The Ethics of Doping and Anti-Doping: Redeeming the Soul of Sport?

Routledge
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With every positive drugs test the credibility and veracity of modern elite sport is diminished. In this radical and provocative critique of current anti-doping policy and practice, Verner Møller argues that the fight against doping – promoted as an initiative to cleanse sport of cheats – is at heart nothing less than a battle to save sport from itself, located on the fault-line between the will to purity and the will to win.

Drawing on extensive and detailed case studies of doping in sport, and using a highly original blend of conceptual ideas from philosophy and sociology, Møller strongly criticises current anti-doping regimes and challenges our commonly held ideas about the nature of sport and the risks posed by drugs to health and fair play. He argues forcefully that we must understand the precarious position of the athlete and that only by containing coaches, doctors and drug companies within the anti-doping regime can we hope to ever make progress on this most important issue.

Written in a lively and engaging style, and skilfully blending empirical case studies with cutting edge theory, this book represents an important statement on the nature of sport, morality and modernity. It is important reading for all serious students and scholars of the ethics, sociology and politics of sport.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Sep 10, 2009
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Pages
168
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ISBN
9781134013470
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Sports & Recreation / General
Sports & Recreation / Sociology of Sports
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Why are fiberglass vaulting poles and hinged skates accepted in sport - while performance-enhancing drugs are forbidden? Are the rules that forbid them arbitrary? Should we level the playing field by allowing all competitors to use drugs that allow them to run faster or longer, leap higher, or lift more? In this provocative exploration of what draws us to sport as participants and spectators, Thomas Murray argues that the values and meanings embedded within our games provide the guidance we need to make difficult decisions about fairness and performance-enhancing technologies. Good Sport reveals what we really care about in sport and how the reckless use of biomedical enhancements undermines those values. Implicit in sports history, rules, and practices are values that provide a sturdy foundation for an ethics of sport that celebrates natural talents and dedication. You see these values when the Paralympics creates multiple level playing fields among athletes with different kinds of impairments. They appear again in sports struggles to be fair to all when an extraordinary woman athlete emerges who appears to possess a mans hormone profile and muscles. They are threatened when the effort to assure athletes a fair chance to win without doping is subverted by cheating or by corruption, as in the case of Russias state-supported doping operation. Performance-enhancing drugs distort the connection between natural talents, the dedication to perfect those talents, and success in sport. Explaining the fundamental role of values and meanings, Good Sport reveals not just what we champion in the athletic arena but also, more broadly, what we value in human achievement.
In the summer of 1998 two of baseball leading sluggers, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, embarked on a race to break Babe Ruth’s single season home run record. The nation was transfixed as Sosa went on to hit 66 home runs, and McGwire 70. Three years later, San Francisco Giants All-Star Barry Bonds surpassed McGwire by 3 home runs in the midst of what was perhaps the greatest offensive display in baseball history. Over the next three seasons, as Bonds regularly launched mammoth shots into the San Francisco Bay, baseball players across the country were hitting home runs at unprecedented rates. For years there had been rumors that perhaps some of these players owed their success to steroids. But crowd pleasing homers were big business, and sportswriters, fans, and officials alike simply turned a blind eye. Then, in December of 2004, after more than a year of investigation, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story that in a federal investigation of a nutritional supplement company called BALCO, Yankees slugger Jason Giambi had admitted taking steroids. Barry Bonds was also implicated. Immediately the issue of steroids became front page news. The revelations led to Congressional hearings on baseball’s drug problems and continued to drive the effort to purge the U.S. Olympic movement of drug cheats. Now Fainaru-Wada and Williams expose for the first time the secrets of the BALCO investigation that has turned the sports world upside down.

Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroid Scandal That Rocked Professional by award-winning investigative journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, is a riveting narrative about the biggest doping scandal in the history of sports, and how baseball’s home run king, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, came to use steroids. Drawing on more than two years of reporting, including interviews with hundreds of people, and exclusive access to secret grand jury testimony, confidential documents, audio recordings, and more, the authors provide, for the first time, a definitive account of the shocking steroids scandal that made headlines across the country.

The book traces the career of Victor Conte, founder of the BALCO laboratory, an egomaniacal former rock musician and self-proclaimed nutritionist, who set out to corrupt sports by providing athletes with “designer” steroids that would be undetectable on “state-of-the-art” doping tests. Conte gave the undetectable drugs to 28 of the world’s greatest athletes—Olympians, NFL players and baseball stars, Bonds chief among them.

A separate narrative thread details the steroids use of Bonds, an immensely talented, moody player who turned to performance-enhancing drugs after Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals set a new home run record in 1998. Through his personal trainer, Bonds gained access to BALCO drugs. All of the great athletes who visited BALCO benefited tremendously—Bonds broke McGwire’s record—but many had their careers disrupted after federal investigators raided BALCO and indicted Conte. The authors trace the course of the probe, and the baffling decision of federal prosecutors to protect the elite athletes who were involved.

Highlights of Game of Shadows include:

Barry Bonds

A look at how Bonds was driven to use performance-enhancing drugs in part by jealousy over Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 1998 season. It was shortly thereafter that Bonds—who had never used anything more performance enhancing than a protein shake from the health food store—first began using steroids. How Bonds’s weight trainer, steroid dealer Greg Anderson, arranged to meet Victor Conte before the 2001 baseball season with...
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