Skip to content

Roman Gaehwiler

Go for Bronze!

Written by Roman Gaehwiler Within research of happiness sports incorporates a scientifically approved instrument in order to fight mental depression. Therefore, the excretion of endorphines during physical exercise is capable to generate what a frog might experience when birth-rates decrease – pure delightment! Hence, frogs do not believe in princesses, but in storks. Nevertheless, the… Read More »Go for Bronze!

Gender Competition Preserves Natural Traits of Competitive Sports

Written by Roman Gaehwiler In western communities the degree of gender equality and emancipation represents an important indicator to level sophistication and liberalism. In sports, however, sexual discrimination is taken for granted. As a result of strict sex segregation, there’s no opportunity for women to measure their abilities with male opponents. Consequently, either sport seems… Read More »Gender Competition Preserves Natural Traits of Competitive Sports

Are Dopers better Sports(wo-)men?

by Roman Gaehwiler The crusade against artificial performance enhancement in sports is varicoloured and almost exhaustively debated. Nevertheless, there are still several approaches from the athlete’s perspective which are worth to consider. On the one hand, there is the noble and doubtlessly essential pedagogic approach fostering the educative aspect implying that the misapplication of pharmaceuticals… Read More »Are Dopers better Sports(wo-)men?

Considering the Instrumentalization and Exploitation of Elite Athletes

Why did Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye not wear helmets during their boxing fight a few weeks ago? Actually, they do tend to wear them during training, but obviously not when an official boxing match takes place. Why not? Presumably, it is because wearing helmets could foster tactical fights and finally turn them into unspectacular victories won on points. Instead of impressive knock outs, swaying hulks and eye-rolling fighting-machines, an audience would have to content itself with scampering human rocks and rare surprise effects. From another perspective, boosting knock outs (or not wearing helmets) could even be seen as a degrading or even a humiliating act against an athlete’s integrity.

Enhancement – Keep the Game, Change the Basis

Paradoxically, elite sports is largely about seeking for inequality, but simultaneously trying to level the playing field in order to equalize the opponents. So, how is it possible to cultivate inequality through equality? Anti-doping activists argue that enhancing substances falsify the individual and naturally given capability to perform in a competition. As a result, there might be a lack of equal opportunities. In contrast, enhancement advocates underline that doping might be able to level the playing field by removing the effects of genetic inequality, and therefore provides equality.[1] In fact, both arguments imply the noble aspiration of equality. So then, equality must be the ultimate aim.

Read More »Enhancement – Keep the Game, Change the Basis

Cosmetic Surgery – What is the Matter with Dr Salesman?

Written by Roman Gaehwiler

Reconstructive plastic surgery to correct ravages of disease and injuries as well as gross physical abnormalities constitutes a core medical practice. Reconstructive procedures, however, lie along a continuum, without any clear boundary between therapeutic reconstructive surgery for diagnosable problem and purely cosmetic surgery.[1]

Read More »Cosmetic Surgery – What is the Matter with Dr Salesman?

Competing against Mutants


In a recently broadcasted documentation about gene-doping, multiple award winning Swiss science journalist and author, Beat Glogger, reflected the issue of gene-doping in a sensitive and objective manner. In this Swiss-German co-production Andy Miah, a bold British Bioethicist, argued that gene-doping is supposed to be a natural friendly method of performance enhancement, whereas many other practices in the past weren’t. Simultaneously, he considered athletes no more as natural creatures by arguing: “We have to get rid of the imagination, that athletes are natural human-beings” (freely re-translated from the German version). Despite the fact that this statement is rather an anti-thesis than a substantiation for his strident position, I have to admit that the current development in gene technology tends to construct a sort of athletic hybrid. No doubt, this is a serious future issue we have to face. Nevertheless, Andy Miah’s declaration implies that athletes might kind take on a pioneer role regarding the subject of genetic enhancement. Therefore, is that an issue worth considering or even to achieving?

Read More »Competing against Mutants

Performance Enhancement – Athletes are Victims not Delinquents

To describe the obvious power dynamic in modern sports industry from my personal point of view, I’m going to make use of a little metaphor. Therefore you have to imagine sport as a squash game played by several opponents. The competitors, hitting the ball from one corner into the other, represent the different stakeholders in elite-sports. Spectators, coaches, sponsors, national and international associations to mention a few. Of course there’s also one tiny ball incarnating the athlete himself as a kind of focal point, trying to satisfy the different demands. As a ball you’re certainly one of the most important parts of the game. But simultaneously you might be very easy to manoeuvre, because your being spherical, which could imply your lack of personal influence. Merely your ability to leave behind a little black marking on the squash court “wall of fame” is your only chance to colour your sport individually. As an elite sportsperson you’ve almost no opportunity to defend yourself against the prevailing key-players in the system. Otherwise you’re going to risk your career or even your status as a moral competitor. In the following lines, I’ll try to explain my position by disclosing the maladministration and mild coercion top-athletes are confronted with, emphasising four different issues of the “sports-system”.

Read More »Performance Enhancement – Athletes are Victims not Delinquents

Artificial Performance Enhancement in Sports – Are we Overreacting?

by Roman Gaehwiler

Within human history sport consistently has been abused as a platform of political disputes and athletes came to be exploited by governments to benefit the economy. The simple competitor has been transformed into a nationalized single warrior and pushed to represent his country as perfectly as possible. This spirit of the “idealized hero”, whose ability stands for the strength and force of a whole nation persisted until the twenty-first century. Of course not in the same dimensions, but there’s no doubt elite-sportspeople are a kind of mirror for society. In connection with the increasing influence of monetary incentives, a simple comparison of physical strength became an inexorable business. Excessive artificial performance enhancement is just an unavoidable result of that. The paradox obviously is that the audience calls for supernatural performances, but at the same does not approve the athlete to do so by taking performance enhancing substances.Therefore it’s legitimate to ask ourselves: “Are we taking sport too seriously?”

Read More »Artificial Performance Enhancement in Sports – Are we Overreacting?