Let’s be honest; putting a small motor on a bike to make it easier to cycle does not take a creative mind. Bikes with small motors attached aimed at us ‘riders of bikes’ (and I differentiate here from cyclists) have been available for years. However, when Femke Van den Driessche, a Belgian cyclo-cross rider, aged just 19, was found to have a small motor within the frame of the bike she was riding in the World Championships in January 2016, a whole new and fascinating debate around the nature of cheating, or as it has been described ‘mechanical doping’ or ‘technological fraud’ amongst other things has emerged from already scandal hit cycling. The purpose of this short post is to review some of the material that you may could use to inform a TOK based discussions about the nature of mechanical doping in cycling, and more broadly the use of ergogenic aids in sports performance. While it is not intended to be exhaustive, it will highlight some good internet based articles and resources that could be used to stimulate and drive a discussion around this very relevant and live debate in sport.
When starting a new blog and trying to both set a standard and make a positive first impression it is always good to start with something nice and simple; IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK)! However, I think it is fair to say that teaching SEHS, or any advanced Sports Studies courses offers educators many opportunities to address a range of ethical and moral questions as part of their course, whether it is directly on the syllabus on not. While the more obvious examples, such as the use of performance enhancing drugs are well documented, there are many other interesting discussions and debates that emerge from our courses.