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 the use of altitude simulation technology result in supra-physiological performance enhancement?

No.
Any increase in performance attendant to the use of altitude simulation technology in sport does not, and cannot, exceed the physiological limits of the individual athlete. Any comparisons to blood doping and/or the use of performance enhancing drugs is unwarranted because those methods can, and do, exceed the athlete's own natural physiological abilities.

The performance benefits of altitude simulation are derived from the body's natural adaptive physiological processes associated with altitude acclimatization, as millions experience daily because of where they live, or travel.

Furthermore, unlike the use of blood doping and/or banned drugs that result in near instantaneous performance enhancement, the full effects of altitude training will not be apparent for many weeks of consistent regular exposure, corresponding to the natural adaptive processes attendant to altitude acclimatization.