March 2016

Editorial - A tragic early death

By Ask Vest Christiansen and John Gleaves

On 14 February 2016, Nikita Kamaev died of a massive heart attack. Kamaev was the executive director of Russia's anti-doping agency, RUSADA, from 2011 to 2015. His death came 10 weeks after he stepped down as head of RUSADA since he knew that he could not continue on the post after WADA on 18 November 2015 had declared the organisation non-compliant with the WADC. This twist of fate in itself should cause some raised eyebrows. But there is more to it.

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Understanding that Performance and Image Enhancing Drug Markets are not all the same and why this matters

Professor Ross Coomber, Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University, Australia

The study of drug markets is expanding both topically and conceptually. Online and easily traceable drug markets have long been around for the sourcing of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIED) but more recently, so-called crypto drug markets based in the recesses of the Deep Web or the Darknet, are increasingly providing (relatively) anonymous access to PIED and any other illicit street drug. Conceptually there have also been recent moves to understand various types of (licit and illicit) markets where deception, exploitation, predatory behaviour and harms are considered a common outcome and are institutionalised within, or the norm for, such markets as ‘dark markets’. One of the problems with each of these developments is that stereotyped assumptions about, and relative lack of awareness of, traditional drug markets is too often transposed onto the framework for how the new markets should be understood. A weakness in some of the crypto market literature and that of dark markets is that they start from assuming what traditional drug markets look like and then suggest either how that stereotype compares with the new market (crypto markets) or, too simply, use stereotypes to fit the model being suggested (dark markets).

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Back to the Future: Comments on Sport History´s Contribution to Understanding Existing Anti-Doping Strategies

Jörg Krieger, German Sport University Cologne

The latest revelations of the World Anti-Doping Agency´s (WADA) “Independent Commission Report #1” investigating the doping system in Russia have yet again proven that the current structures to combat doping in sport lack – at least in some countries – efficiency. Often as researchers, we are asked: how can sport history make a relevant contribution to the understanding of such contemporary events? In my opinion, taking a historical approach to sport and to doping and anti-doping issues helps gaining an understanding of the successes and failures of existing anti-doping strategies and practices. Such an approach aims at developing broad and in-depth knowledge about the genesis of the international fight against doping. Understanding history, in other words, helps us understand why anti-doping today is successful, or not, and the tensions within the anti-doping regime internationally. Historical accounts give us clearer insights into the influence of anti-doping’s most important agents, their world views and initiatives they took in turn based on those world views, and the institutionalized strategies that developed as a reflection of those agents’ interests and values. Understanding all of these factors is crucial because they are built into the fabric of today’s anti-doping policies.

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A thesis devoted to the study of legal and ethical implications of the use of performance enhancing drugs and new doping practices in sport

Elena Atienza-Macías

University of Deusto, Researcher at the Inter-University Chair in Law and the Human Genome, University of Deusto and University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.  Bilbao, Spain

We would like to announce the Thesis Presentation and Defense of one of our members: Elena Atienza, concerning The legal and ethical implications of the use of performance enhancing drugs and new doping practices in sport, supervised by Prof. Dr. iur Dr. med. Dr. h. c. mult. Carlos María Romeo Casabona and Prof. Dr. Aitziber Emaldi Cirión. The presentation will be held at the University of Deusto, Bilbao-Spain, in the Graduate Assembly Hall, next 7th of March 2016.

Read the rest of the announcement here.