Reporter 427, 16 November 1998

Jim fixes it for Olympic dopes

University philosophy lecturer Jim Parry is advising the International Olympic Committee on the ethics of drug use and doping, as part of its drive to clean up sport.

The IOC is developing a code of practice for athletes, coaches, administrators and medics in time for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and is taking advice from Mr Parry about the ethical implications and legality of performance enhancement.

Mr Parry, also the University’s Dean for Students, has been involved with the Olympic movement for thirteen years. He has been invited to attend the IOC’s World Conference on Doping in Sport at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland next February.

“The IOC is now deadly serious about this issue, but taking a purely moral approach won’t solve the problem,” said Mr Parry.

“Many members of the public have been on some kind of drug, so who decides which drugs are wrong in sport, and why? There are plenty of other ways to enhance performance that are currently permitted – for example, altitude training gives an advantage to athletes from certain countries, or those who can afford it.” Mr Parry has joined a working party of academics, journalists and educationalists who will report to the IOC.

The IOC are even considering changing the Olympic oath to include some reference to ethical preparation. “People forget the Olympic movement was established on an ethical, not a sporting basis. It uses sport as a tool, and the games are its flagship but they are not exclusively what the Olympics are about,” Mr Parry added.

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