Placebo cheating in sport ?

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Lance Kennedy
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Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:59 pm

This is an ethics question.

Placebos, as we all know, can have profound effects on the human body, even when there is no effective active ingredient. Injections are more potent placebos than pills. We also know that using placebos can improve athletic performance, as long as the athlete taking the placebo believes he or she is getting a potent drug. An injection of a placebo is even better. It is really easy for a coach to arrange for his athlete to receive an injection of sterile saline, after being told it is a new and very effective drug. It is predictable that this will improve performance.

Is this cheating ? As far as I know, it is not illegal. But is it ethical ? Should it be banned ?

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:05 am

I do not have a strong opinion, however.....

If an athlete prays to God for God to help him win the race, and that athlete really believes God will help him, is that sort of the same ethical dilemma as taking a placebo, thinking the placebo is a real enhancement drug?

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Austin Harper » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:55 am

How would you test for placebo abuse?
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:33 am

I'd guess catching them in the act and/or confessions would be the only ways to find out. The intend to cheat should count for something?
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Dimebag » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:03 am

In a way it would be abused, as if you allow everyone the use of placebos, it negates their effect, as the mere knowing that placebos are being used in your sport would reduce the placebo effect when used if the athlete knew of their use and had suspicion that they were being given placebo. You basically have two scenarios, one, where placebos are given and no one knows of their use, which means not everyone can be on a level playing field, or the other, where their effect is diminished due to the knowledge of their widespread use.

Something which is not usually discussed about placebos, is the expectation of the recipient, and this strongly determines the result of the placebo. You need to be able to convince the recipient that what they are receiving will probably give a powerful result, and their expectation will allow the effect to occur. It is as much the person who administers the placebo, and the act they perform, which enables the effect to happen. Moreover, you are going to have some people who are more suggestible and who will benefit more from the placebo than others who are less suggestible, so that is another area of inequality.

In saying all this, it is known that trainers will use tricks to fool athletes into performing faster, such are giving incorrect information about lap times or times of certain performances of an athletic event, in order to squeeze more performance from an athlete, and this itself doesn't seem to have any major ethical issues.

So the problem is not in the deception of the athlete themselves in order to achieve increased performance, but rather that level playing field of all athletes.

My thoughts anyway.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:35 am

Surgery is the best placebo: just put 'em under, cut'em open, stitch 'em up an tell them about the cheetah-glands you've installed in their muscles.

Of course, what happens if the athlete gets drunk and start bragging about it? It's at the very least bad PR.

No, there is nothing to ban here, because Placebo come in so many different shapes or forms: it's useless make a ban everyone knows you can't monitor and enforce.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:53 pm

Austin Harper wrote:How would you test for placebo abuse?


By entrapment.

Your investigative team runs a clandestine illegal performance enhancing drug (which is really just placebo) ring with a radioactive tracer included.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Phoenix76 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:32 am

Well Oleg, I don't know about American law, but in Australia, entrapment is an excellent defence and will get you off - because it is illegal.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:40 am

An excellent defense? I really kinda doubt that..................even in extreme cases, rarely works in USA. I'd be surprised if any other English common law district is different.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:42 pm

Well, if the athlete thinks the placebo injection is illegal and still accepts it, then he/she is intending to perform an illegal act.

Taking an "illegal" placebo might be more potent than taking a "legal" one. I don't know, but it seems plausible. At the very least, I would guess that some people would find it more potent, and some people would find taking the "legal" one more potent, depending on their ethical attitude.

I already suspect that unethically-oriented people (hereafter known as "asshats") make up a significant percentage of athletes. And I dislike asshat athletes already. So I think I would dislike asshats taking placebo injections with the intention of cheating, whether or not there's a way to test for it.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:01 pm

Phoenix76 wrote:Well Oleg, I don't know about American law, but in Australia, entrapment is an excellent defence and will get you off - because it is illegal.

I don't know about American law either. I barely know are own enough of our laws to keep the cops from camping on my lawn. (Or, maybe they just don't like all the ant colonies.)

