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Technology ‘doping’ in Olympics?

Olympics 2012 swimming
Technology plays a key role in development and evolution of any sport. And the importance of technology is greatly experienced in Olympic games when every fraction of a second counts. It seems that developing technology has greatly affected the outcomes of Olympics, with more profound effect on swimming and track-and-field events. Debate started when a revolutionary swimsuit design helped swimmers break 15 world records in Beijing, tarnishing the books of swimming history as we knew it. Such technological advancements with such profound influence on a sport raise a question quite controversial in all regards: Are the edges gained in sports through scientific work in the lab as legitimate as those gained in the gym?
The swimming goggles and cap American swimmers are using in London Olympics 2012 are designed with water-resistant nanotechnology to increase the aero dynamicity and reduce the torque as they go through the water. The record breaking spree of swimming in 2008 owed largely to LZR Racer suits by Speedo. Its effect was so intense that FINA had to ban the suits in 2009   

                     . Olympics 2012 stop-watch
The 2 piece suits US sprinters are using this year are fabricated with a dimpled texture, like a golf ball, to make them go faster. Test results say that these suits can decrease the time of athletes by 0.023 seconds in a 100m race. Though this time might seem insignificant in text, it can be pivotal in Olympic Track and Field events where results are decided with a photo finish and the athletes could win or lose by a margin of only 1,000th of a second, 40 times faster than a blink of an eye.
Sports regulators have a serious question ahead when dealing with sports technology: is the advancement legitimate. Most believe that technology should be given a shot at all sports, but it could only be fair if it is made available to everyone. Improvements will only make a sport interesting, but they are only fair if they are available to all athletes. The current problem includes the economical situation of most countries too. Rich countries can afford the expense of research while poor countries are not able to acquire the technology needed by athletes to perform at their best.
Although evolution in technology is as important as the development of the sport itself, but authorities believe that a line needs to be drawn, disallowing labs to turn athletes into super humans. It is at times difficult to decide if a developing technology is in the interest of the athletes and abides by the spirit of the sport. That is when the real debate begins. Athletes would be keen to use anything that could help them shave off that precious time, but regulators have to make sure that sports remain an ‘equal opportunity’ activity for everyone and no athlete could receive an inhuman advantage over the other, even if it is less than 1,000th of a second. After all athletes are well-trained human beings and any technological edge over the other should be competed in robot wars, not Olympics.

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