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What is Sports Technology Doping?

Jul 10, 2008
Sports doping is, unfortunately, a common occurrence amongst competitive athletes. Sports doping is the practice where athletes knowingly or unknowingly (through their doctors and trainers) take performance enhancing drugs to improve their athletic performance. However, a new phrase is gaining prominence in the sporting news and that is "technology doping". This term was introduced to describe competitive advantage using sports equipment.

Obviously, athletes use sports equipment. Having customized equipment along with proper preparation of the equipment is an important part of competing in an event. But would anyone make the argument that Tiger Woods won his numerous golf tournaments because of the Nike clubs he used? No, because it's the athlete that receives the glory for sporting achievements and his sponsors come along for the ride.

However, as technology and science advances, the equipment itself is getting more credit for winning events or breaking new world records much to the delight of sports manufacturing companies. A case in point is the new Speedo LZR Racer swimming bodysuits that are getting rave reviews from Olympic athletes. They have been given the stamp of approval by many swimmers and one even said that wearing it was like "swimming downhill". So, has technology really come along that far in that sports equipment will give that much of a competitive advantage? Or, perhaps it is just wishful thinking on the side of the manufacturers and especially the athletes?

Another important factor in competitive sports is the psychological aspect. Along with the coach and trainer, the sports psychologist is part of a team's entourage. He teaches the power of positive thinking and if an athlete thinks that a particular suit is going to help him win a competition, it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. It's the confidence that an athlete takes into the even that matters. If he believes that he's trained well, he has the proper equipment and is in the proper frame of mind, then there's no reason not to do well.

All that said, it is a combination of sports ability, equipment and a positive mental mindset that makes a sports champion. An athlete cannot win on talent along, and a piece of equipment cannot wield itself. Moreover, high end equipment will not turn a mediocre athlete into a superstar without the skills. Therefore, the term "technology doping" may just be a mental boost an athlete needs to differentiate between being on the winners podium or not.
About the Author
Mariam Ma writes for Olympic Blvd, a site that celebrates the Olympic spirit. Don't miss out on the the 2008 Beijing Olympics and get some Olympic memorabilia. Visit the Olympic Blvd and find collectible items such as Beijing Olympic FUWA mascots keychains and buy Beijing Olympic FUWA mascots plush dolls.
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