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Qvarfordt, A. (2019). Anti-doping – a legitimate effort?: Elite athletes' perspectives on policy and practice. (Doctoral dissertation). Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anti-doping – a legitimate effort?: Elite athletes' perspectives on policy and practice
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The global anti-doping enterprise in sport is a comprehensive system in which the athlete is at the centre of regulation, scrutiny and control. There is limited knowledge about the implications of this extensive control system for athletes and about how athletes perceive the system; little is known about possible consequences of these implications and perceptions for the legitimacy of the system. The overall aim of this thesis is to analyse the legitimacy of global anti-doping policy and practice from the perspectives of international elite athletes.

Four articles are included in this compilation thesis. The first illustrates, based on a discourse analytical approach, how claims for legitimacy of the anti-doping system are produced in policy documents aimed at athletes. The second explores the perceptions and legitimacy of anti-doping policy and practice through a survey aimed at elite athletes in different sports and from different regions of the world. The third article examines, through an interview study, how athletes in different contexts experience the practice of anti-doping and what consequences this may have for the system's legitimacy. The interview study was also the basis for the fourth article, focusing on the athletes' experiences and perceptions of their opportunities for compliance and how this is related to their view of the system's legitimacy. Using the four articles as a basis, the analysis of legitimacy within the anti-doping system is expanded in the thesis through an overarching analytical framework inspired by David Beetham.

The results show that the legitimacy of the policy documents is based on essentially authoritative, but also rational, arguments for justifying the anti-doping enterprise. Elite athletes are generally in favour of anti-doping policy and the principle that doping should be prohibited. However, when the rules are implemented into practice, problems to do with lack of procedural justice arise which may have an impact on the system's legitimacy. Procedures in the system are perceived as having a negative effect on sportspersons' private life, and as ineffective and unequally implemented across the world; also, athletes have little influence over decision-making processes. Anti-doping practice is moreover perceived to cause structural inequalities due to inequality in access to technology, education and knowledge as well as supportive systems. Most athletes wish to comply with the rules, but many struggle with lack of control and have limited scope for taking responsibility regarding compliance with the doping rules. Even when athletes are dutiful and perform acts that confer legitimacy to the rules and the authorities, some experiences and perceptions could endanger the legitimacy of antidoping, as seen in the overall legitimacy analysis of the thesis. Athletes' perceptions of inequality, ineffectiveness and lack of leeway can be interpreted as a lack of rule conformity to the anti-doping authority. There also appears to be a lack of shared normative beliefs between sportspersons and the anti-doping authorities, as many athletes feel that their opinions are not taken into account. Decision-making processes that do not pay attention to the perceptions of those involved can result in a discrepancy between the rules and the norms.

