By Ask Vest Christiansen and John Gleaves
Nothing could be further from our minds than self-praise. Then again. We must acknowledge that the INDR conference in August once more demonstrated the importance and significance of the work of INDR scholars. Even if this conference may be small in terms of absolute numbers of participants, quite a few delegates approached us to say how it, unlike most other conferences, is characterised by an unusual high percentage of quality papers.
By Sigmund Loland, Professor, Norwegian School of Sport Science.
Use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) in sport is controversial and a complex ethical, scientific and practical issue. One challenge is the gap between references to the values of sport, or what in WADA’s terminology is called ‘the spirit of sport’, and operative anti-doping work. General statements on sport values s of little help in line drawing between what are considered acceptable and non-acceptable means and methods. I will propose one way of bridging this gap by outlining a biologically informed ideal of natural athletic performance.
By John Hoberman, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Investigating the relationship between sports doping and the doping of human activities outside the sports world is the ultimate doping problem, because it threatens to dissolve the line that separates a traditionally honored “spirit of sport” from the motivations that drive other human performances, such as productive thinking or musical virtuosity. Demoting “the spirit of sport” from its special status in our ethical pantheon would signal a transformation of this global subculture and thereby subject it to potentially unlimited technological innovations aimed at boosting performance. This development seems plausible given the authority (if not the total hegemony) of the performance principle (Leistungsprinzip) that drives our technological civilization. Whole sectors of modern life are driven by a perpetual and constantly adapting enhancement process that does not allow for self-reflection on the part of the competitors.
Read the rest of Professor Hoberman's keynote abstract here.