The International Amateur Athletic Federation estimates that only 10–15% of participating athletes are tested in each major competition.
investigated the suggestion that athletes face a kind of prisoner’s dilemma regarding drugs.
Their ideal is superhuman performance, at any cost.
The use of performance enhancing drugs in the modern Olympics is on record as early as the games of the third Olympiad, when Thomas Hicks won the marathon after receiving an injection of strychnine in the middle of the race.
Using drugs to cheat in sport is not new, but it is becoming more effective.
In 1976, the East German swimming team won 11 out of 13 Olympic events, and later sued the government for giving them anabolic steroids.
Classical musicians commonly use β blockers to control their stage fright.
These drugs lower heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the physical effects of stress, and it has been shown that the quality of a musical performance is improved if the musician takes these drugs.
Much of the writing on the use of drugs in sport is focused on this kind of anecdotal evidence.
There is very little rigorous, objective evidence because the athletes are doing something that is taboo, illegal, and sometimes highly dangerous.