The international anti-doping system is a major international enterprise with comprehensive rules that need to be applied equally around the world, and that also need to be legitimated in different countries where athletes have different conditions to comply with the regulations. In this thesis, I have shown that these different conditions have consequences for the ability to comply with the rules and also for the application of the regulations. The far-reaching rules mean that procedures within the system are experienced as causing a number of negative consequences. I have shown that this poses a risk to the legitimacy of the system if these problems are not addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, 2019. p. 93
Keywords
Anti-doping, Doping in sports, Legitimacy, Elite athletes, Compliance, WADA
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29152 (URN)978-91-983151-6-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-02-08, Krusenstiernasalen, Högskolan i Gävle, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-01-22 Created: 2019-01-22 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A. & Bäckström, Å. (2017). Different socities, different conditions: Lessons from anti-doping in elite-sport on a global level. In: Doping in sport, doping in society - Lessons, themes and connections: Book of abstracts. Paper presented at International Network for Doping Research (INDR), 24th and 25th of August, 2017, Aarhus, Denmark (pp. 7-8). Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Different socities, different conditions: Lessons from anti-doping in elite-sport on a global level
2017 (English)In: Doping in sport, doping in society - Lessons, themes and connections: Book of abstracts, Aarhus University, Department of Public Health , 2017, p. 7-8Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Justice and fairness in sport is fundamental for its legitimate existence. On a global level, the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the regulatory framework World Anti-Doping Code was formed largely as a consequence of the need for a coordination of the work against performance enhancing drugs in sports. Today, the anti-doping system often means application of rules and "best practice" developed in the cultural West for the cultural rest. Research on anti-doping policy or practice not only tends to be based on deductive models, these models may also assumingly be culturally biased. Moreover, we have relatively little knowledge of the practical conditions for individual athletes concerning implementation of the rules in different contexts around the world. This presentation, however, adds to the existing research with new empirical findings from interview data on diverging conditions for elite athletes in different social, cultural and geographical contexts. Through exploring how 13 elite athletes from five continents and three different sports federations perceived the anti-doping programme, we were able to show that global anti-doping policy was implemented in different contexts under different conditions. These differences included infrastructure, knowledge and support. How participation in anti-doping procedures on an everyday basis is endorsed may thus vary around the world. By examining our interview data on the athletes’ perceptions and experiences in relation to theories of procedural justice, we were able to analyse the legitimacy of anti-doping in practice. These findings suggest that inequities and structural injustice emerge on an individual level because of the varying contexts and conditions. In turn, the consequences may have implications for the legitimacy of the anti-doping work. In order to understand implementation processes of regulations, we propose that anti-doping policy-making pay attention to differences that may exist on an individual and practical level. Perspectives that underpin regulations applied globally should in other words be sensitive to varying contexts and conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health, 2017
Keywords
anti-doping, elite sport
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25876 (URN)
Conference
International Network for Doping Research (INDR), 24th and 25th of August, 2017, Aarhus, Denmark
Projects
Anti-doping from the elite athlete's perspective
Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A., Ahmadi, N., Hoff, D. & Bäckström, Å. (2016). Anti-doping and legitimacy: an international survey of elite athletes’ perceptions. International Journal of Sport Policy, 8(3), 491-514
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anti-doping and legitimacy: an international survey of elite athletes’ perceptions
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Sport Policy, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 491-514Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anti-doping work is a comprehensive enterprise that entails control and governance of elite athletes’ everyday lives. However, in policy-making regarding doping and anti-doping in elite sports, the athletes’ perspective has not been considered adequately. Focusing on elite athletes’ perceptions of anti-doping as both principle and praxis, the study aimed to analyse how these perceptions can be understood from a legitimacy perspective. A survey study involving 261 elite athletes from 51 different countries and four international sports federations was conducted. The results showed that the athletes did not question the legitimacy of the rules, but had concerns about the legitimacy of the way the rules and principles are enforced in practice, specifically with regard to matters of privacy, lack of efficiency and equal conditions as well as athletes’ involvement in the anti-doping work. The article describes how athletes’ perceptions of the legitimacy of anti-doping work constitute the basis for their willingness to follow regulations as well as a precondition for the work’s functionality and stability. In light of this finding, the article calls for the empowerment of athletes in anti-doping work.

Keywords
anti-doping policy, anti-doping practice, doping in sports, performance-enhancing drugs, legitimacy
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21529 (URN)10.1080/19406940.2016.1170716 (DOI)000390991800009 ()2-s2.0-84969235547 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-05-30 Created: 2016-05-30 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A., Bäckström, Å., Ahmadi, N. & Hoff, D. (2016). Contexts and conditions for a level playing field: Elite athletes’ perspectives on anti-doping in practice. Performance Enhancement & Health, 5(2), 77-85
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contexts and conditions for a level playing field: Elite athletes’ perspectives on anti-doping in practice
2016 (English)In: Performance Enhancement & Health, ISSN 2211-2669, E-ISSN 2211-2669, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 77-85Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The implementation of global anti-doping regulations was intended to provide a level playing field for all athletes entering sports competitions. However, studies have shown that the worldwide harmonization of rules has not been entirely efficacious. For instance, great variation has been found in how anti-doping organizations implement anti-doping regulations, and it has also been shown that athletes distrust the equivalence of the worldwide rules as regards their effects. The purpose of the present article is to examine how elite athletes from different contexts experience anti-doping procedures and to analyse the legitimacy of anti-doping practice. In order to capture a variety of voices and perspectives, 13 elite athletes from five different continents and three international sports federations were interviewed. The analysis shows that when global anti-doping policy is implemented in different contexts and under different conditions, inequities and structural injustices emerge concerning infrastructure, knowledge and support at the individual athlete level. These consequences may have implications for the legitimacy of anti-doping work, because the existence of procedural justice may be called into question. We therefore suggest that anti-doping policy-making should be based on taking into account these different conditions and being aware of the perspectives that underpin regulations intended to be applied global.

