Drugs in sport are big news and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport is common. Here, Chris Cooper, a top biochemist at the University of Essex, looks at the science behind drugs in sport. Using the performance of top athletes, Cooper begins by outlining the limits of human performance. Showing the basic problems of human biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy, he looks at what stops us running faster, throwing longer, or jumping higher. Using these evidence-based arguments he shows what the body can, and cannot, do. There is much curiosity about why certain substances are used, how they are detected, and whether they truly have an effect on the body. Cooper explains how these drugs work and the challenges of testing for them, putting in to context whether the 'doping' methods of choice are worth the risk or the effort.
Exploring the moral, political, and ethical issues involved in controlling drug use, Cooper addresses questions such as 'What is cheating?', 'What compounds are legal and why?', 'Why do the classification systems change all the time?', and 'Should all chemicals be legal, and what effect would this have on sport?'. Looking forward, he examines the recent work to study the physical limitations of rat and mice behaviour. He shows that, remarkably, simple genetic experiments producing 'supermice' suggest that there may be ways of improving human performance too, raising ethical and moral questions for the future of sport.
©2012 Chris Cooper (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Longtime Audible users will know that on rare occasions a narrator can completely ruin a book. That is the case here. I was excited to learn about the subject, but the narration of this book is nearly unbearable.
The narrator reads every sentence like he is announcing the headline of an upcoming news story, seems to have no idea what he is talking about, and cannot connect ideas between sentences. It almost sounded like the book was being read by an illiterate high school student making a joke out of reading in class by trying to draw attention to himself.
I feel sorry for the author.
"Great book, poor reader."
The science and information in this book is fascinating and well explained by the author. However the narrator has lead me to wish I purchased the print version. The narrator sounds throughout the book as though he is trying to in from me I have been miss-sold payment protection insurance. Frequent miss-pronunciations such as 'Animalies' for anomalies, 'EPA for EPO' and while explaining the problems of athletes lying about their age making the error of saying 'humans do (rather than don't) lay down a growth ring each year', 'vampire chick' for vampire chic..... This would be a pedantic complaint if the errors were not constant.
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