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Sunday 26 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# up to speed
Catch-up Wednesday: 3 midweek longreads
Get up to speed with the latest news, opinions and insights with our hand-picked in-depth reads.

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IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.

We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:

1. Doping in sport

Should the rules on doping in sport be changed? Julian Savulescu says most forms of doping should actually be legalised.

(Aeon magazine, approx 18 minutes reading time, 3559 words)

We don’t know how common doping is, but we have some clues. Of 21 podium finishers in the Tour de France for the period 1999-2005, 20 are suspected or proven to have used illegal substances. For the longer period 1996-2010, the figure is 36 out of 45. Ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, 107 athletes tested positive for doping, and numerous athletes who passed tests throughout London 2012 have since been found to be doping

2. Fighting FGM at home

Last summer, a young American-born teenager was due to take a trip with her parents to their native Somalia. Then, she discovered they intended her to undergo Female Genital Mutilation. This isn’t an isolated story, writes Julie Turkewitz.

(New York Times, approx 10 minutes reading time, 1886 words)

Immigrant parents from African and other nations have long sent their daughters back to their ancestral homes for the summer, a trip intended to help them connect with their families and traditions. During their stays, some girls are swept into bedrooms or backwoods and subjected to genital cutting in the belief that it will prevent promiscuity, ready them for marriage or otherwise align them with the ideals of their culture.

3. Antidepressants – friend or foe?

A reader writes about her experience with antidepressants, and how she wrestled with the idea of taking them.

(, approx 6 minutes reading time, 1171 words)

Even though part of me had always felt a little ‘different’ from the herd, a bit more vulnerable than most, medicalising the problem and putting an actual name to it, was a sad and poignant day. Even if I knew it was the right thing to do. On that day I officially said goodbye to ‘Me, the success story’ and hello to ‘Me, the psychiatric patient’, because, in my head at least, the two felt mutually exclusive.

Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday>