Making Debating Clean, Keep Off The Grass

Posted on March 16, 2009


I know that there are more reported cases of death due to smoking and alchohol, but this does not in any way validly indicate that we should close a blind eye to what is rampantly happening around us.

Drugs in competitive debating – all your questions answered.

Does debating have a drug problem?

It might well perhaps be an exaggeration to describe it as a “problem”, but there have been insinuations. We would be pretty naive to think that someone hasn’t taken speed or grass. In fact, we would be very naive to think that no one has never tried it in debating. People have tried it in most competitive sport. There is no reason to think that someone in debating hasn’t.

Wouldn’t debate cheats have been exposed in official drug tests?

Possibly they would have – assuming we have an official drug tests in the very first place. Debating has considered itself morally above the need to have such thing.

What will the testers look for?

Speed, grass, banned substances that reduces speech apprehension, superior endurance, etc. The usual things, in other words.

Will they be cracking down on those handphones that could get access to the internet and store giga-amounts of data?

Its a different issue.

And those digital encyclopedia / dictionary?

Again, its a separate matter.

How could I tell if someone in my room is using performance-enhancing drug?

Say they drive the perfect argument with a Scottish accent – but they’re English. This might be the time to take them aside for a quiet word. Be careful how you open the conversation, though. People on high can be prone to abrupt and violent mood swings, and they may still be holding a pen.

Other signs that can arouse suspicion is: suddenly looking surprisingly articulate despite being Asian, running after the adjudicator after the oral adjudication, grabbing the pen from the adjudicator and throwing it for a good 85 metres, carrying the adjudicator’s bag, carrying the adjudicator’s bag and the adjudicator, carrying everbody else’s bag, everbody else’s adjudicator and the organizing committee.

As a keen Irish debater, I like to stop in the middle of prep and refresh myself with a can of beer and packeted slice of a fruit cake. However, I am worried that the fruit cake may show up later in my urine as nandrolone.

Rest assured. At the time of writing, there is no record of any debater or athlete testing positive for a combination of fruit cake and beer, nor even a twin packed Scottish shortbread fingers.

A man came up to me at a debate tournament and asked me if I would like to go over to his van and try a Blackberry Pearl. Was he trying to sell me drugs?

Possibly. Either that or a new handphone.

There was this time where I ran into and disturbed a small party of debaters smoking crack cocaine at the men’s room. What should I do?

You might want to consider using the ladies’ next time or hold whatever in you until you reach back the hotel. This could eliminate the awkward possibilty of bumping into those debaters. But book in for a lesson with a debate pro if the problem persists.  

I keep having this dream that I’m in the finals of a debate tourney and suddenly this, like, windmill appears. And there’s, like, this clown’s head. And I’m like, woah! And I’ve got to get this idea across to this clown’s head before the windmill turns right? And I’m like, so freaked that I slam my forehead to the table. Except it’s not wood, it’s, like, concrete. And my argument, like, completely goes to pieces.

A windmill, you say. And a clown. That’s just crazy.

I am furiously opposed to drugs in debate and keen to see drug cheats purged by whatever means. But if a daily injection of Vanish washing detergent could painlessly give me the ability to debate articulately and sort out my speech anxiety, I’d probably be interested. Does this make me a bad person?

No, it just makes you a typical debater. 

Posted in: Comment, Debate, Features