Why do athletes use performance-enhancing drugs? Under what circumstances would they follow the rules? If you think this isn’t a problem, consider that it is estimated that most of the top athletes in track and field, baseball, football, cycling have been doping in the past decade or so.
The latest issue of Scientific American contains an article by Michael Shermer that applies game theory to the issue of doping in sports. It is modeled as an application of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and under current conditions, the payoffs are higher if an athlete chooses to dope, since the payoffs are higher, regardless of whether opponents dope. By increasing penalties for athletes who test positive, improving the testing process and repeals process, holding teammates accountable, and granting immunity to all athletes who previously used drugs, athletes naturally will be discouraged from doping.