I have a fun little essay at the beginning of this month's Wired that basically argues that the current controversy over steroids in sports will be nothing compared to the ethical questions posed in the near future by elective "enhancement" surgery. (Thanks to my brother for suggesting the idea, and my brother-in-law for some of the medical background in the piece.) Here's a snippet:
In fact, there's a chance you've had one of these next-generation procedures: laser eye surgery. Great [baseball] hitters anticipate the type of pitch being thrown - fastball or curveball? - by detecting the rotation of the seams of the baseball, which means that good eyesight is as valuable to them as strength or agility. One study of more than a dozen players who had opted for laser surgery found that "players coming off eye surgery are likely to see substantial improvements in batting average and power."
But poor vision can hardly be considered an injury. At least a pitcher with a torn ligament can say that he required surgery to repair an injury to his arm. Some batters naturally possess more muscle tissue than others; artificially manipulating that endowment with steroids violates the ethics of the sport. Other batters naturally possess better vision than others, but for some reason artificially augmenting that endowment is perfectly acceptable. If the sport objects to taking a pill or applying a cream that temporarily changes your body's chemistry, surely it should be an even graver offense to reshape your cornea or reengineer tendon and bone structure.