Bring it on if you want to get ahead

When we mere mortals play a game, it’s simple. You take a ball or some “thing”, and you throw it, kick it or hit it with a stick until the end of time. At which point, you’re the winner or everyone’s a winner because you all exercised or now have an excuse to eat some comfort food and drink alcohol. But once you introduce money into it, everything changes. It becomes a sport and instead of casual amateurism, professionals train their bodies and minds so they win more than they lose. After all, when you’re paid by results, you want those results to produce piles of the green stuff. Once you put money behind pride, the push is on to make sure you have the edge. If are not enough, the temptation is to “cheat”. Ah, a wonderful word! What’s cheating? The easy answer — it’s getting an unfair advantage. So, if you know your opponent likes to play fast, you play slow. You shout and scream abuse to intimidate him or her. If you need big muscles, you do steroids (like everyone else). The folks who draw up the rules have to keep the sport as fair as possible without killing spectator interest. The fans must want to pay to see it played. If you stop the players from being too creative, the paying fans may lose interest and the ticket money will dry up. That would never do.

On the doping front, the responsibility fall to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It decides what’s fair on the basis of scientific evidence. Except, of course, that what’s “fair” one year, may be considered unfair the next. Fashions and sporting cultures change. The latest hot potato is unusual. We all know how effective viagra can be in the sack. But it seems top sportsmen have been using it to increase their competitive edge. Since it dilates blood vessels, it can improve the flow of oxygenated blood around the body and increase endurance, especially when the player is competing above sea level. WADA has commissioned two research projects. One is looking at whether it gives an unfair advantage where cyclists, distance runners or players need good aerobic performance but there is air pollution or altitude is a factor. The other is looking at its use in training. If the results suggest unfair advantage, viagra could be banned in September 2009.

So two final thoughts. The first is that the research is difficult because none of the players will take this drug on its own. It will be one of a cocktail to enhance performance. The two research groups are testing viagra on its own. This makes the results difficult to relate to the question of whether players do get an edge. The second is that if professionals are getting a boost, you too could find your prowess improved in every kind of way if you use viagra. If you want endurance in sex (whether at altitude or not), this is the way to get it.