The use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports is the topic to be argued in the second round of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, the schools competition organised by the Law Society of Scotland.

Following an opening round that debated a potential ban on referendums, 57 of the original 128 teams have come through to support or oppose the motion "This house would permit the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports" in the second round, which takes place between 26 and 31 January.

Winners will secure a place in the semi-finals in March, with the final being held in the Scottish Parliament's debating chamber in June. The Society awards the first prize of £1,000 and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

Heather McKendrick, head of careers and outreach at the Society, commented: “The Donald Dewar Debating Tournament is now in its 17th year and is just going from strength to strength. We are delighted to see that of the 10 schools taking part in the competition for the first time, 6 have made it through to the next round.

"The tournament is an excellent opportunity for the pupils to develop their skills in critical thinking, learn how to express their views and opinions and grow in confidence – not to mention the fun to be had."