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BALCO Scandal

In sport, athletes are constantly trying to improve their performance. However, society has historically allowed for performance enhancements that relate to the use of technology that is external to the body (e.g., faster running tracks, lighter shoes) while disapproving of the notion that athletes should biochemically engineer themselves through internal application of technology to achieve more. In opposition to this societal more, the athletes experience significant pressure to perform better in the face of ever-escalating financial opportunities for exceptional performers. These two attitudes intersected in the 1990s as designer performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) were developed that allowed athletes to improve performance to previously unforeseen levels while remaining largely undetectable to watchdogs of the antidoping world. The Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) provided designer PEDs to athletes ...

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