You may have heard the latest news about doping in athletics. It seems that hundreds of athletes have been at it and many of them were medal winners in top events - including The Olympics.
Today's doping practice is usually aimed at increasing the red blood cell count in order to transmit bigger volumes of oxygen to the muscles. This was exactly what the disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong's cunning method successfully achieved. And it is why he won The Tour de France an incredible seven consecutive times.
Doping is about getting ahead of your competitors, stealing a march on them but there are plenty of other ways of gaining advantage and they make me feel a little ambivalent about the current doping scandal.
Let's take genetic inheritance. Some athletes are born into naturally athletic families where good sporting physiques are passed down through the generations. Should we accuse the recipient of such beneficent genes of cheating? Plenty of other athletes compete in their sports in spite of the disadvantageous physiques they have largely inherited.
The saying - "You are what you eat" has extra resonance in sport. The right diet can make a big difference when competing at the highest level and many top athletes are advised by armies of dieticians. Isn't that a bit like doping - gaining advantage through what you consume?
Good coaches can also make a big difference. They know how to train their athletes for success whereas poor coaches presumably make a lot of basic errors and may set their athletes off on ineffective training regimes. Having a great coach can surely be like taking a performance enhancing drug. They give special advantage to their charges.
Similar arguments could be made about equipment, training facilities, family wealth and sponsorship. They all confer advantage upon the fortunate recipients putting them a step ahead of their competitors.
These are all reasons why I feel somewhat ambivalent towards doping in sport. Perhaps we should just say - what the heck! Let the games commence and take as many drugs or blood supplements as you need! Then we wouldn't have all these witch hunts and moral guardians preaching from their high horses. Mind you, the Olympic motto "Faster, Higher, Stronger" would suddenly take on extra significance - especially the "Higher" bit.