrition within the daily diet and by no means its without-reason additional role. This is very important for the physical training and for sport, because it is essential that is rightly determined whether or not and when a diet is non-balanced, so that the use of nutritional supplements can find a ground. This obtains even more importance, nowadays, that the tendency to maximize physical performance has reached its limits through the use of various methods, like doping, and there is no doubt that the nutritional supplements are not in the same path with it.

?��� An enactment of specific legal provisions as regards the limits of use of nutritional supplements from sportsmen and athletes is essential, in relation to their stamina and the particular individual physiology, so that their health is protected in the present and the future, as well as the necessary positive external image during physical exercise and games.

Note: Dimitrios P. Panagiotopoulos
Associate Professor of Sports Law, University of Athens, Advocate Attorney-at- law
Abstract in XI IASL Congress"

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