Two researchers from the University of New South Wales had an intriguing article published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year. They wanted to compare attitudes of the general population to those held by elite athletes by offering the same proposal that had been asked of the athletes over twenty years ago, namely, would they take a drug that would guarantee sporting success? What made this more interesting, however, is that a side effect of said drug would inevitably result in their premature death five years later.
When posed with the question, about half of the athletes asked said they would go through with it, seemingly choosing being remembered over being alive. For a lot of elite athletes, competition is what they have been training for the majority of their lives, so part of me can understand why they may opt for this route. That said, the data gathered on athletes was between 1982 and 1995, since which time drug testing has become much more extensive so attitudes towards cheating may have changed significantly.
In contrast, two hundred and fifty of the general population were given the same option, of which only two said they would agree to take the drug. It appears that the majority of the general populace have more pressing matters to tend to that involve breathing.
The comments section for this article are open, so please let me know which you would choose, along with some brief details about yourself as I find this topic fascinating. To start it off, I would take the drug.
Source: Connor JM, Mazanov J. Would you dope? A general population test of the Goldman dilemma. Br J Sports Med. 2009 Nov;43(11):871-2.