It may not be good enough for criminal prosecution, but it would be plenty good enough for a sports organization to ban someone.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:55 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:I barely know are own enough of our laws to keep the cops from camping on my lawn.

You grammared bad! It hurt my head!

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:26 pm

Phoenix76 wrote:Well Oleg, I don't know about American law, but in Australia, entrapment is an excellent defence and will get you off - because it is illegal.


That's not correct. Child molesters are often entrapped by undercover police posing as children. Drug suppliers are often entrapped by police posing as buyers. Money launderers are often entrapped by police disguised as scheme promoters.

The point of law is whether the accused voluntarily entered into a criminal activity.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:28 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:It may not be good enough for criminal prosecution, but it would be plenty good enough for a sports organization to ban someone.
Absolutely, as that could be a term of their contract, with the sports organisation under contract law. :D

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:42 am

Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:59 am

I think Placebo should be required to play fair. Why should he be given special treatment?

P.S. What sport does Placebo play? I'm thinking soccer; one name, sounds foreign.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:17 am

scrmbldggs wrote::( I keep reading "Plato cheating in sport ?"

He invented the Plate.

Nikki Nyx wrote:P.S. What sport does Placebo play? I'm thinking soccer; one name, sounds foreign.

He sounds Brazilian, so I'll guess "football".
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Phoenix76 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:37 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Phoenix76 wrote:Well Oleg, I don't know about American law, but in Australia, entrapment is an excellent defence and will get you off - because it is illegal.


That's not correct. Child molesters are often entrapped by undercover police posing as children. Drug suppliers are often entrapped by police posing as buyers. Money launderers are often entrapped by police disguised as scheme promoters.

The point of law is whether the accused voluntarily entered into a criminal activity.

Ridgeway v The Queen / [1995] HCA 66


I understand what you are saying Matthew, but I was talking from personal experience. Had a bloke working for us who was knocking of products from a customer he was supposed to be delivering to. We set a trap for him which he walked right into. Upshot of it all was when I told our IR manager, he went ballistic - entrapment. So I had to settle the matter without sacking him. He did pay restitution for the occasion when we caught him.

Interestingly, when they charged the murderer of Danial Morcombe here, there was a lot of talk about entrapment and its admissblity in court. So an interesting topic.

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:47 am

I think we need Baseline and Enhanced versions of sports, including mental ones.

Extreme Bodybuilding has increased our medical knowledge tremendously, as has doping cyclists.
Pistorius running with artificial legs as fast as non-handicapped athletes shows the enormous potential of combing technology and flesh.
And Advanced Chess (humans playing with the assist of computers) is beating the crap out of even the best A.I, programs.

I have a lot of gratitude (and also a lot of pity) for athletes willing to risk health and reputation to push the limits of what's physically possible.
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3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:18 pm

Gord wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote::( I keep reading "Plato cheating in sport ?"
He invented the Plate.
Ah, yes. The famous Plato Shrimp.

Gord wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:P.S. What sport does Placebo play? I'm thinking soccer; one name, sounds foreign.
He sounds Brazilian, so I'll guess "football".
Yep. Although, he sidelines in opera under the name Placebo Domingo.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:50 pm

Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:I barely know are own enough of our laws to keep the cops from camping on my lawn.

You grammared bad! It hurt my head!

[/imgfit]

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:55 pm

Gord wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote::( I keep reading "Plato cheating in sport ?"

He invented the Plate.

Nikki Nyx wrote:P.S. What sport does Placebo play? I'm thinking soccer; one name, sounds foreign.

He sounds Brazilian, so I'll guess "football".


Placebo Domingo is Spanish/Mexican and I think he plays the Botticello.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

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Re: Placebo cheating in sport ?

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:30 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:I barely know are own enough of our laws to keep the cops from camping on my lawn.

You grammared bad! It hurt my head!

[/imgfit]

I are in gratitude muchly for your correctitudes.

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