Friday, August 15, 2008

Today's most important poll number!

USA Today/Gallup Poll. July 25-27, 2008. Adults nationwide.

"When you see or hear about an athlete breaking a world record in [see below], are you suspicious or not suspicious that the athlete used performance-enhancing drugs?" N=626 sports fans, MoE ± 4

22 Suspicious
76 NotSuspicious

Track and Field
35 Suspicious
63 NotSuspicious

I have to disagree with the American people on this one. There are just too many ways to cheat, and such a large incentive to do it. Furthermore, the risk of getting caught when it really matters is minimal. The risk of getting caught later might be a little larger but it is still so small, especially when compared to the benefits of being a world-record holder.

My solution is to legalize virtually every performance enhancer and then the issue would dissipate. We will never know what athletes did in the past, and to assume because we don't know, that they didn't didn't do anything untoward is naive. That being so, we shouldn't worry about the potential inflation of performance and just enjoy the show. So the best solution is to allow all the competitors to use the best available technology. The limits should be simply whatever is legal in general society.

But it is good to know that people are generally optimistic about others' integrity.

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