IS TECHNOLOGY UNDERMINING THE VALUE OF SPORT?

7 Apr 2015 Dr Emily Ryall, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Sport & Exercise, University of Gloucestershire Details Good sport is premised on the notion of fair competition that measures and ranks the ‘natural ability’ and performance of competing athletes. However, developments in biotechnology and prosthetics in particular have already forced sports governing bodies to address questions about how fair competition is conceived. This was most notably seen with Oscar Pistorius’ appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which overturned a ban implemented by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the use of prosthetic blades. Similarly, the remit of the World Anti-Doping Agency appears to have also expanded into areas that are not seen as traditional doping, such as the use of hypoxic chambers and xenon gas. This paper will highlight issues of conceptual and ethical concern to sport related to developments in technology and will show how many assumptions about elite sport are inherently contradictory.