This paper examines the impact of various regulatory policies on the decision to dope by athletes. The analysis suggests that punishment schemes involving lump-sum fines and bans, which are commonly used to control doping, create biases, and do not achieve their goal of levelling the playing field. Under plausible assumptions, these schemes are more likely to control doping for risk averse athletes compared to risk neutral ones, poorer athletes compared to their wealthier counterparts, and athletes with high earning potentials relative to those with lower potential. A marginal penalty scheme where athletes are fined based on the quantity of dope detected eliminates these biases, and emerges as a superior policy for levelling the playing field.
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