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What is a Legitimate Enhancement in Sport?

What really counts as "fair" when it comes to winning?

Sprinter Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee who runs on a pair of artificial feet known as “blades”; he has won medals competing against “able-bodied” as well as “disabled” athletes, a fact that has led some to question whether the blades do not in fact confer an unfair advantage.

Tonight’s event begins with the question of what counts as a “fair” or “legitimate” enhancement in sport, and whether we can draw a line that seems natural and offers clear-cut criteria. It extends far beyond Pistorius’s own case to cover the use of drugs, therapies and special training techniques in virtually all sports. It asks whether the pursuit of excellence is compatible with principles of fairness, whether increasing uses of costly technology enables rich countries to purchase a high-status place in medals tables, and whether sporting achievement still means today what it meant decades, centuries or millennia ago.

Dr Andrew Edgar is senior lecturer in philosophy at Cardiff University who specialises in the philosophy and sociology of sport and in medical ethics.

This event is not in any way affiliated with any specific sporting event, its participants or sponsors.


Dr Andrew Edgar | talks | www


Date and Time:

28 August 2012 at 8:00 pm


3 hours



The Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place

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Organised by:

Big Ideas
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Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.bigi.org.uk

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