Doping in Elite Sport: the Politics of Drugs in the Olympic Mvnt: The Politics of Drugs in the Olympic Movement

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The International Olympic Committee began its fight against performance-enhancing drugs nearly four decades ago. Testing has become increasingly more sophisticated, but the problem is far from being eliminated. Doping in Elite Sport: The Politics of Drugs in the Olympic Movement addresses the challenges and complexities of the issue.

The text, edited by Wayne Wilson, PhD, and Edward Derse, is based on papers presented at the 1998 conference, Doping in Elite Sport, and includes:
-a basic scientific explanation of how performance-enhancing substances improve performance and how banned substances are detected;

-a critical examination of the failure to control doping in the Olympic movement;

-a historical timeline of drug use in sport;

-evaluations of the philosophical and ethical issues of drug testing;

-the international politics of combatting drug use in sport; and

-insight as to how three very different countries have handled the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in sport.
Part I,The Science of Doping,” provides the reader with a basic scientific explanation of how banned substances can improve performance, the process of drug testing, and the detection of athletes' drug use. This section also offers a recommended protocol for drug testing and critiques the differences between the ideal and actual testing practices

Part II,The History, Ethics, and Social Context of Doping,” reviews the complex social and cultural issues surrounding doping. A thorough chronology of performance-enhancing drug use in sport precedes discussions of the ethical and cultural dimensions of the issue. Included is a comparative analysis of how Canada, Russia, and China - three very different countries - have responded to doping scandals involving their athletes.

Part III,The Politics of Doping,” critically examines the effectiveness of the IOC and the international sport federations in administering campaigns against doping. Lack of political will, financial interests, and uncooperative bureaucracies all have hindered effective enforcement.

The first anthology on performance-enhancing drugs in sport, Doping in Elite Sport: The Politics of Drugs in the Olympic Movement is a critical examination of the failure to control the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in the international sports arena. It provides an extensive overview of the real issues in the battle against doping in international sport.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Richard T. Ferro, MD, CAQSM (Duke University Medical Center)
Description: This unique and interesting book is based on papers delivered at a 1998 conference organized by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. The book critically examines efforts to control doping in international sport.
Purpose: The purpose is to examine the issues related to elite athletes' use of banned substances. Most of the contributors to this book are of the opinion that doping in sports is a pernicious and immoral act which should be better policed because it threatens the very essence of competitive sport. The book explores the critical issues surrounding efforts to control doping (commercialization, governance, science, the media, and athletes' rights), including why they have thus far failed. It also offers alternatives to improve the current system.
Audience: The book is written for anyone interested in this often ignored and unfortunate side of elite sports — medical professionals, amateur athletes, and coaches. The authors are credible authorities on this subject, as both critics of the sport establishment and representatives of major sport bodies, including journalists, academicians, former elite athletes, and sport administrators.
Features: The book is divided into three sections. Part I deals with the science of doping and covers topics ranging from a scientific understanding of how banned substances improve performance and how testers detect drug use to the epidemiology of doping in sport. Part II examines the history, ethics, and social context of doping and begins with a very interesting and thorough chronology of doping in sport. It reviews the philosophical basis of doping control and how different countries handle these issues. Part III involves the politics of doping and includes arguments about the IOC's legitimacy, ability and commitment to combat doping, while analyzing the political and economic factors that hinder effective enforcement. The book ends with a call for an external, autonomous, and transparent body to take over doping control and education in elite sport. The authors bolster their arguments by providing expert testimony and accounts by those who have firsthand experience in these matters, namely elite athletes and their coaches.
Assessment: This uniquely edifying book offers a multidisciplinary perspective and behind-the-scenes look at a major societal problem. It covers a variety of fascinating topics, while critically analyzing the failure of sports governing bodies to control the use of banned ergogenic aids in international sport. It also presents the authors' strong convictions that the sports establishment should be cleaned up, which, though admirable, is something they understand to be nearly impossible given the current politically and economically motivated and controlled systems. This emotionally charged book will be a valuable addition for readers of all disciplines who are interested in competitive sports.
From a 1998 conference sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, 11 studies cover the science of doping and testing; its history, ethics, and social context; and its politics. Among them are a comparison of how Canada, Russia, and China have responded to doping scandals involving their athletes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736003292
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/25/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wayne Wilson, PhD, is vice president of research for the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. He conceived and organized the 1998 conference Doping in Elite Sport, which this book is based on.

Wilson, the author of numerous articles on the Olympic movement, was the cowriter and executive producer of the CD-ROM An Olympic Journey: The Story of Women in the Olympic Games. Since 1990, he has edited a series of research reports published by the Amateur Athletic Foundation on race, gender, and the sports media.

He is a member of the North American Society for Sport History and the Research Council of the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Wilson enjoys cross-country skiing and traveling with his family.

Edward Derse is senior producer for World Sports at, where he is responsible for strategy, development, and production for international and Olympic sports coverage. He was previously the research director for the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. He also serves as vice president of the International Sepaktakraw Federation.

Derse has written or edited four books on coaching and training methods. His articles have appeared in several magazines covering a variety of sports. He also is the sports business analyst for Marketplace, a business news show airing on public radio stations across the United States.

Derse lives in Santa Monica, California and is an avid surfer.

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Table of Contents

Part I. The Science of Doping
Chapter 1. What Is Doping and How Is It Detected?
R. Craig Kammerer
Chapter 2. Doping Control Testing Policies and Procedures: A Critique
David L. Black
Chapter 3. Difficulties in Estimating the Prevalence of Drug Use Among Athletes
Charles E. Yesalis, III, Andrea N. Kopstein, and Michael S. Bahrke

Part II. The History, Ethics, and Social Context of Doping
Chapter 4. Significant Events in the History of Drug Testing and the Olympic Movement: 1960-1999
Jan Todd and Terry Todd
Chapter 5. An Ethical Analysis of Drug Testing
Angela J. Schneider and Robert B. Butcher
Chapter 6. Comparative Analysis of Doping Scandals: Canada, Russia, and China
Bruce Kidd, Robert Edelman, and Susan Brownell
Chapter 7. Drugs, Sport, and National Identity in Australia
Tara Magdalinski

Part III. The Politics of Doping
Chapter 8. Doping and Moral Authority: Sport Organizations Today
John J. MacAloon
Chapter 9. Doping in Elite Swimming: A Case Study of the Modern Era From 1970 Forward
John Leonard
Chapter 10. How Drug Testing Fails: The Politics of Doping Control
John Hoberman
Chapter 11. World Conference on Doping in Sport
Jim Ferstle

About the Editors

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