By Ask Vest Christiansen and John Gleaves
We are fighting the urge to start another editorial with the cliché, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” since it seems every editorial starts with the same sentiments. However, as we prepare again for our biennially conference this coming August 22 and 23 of 2019, it seems we find ourselves squarely focused on what has changed and what has stayed the same. Not only because of the recent revelations of blood transfusions involving Austrian cross-country ski racers (that has already spread to cycling and promises more sports), but because the theme of the 2019 conference is focusing on the two decades of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s role in leading a global harmonized anti-doping campaign. With twenty years of WADA, now is a chance for scholars to assess the organization’s impact on doping in elite sport.
By Barrie Houlihan, Lougborough University, UK, with Dag Vidar Hanstad
Although there are a number of studies of the effectiveness of the global anti-doping regime less attention has been paid to the performance and effectiveness of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as the lead organization within the policy regime. The aim of the paper is to design a framework for the analysis of WADA’s performance and effectiveness and to utilize the framework to provide an assessment of the impact of the Agency within the broader policy regime.
By Professor Susan Backhouse, Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK
Research, policy and practice on the complex social problem of doping in sport is a contentious and contested field. Consequently, it requires collaborative researcher-decision-maker partnerships in order to enhance the richness, relevance and real-world applicability of empirical research findings. Accordingly, co-produced knowledge better facilitates the implementation of research informed policy and practice by addressing the relevance gap in research. Yet, co-production of knowledge in the context of anti-doping can be challenging because researchers and policy-makers often work to different timeframes, have different priorities, and staff movement may weaken or disrupt the programme of research.
By Ali Jawad, Paralympic powerlifter
In recent times, anti-doping has been a prevalent topic within the sporting landscape. International confidence within the anti-doping system is at an all-time low. The disconnect between WADA and the global athlete community continue to increase. There has been a big uprising in the athlete voice and especially athletes are uniting in demanding transparency, honesty, and independence within WADA, when vital decisions are implemented that affect athletes and clean sport.
By John Hoberman, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Over the past several years the politics of international sports governance, and its affiliated anti-doping efforts, have been subverted by the de facto dictator of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, in conjunction with his conflicts, and subsequent reconciliations, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Following Russian failures at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, an enraged Putin resolved to produce a 2014 Sochi Winter Olympiad that would compensate for the disgrace of Vancouver. Once it had been uncovered, the state-sponsored doping conspiracy that helped to produce Russian success at Sochi compelled the IOC and WADA to suspend Russian sports organizations’
membership in the “Olympic Family.” The question now was how and when — and, conceivably, whether — Russia’s readmission to the Olympic system might be achieved.
By John Gleaves, Professor of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, USA
In May of 2013, lawyers for Lance Armstrong invited me to provide testimony in the fraud case between Armstrong and the U.S. Government. The fraud case alleged that Armstrong’s doping coupled with his public denials of doping defrauded his sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service, and consequently American citizens. If found guilty of fraud, Armstrong would have to repay three times the total sponsorship U.S. Postal had paid the team, a sum nearing $100,000,000.00 USD.
By Olivier de Hon
There are currently 7.7 billion people living on earth. At the time of the Rio Olympic Games, an estimated 47% of those people had some interest in sport. Moreover, a decent percentage of those sports enthusiasts have the luxury to actually think about the rules that govern sport, how they came about, and how they might be changed for the better. The crème de la crème of these sports thinkers are gathering in Aarhus every two years.
By Patrick Trabal, Universite Paris Nanterre
The presentation will emphasize the value of using sociological models to come to understand doping practices among athletes and the reality of the implementation process of WADA’s anti-doping devices.
First, we will make use of a pragmatic sociology of risk (Chateauraynaud & Debaz, 2017) to examine the ways in which axiology, devices and realities are articulated in anti-doping related criticism. This will allow us to imagine the necessary social conditions so the anti-doping regulation could possibly change. We will question two elements: the reasons why doping is almost never analysed as a health issue; the conditions needed for the anti-doping actors' work to be different.