Witch hunt against performance-enhancing drug users

“Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.” — Thomas Jefferson

While it is understandable that competitive sports event organizers want to keep their events clear from the performance-enhancing drugs due to their values, the aim to extend that policy to laymen with a threat of a felony level (sic!) criminal offense seems clearly less justified both economically and morally. It can be reasoned that punitive laws are not in the interest of taxpayers. Average cost of per recruit in a cohort study is about ten dollars for offline recruitment and the cost can be further reduced by a third if online recruitment methods such as Facebook are used [1]. On the other hand, cost per year spent in prison is at least 30 000 dollars [2]. It would be more reasonable and cheaper to label the the said performance-enhancing drug users as “test subjects” and investigate them than label the said experimenters as “offenders” and put them into the jail. If the nonmedical use of substances could be epidemiologically monitored with compulsory following of a study protocol, then it should satisfy both moderate authoritarians and libertarians. If the use of SARMs is positioned clearly as that of performance-enhancement rather than that of medical, it should unburden medical and pharmaceutical regulatory authorities from some of the responsibility. On the other hand, it would position the sports authorities as major stakeholder, as seems to be the case (pharmaceutical industry does not seem to be major stakeholder because use of SARMs is not at odds with their major economic interests). In order to draw the boundaries that would allow the laypersons to use SARMs, the concerns of sports authorities must be taken into the account, and We suggest that science would be perfect arbiter while observation with the right to cancel the study due to health concerns is not sufficient means of regulation.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28249833