Will EPO increase my running ability?

The "accepted" answer in this question is what I'm looking at, I flagged it for a moderator's attention, but I wanted to know the general opinion of answers like this. It's dangerous, it shows a complete lack of knowledge of the actual risks, and the fact that it got 3 upvotes AND an accepted answer truly scares me.

My concern is that it would now be showing up in google searches and similar, where people doing casual browsing could see it, and I do think by allowing it to stand it diminishes the credibility of the site.


4 Answers 4


As long as we don't rule out questions about doping we should also tolerate all answers. Who is there to decide what is right or wrong? The moderators are here to control the fires, but not to provide a scientific authority.
As Greg points out, this is a decision our community has to regulate by (down)voting.

  • 2
    The question that remains for me: "do we want those questions at all?" Ivo's answer in this question pretty much sums up what I think about it.
    – Baarn
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 16:22

I'm sure I'm not the only one here, but I seriously don't like this answer. I'm incredibly tempted to delete it, even though it's accepted, mostly because it's a horrible answer even if it's right. It doesn't completely address the question asked, it's a one-liner, it provides general advice without a shred of sources (credible or not).

It's going to sticky to the top because it's accepted, no matter how many downvotes it gets now, and in this case I feel that it's harmful to the site and our reputation.

Frankly, I personally don't like questions about doping. However, no matter how much I look at the FAQ, this answer doesn't seem to violate anything, nor does the question. The only reason I can find for deleting it is just that it's "very low quality" as per the FAQ.

I rather agree with the answer Ivo provided on "Should we allow academic questions about drug use and other obviously poor health choices?":

"we didn't want to build a reputation for encouraging something that may or may not be illegal, so it was decided to stay safe rather than sorry."

While we've not had any need to address this further yet, now may be the time that we finally have to amend the FAQ to cover illegal or potentially illegal substances.

  • As it is doping it could be counted as medical advice, which would be off topic. But I don't think that this is a good solution. I'd prefer to take a stand against doping as a community. (Although it is hard to define which substances actually fall into that and which don't)
    – Baarn
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 18:24
  • @Informaficker, if you "stand against doping as a community", I think that should still be reflected in the FAQ, so new members of the community know what to ask and not what to ask from the get go.
    – Kenshin
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:08
  • @Chris see Should the FAQ be amended to address illegal drug use?. As we are in beta we still have to figure this stuff out (and even sites that are not in beta have to update their FAQ as time changes).
    – Baarn
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:10

That particular answer sucks, no doubt. But the fact of the matter is that many credible sources believe it is possible to take non-toxic doses of PED's such as EPO and steroids that still deliver performance benefits. IMHO shouldn't ban those answers. Holding that steroids and EPOs are dangerous is actually a politicized opinion, not a consensus viewpoint.

  • All of the steroid and EPO related deaths notwithstanding, of course.
    – JohnP Mod
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 15:34
  • Sure, it's possible to take a toxic dose and kill yourself. That doesn't mean there is no way to do it safely.
    – masonk
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 15:35
  • Agreed, this particular case is very politicized (and the answers are not clear; Bigger, Stronger, Faster is an interesting film).
    – G__
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 15:49
  • 2
    If many credible sources believe it, then I'd like to see those sources cited in a half-decent answer, rather than a 1-liner. Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 17:33
  • @NathanWheeler Agreed the answer itself was lousy because there were no sources cited, and very little actual information conveyed
    – G__
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 5:53

We should downvote dangerous answers, flag them for moderator attention, and I think we should expect that moderators will delete them.

  • That is really the general process of handling any kind of question or answer regardless of what the subject is.
    – user241
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:41
  • Cool, so dangerous answers aren't an issue.
    – user4644
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:43
  • Yes, but I think what @JohnP was getting into was really the subject matter of the question, not the answer, for which we've opened up a new meta disucssion.
    – user241
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:47

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