As a pro cycling fan, the subject of doping is practically a daily point of consideration. Shockingly, then, I never heard about this study:
In 1982 a researcher named Bob Goldman began asking elite athletes a question. Would they take a drug that would guarantee them an Olympic gold medal but would also result in their death within five years?More than half the athletes surveyed responded yes, they would take the drug. From 1982 to 1995 Goldman continued to survey elite athletes and the survey bore the same result each time—more than half the athletes said they would take the drug.
Put another way, more than half of professional athletes subscribe to the maxim: what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger — but without the “doesn’t” part. I love this sport, and I’m obsessive about riding (though my level of ability doesn’t match my enthusiasm), but it’s impossible to fathom what sort of personality disorder would accept this trade, purely for the allure of a gold medal.
If it’s somehow acceptable for a person to commit suicide in exchange for success, think about how much easier it is for people — especially in politics and business — to sell out their values and other human lives in support of their own advancement.