The Ethics of Altitude Simulation in Sport

  • Does the use of simulated altitude equipment impart an unfair advantage to the adopters of the technology? Discussion
  • Will the use of simulated altitude equipment automatically result in athletic performance improvements? Discussion
  • Does the use of simulated altitude equipment result in supra-physiological performance enhancement? Discussion
  • Is the manipulation of the environment something that should be banned? Discussion
  • Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D. on ETHICS OF ALTITUDE TRAINING

Does altitude simulation technology impart an unfair advantage to the adopters of the technology?

No.
Before this technology was available, there had been an advantage for those who had access to the mountains, either because of where they lived, or because their particular country had mountains training facilities where they could stay.

For nearly two decades, simulated altitude technology has made this opportunity available also to athletes of countries without mountains. The altitude tent is merely the latest in a line of products which has progressively reduced the cost of such technology.

Just as with all equipment and access to training, there can never be a totally level playing field, however the ever-dropping price of simulated altitude systems has gone a long way to making this opportunity available equally around the world.

Does this justify taking drug to make up for a lower-than average natural hormone level?
Of course not, there is a clear difference between physically manipulating the body with drugs, and spending time at altitude (natural or simulated) to stimulate a totally natural response.