March 2015


While the spring semester is rolling full speed on the Northern hemisphere, it is with great expectations that we have begun to look forward to the INHDR conference in late August in Aarhus, Denmark. The Call for Papers has been out since the New Year and we have already received some great abstracts through our online abstract submission system: Easy Chair. The system is (surprisingly) easy and convenient to use. Follow this link to see the call and submit your abstract. We are looking forward to receiving it. Please note that the deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 April.

Also, as you can see elsewhere in this Newsletter, registration for the conference is now open. You register through the AU web-shop via this link.

As known to members of the INHDR and many followers of this newsletter, for the 2013 conference we ventured out with collaboration with the Elsevier hosted journal Performance Enhancement & Health and its editor in chief, INHDR-member Jason Mazanov. Let us take this opportunity to direct your attention to the special issue of Performance Enhancement & Health that came out as a result of this collaboration. The special issue, which had John Gleaves and Ask Vest Christiansen as guest editors (2014), contains articles that are food for thought from John Hoberman – on anti-doping education (Hoberman, 2014), Werner Pitsch – on the tacit assumptions behind anti-doping (Pitsch, 2014), Andrea Petróczi – on the doping mindset (Petróczi, 2014a; Petróczi, 2014b), Bertrand Fincoeur – on the development in the supply of doping in Belgian and French cycling (Fincoeur et al., 2014), Ian Ritchie – on the WADC’s spirit of sport clause (Ritchie, 2014), Kate Seear – on our potential misperceptions of the effects of doping drugs (Seear, 2014), Monika Frenger – on the contradiction between anti-doping efforts and sport as a product that appeals to consumers (Frenger et al., 2014), and Ask Vest Christiansen & John Gleaves – on the opportunities and challenges of the humanities in doping research (Christiansen and Gleaves, 2014). We encourage you to check out the special issue and study the articles you would find interesting – access is found by following this link.

Also, we are happy to announce that for the upcoming 2015 INHDR conference we will continue our fruitful collaboration with Jason Mazanov and Performance Enhancement & Health. Therefore, when submitting your abstract for the conference, we ask you to consider subsequently submitting your paper for review for the next INHDR special issue of Performance Enhancement & Health. More information on this will follow in upcoming newsletters. Should you have other works in process, please consider Performance Enhancement & Health as a potential avenue for dissemination. Many members have found this journal a suitable venue for work on doping and enhancement across multiple disciplines.


The fact that doping and anti-doping is still highly relevant and continues to call for further research, is obvious with the coming into effect of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) just two months ago. In the preparation phase for the new Code stakeholders met in Johannesburg, South Africa, and after the conference it was unsurprisingly announced that:

                  “The Johannesburg World Conference on Doping in Sport reaffirms that the ultimate objective of the fight against doping in sport is the protection of all clean athletes and that all concerned parties should commit all required resources and resolve to achieve that objective by intensifying the fight.”

One of the significant changes that illustrate this intensification of the fight is the elevation of the ban from all Olympic sport from two to four years for a standard anti-doping rule violation.

The March 2015 editorial entiteld 'The Intensified Fight Against Doping' is written by Ask Vest Christiansen, Aarhus University and John Gleaves, California State University, Fullerton.

Read the entire editorial here


It makes deep evolutionary sense to be outraged by doping: nothing should impress a good beast more than signals of hereditary fitness – such as natural talent – and nothing is more infuriating (or at least off-putting) than being cuckolded into thinking that others are innately fit when actually they aren’t. This may be why doping, like hair implants, meets with such ire and scorn. Doping is duping. Duping about innateness and heredity. It flouts our most primal, bestial ‘spirit of sport’. But evolutionary sense makes little moral sense and I will argue that at heart, the moral panic about doping may not be moral at all. To the contrary: Anti-doping absolutism (by which I mean: zero tolerance, come what may) is a-moral at best and profoundly immoral at worst.

Find out why Pieter Bonde thinks so in his thought-provoking commentary here.


It is now a well-known fact that a culture of tolerance towards doping was widespread within elite cycling until at least the end of the 1990s (e.g. Brissonneau, Ohl & Aubel, 2008; Christiansen, 2005; Hoberman, 2002). A systematic doping system was then promoted by most, if not all, elite cycling teams so that riders had no real alternative to taking illegal enhancers if they wanted to be competitive. However, one cannot say that nothing has changed.

What has changed and how does UCI plan to reform mens elite road cycling - Bertrand Fincoeur gives his thoughts here

Call For papers

The International Network of Humanistic Doping Research (INHDR) invites abstract submissions for consideration for the 2015 conference to be held at Aarhus University, Denmark on 27-28 August. Abstracts should be between 350-500 words and include author(s), title, and demonstrate some relation to the conference theme. Authors from any field are encouraged to present research, but the research should relate to questions in the humanities or social sciences. Abstracts should be submitted by April 1st, 2015 via the INHDR online submission system: See instructions in the full 'Call for Papers' for using the INHDR online submission system

The conference theme is: “Evaluating the unintended effects of anti-doping”.

More information on the upcoming conference can be found on

Register for the 2015 INHDR conference

To register for the conference use the Aarhus University Webshop, by following this link. There will be two options for registration; a standard and a reduced for students, including PhD students. Both include access to the full program, coffee, lunch and the conference dinner Friday night.

Please address questions regarding the registration to the Network Secretary, Carsten Kraushaar Martensen, at

New INHDR members

The INHDR continues to expand its membership base. We now have 52 members of the network from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. In this newsletter we would like to welcome: