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Athlete doping rules need radical overhaul: CSU public lecture

Thursday, 31 Aug 2017

Julian SavulescuA visiting Oxford professor will argue in a dynamic new public lecture series at Charles Sturt University (CSU) that the zero tolerance method of controlling doping in sport is not working and anti-doping efforts continue to fail athletes and fans.

The free public lecture by renowned Oxford University bioethicist Professor Julian Savulescu (pictured) is the first in the 'How to Live Well' themed Exploration Series to be held at CSU in Bathurst on Wednesday 13 September.

Professor in Philosophy in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Suzanne Uniacke, said that under the 2017-22 University Strategy 'Our Communities', a series of public lectures will explore questions about the nature of the well-lived life and a world worth living in.

"The 'How to Live Well' Series aims to promote reflection and critical engagement on fundamental issues that are part of the University's stated ethos and contribute to the intellectual vibrancy of our campuses and their wider communities," she said.

Professor Uniacke explained that Professor Savulescu's public lecture topic, 'Doping in Sport, and Human Enhancement', will challenge conventional thinking in his examination of whether we should accept performance enhancement as part of sport, and focus instead on harmful practices, or practices which are against the spirit of sport.

"Professor Savulescu will argue that the zero tolerance method of controlling doping in sport is not working, and that on recent evidence the anti-doping effort is continuing to fail athletes and fans," she said.

"He asserts that from a practical policy viewpoint, we should consider another approach to reach the goals of a level playing field and will argue that enhancement per se is not against the spirit of sport, and that a radical overhaul is needed."

A discussion will follow about some of the ethical issues of human enhancement more generally.

This 'How to Live Well' Series free public lecture is from 6pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 13 September in room 223, building 1292, at CSU, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst; follow the event parking signs to car park P7. Register for catering purposes here.

Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews.


Professor Julian Savulescu has held the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford since 2002. He has degrees in medicine, neuroscience and bioethics. He directs the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy, and leads a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award on Responsibility and Health Care. He directs the Oxford Martin Programme for Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He co-directs the interdisciplinary Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities in collaboration with Public Health, Psychiatry and History.

In 2017, Professor Savulescu joined the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, spending four months per year there as Visiting Professorial Fellow in Biomedical Ethics, and Melbourne University as Distinguished International Visiting Professor in Law.  He is Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, founding editor of Journal of Practical Ethics, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bucharest in 2014. Read more at

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