Keywords
Legitimacy, Anti-doping, Harmonization, Doping in sports, Sports policy
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22489 (URN)10.1016/j.peh.2016.08.001 (DOI)2-s2.0-84994234525 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A. (2016). Två aktuella böcker problematiserar den moraliska kampen mot dopning inom idrotten: Recension av böckerna The War on Drugs in Sport av Vanessa McDermott och Testing for Athlete Citizenship av Kathryn E. Henne [Review]. Idrottsforum.org/Nordic sport science forum (16 mars)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Två aktuella böcker problematiserar den moraliska kampen mot dopning inom idrotten: Recension av böckerna The War on Drugs in Sport av Vanessa McDermott och Testing for Athlete Citizenship av Kathryn E. Henne
2016 (Swedish)In: Idrottsforum.org/Nordic sport science forum, ISSN 1652-7224, no 16 marsArticle, book review (Other academic) Published
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21365 (URN)
Available from: 2016-03-30 Created: 2016-03-30 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A., Ahmadi, N., Bäckström, Å. & Hoff, D. (2014). Anti-doping and legitimacy: An international survey of elite athletes’ perceptions. In: : . Paper presented at International Network of Humanistic Doping Research, INHDR, 27-28 August 2015, Aarhus, Denmark (pp. 115). Elsevier, 3
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anti-doping and legitimacy: An international survey of elite athletes’ perceptions
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Although there are a number of studies on policy making concerning doping and anti-doping in elite sports, the athletes’ perspective has largely been neglected. The present study contributes to bridging this gap. Since forming and developing the anti-doping policy utterly depends on how legitimate the practitioners believe this policy to be, the specific aim for this paper is to study how elite athletes at the broad international arena perceive the legitimacy of anti-doping policy and practices. An on-line questionnaire, designed to capture elite athletes’ perceptions, was answered by 261 respondents from 51 different countries and four international sports federations. Respondents were elite athletes belonging to the International Registered Testing Pool of each federation. The respondents were generally supportive towards anti-doping policy. Over 80% agreed that different anti-doping activities, from doping controls and the whereabouts system to storing of test samples and biological passports, are essential parts of the work against doping in sports. Support for anti-doping policy is also shown when 80% of the athletes agreed that anti-doping work should develop in a way that there is the same level of, or more, anti-doping activities compared to the current. The principle of anti-doping is, in this study, shown to be legitimate. However, at the level of practices, four areas were perceived as challenging. Regarding practical procedures, 34% experienced difficulties filing whereabouts information and 73% felt worried that they won’t be available for testing at the right place and right time in correlation to the whereabouts information they had provided. Concerning the athletes’ personal life and privacy, 50% of female athletes and 30% of males stated that they feel somewhat or very uncomfortable regarding their privacy when providing a urine sample. Furthermore, in regard to the whereabouts system, 47% of the respondents stated that they feel monitored. The efficacy and equality of anti-doping work is put under question by 58% who believed that users of forbidden substances/methods escape detection and 44% who did not believe that the whereabouts system is working properly in all countries. 70% of the respondents did not believe that all athletes applying for a therapeutic use exemption are treated in the same way. Regarding the athletes influence and participation in the policy work, 85% believe that athletes should be more involved. These four areas can be seen as unintended consequences of the work and reveal a weak point for the legitimacy of anti-doping when the athletes not fully perceive procedural justice. In conclusion, legitimacy for anti-doping policy in general is strong while a questioning of the legitimacy in the execution of the rules is discerned. If anti-doping authorities wish to maintain and increase the legitimacy of the anti-doping efforts, a thorough understanding for and consideration of the athletes’ perceptions is beneficial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Series
Performance Enhancement & Health, ISSN 2211-2669 ; 3:2
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22490 (URN)10.1016/j.peh.2015.06.028 (DOI)
Conference
International Network of Humanistic Doping Research, INHDR, 27-28 August 2015, Aarhus, Denmark
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Efverström, A. (2011). Synen på kunskap inom idrott och hälsa: Ett utbildningssociologiskt perspektiv. In: : . Paper presented at SVEBI 2011. Svensk Förening för Beteende- och Samhällsvetenskaplig Idrottsforskning, 16-17 november 2011, Karlstad.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synen på kunskap inom idrott och hälsa: Ett utbildningssociologiskt perspektiv
2011 (Swedish)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-15190 (URN)
Conference
SVEBI 2011. Svensk Förening för Beteende- och Samhällsvetenskaplig Idrottsforskning, 16-17 november 2011, Karlstad
Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Qvarfordt, A., Hoff, D., Bäckström, Å. & Ahmadi, N.From fighting the bad to protecting the good: legitimation discourses in WADA’s athlete guides.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From fighting the bad to protecting the good: legitimation discourses in WADA’s athlete guides
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29160 (URN)
Note

At the time of Anna Qvarfordt's dissertation this was a manuscript.

Available from: 2019-01-08 Created: 2019-01-23 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
Qvarfordt, A., Ahmadi, N., Bäckström, Å. & Hoff, D.Obligations and opportunities: elite athletes, anti-doping and compliance.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Obligations and opportunities: elite athletes, anti-doping and compliance
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29161 (URN)
Note

At the time of Anna Qvarfordt's disseration this was a manuscript.

Available from: 2019-01-08 Created: 2019-01-23 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8942-3058

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