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  • 1.
    Efverström, Anna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, Stockholm.
    Bäckström, Åsa
    The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Ahmadi, Nader
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work.
    Hoff, David
    School of Social Work, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Contexts and conditions for a level playing field: Elite athletes’ perspectives on anti-doping in practice2016In: Performance Enhancement & Health, ISSN 2211-2669, E-ISSN 2211-2669, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 77-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Qvarfordt, Anna
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Public Health and Sport Science, Sports Science. Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.
    Hoff, David
    Lunds universitet.
    Bäckström, Åsa
    Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Institutionen för idrotts- och hälsovetenskap.
    Ahmadi, Nader
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Criminology, Social Work.
    From fighting the bad to protecting the good: legitimation discourses in WADA’s athlete guides2019In: Performance Enhancement & Health, E-ISSN 2211-2669Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The global anti-doping effort in sport is based upon perceptions of the system as desirable, proper and appropriate and thus considered legitimate. The legitimacy of the anti-doping system has earlier been studied bottom-up, based on the views of athletes. In order to gain greater understanding of legitimation processes, it is also important to study legitimation strategies top-down, used by decision-making and governing bodies. The aim of this study was to use Fairclough's critical discourse analytical approach to analyse the social construction of legitimacy in the World Anti-Doping Agency's three editions of a guide to anti-doping rules aimed at athletes. The analysis was performed based on van Leeuwen's four specific legitimation strategies: authorization, rationalization, moral evaluation and mythopoesis. Our analysis shows that the legitimation of the anti-doping discourse as constructed in the athlete guides that has accompanied anti-doping regulations for more than a decade is characterized by continuity as regards an authoritarian attitude, but also by change towards a more rational and athlete-centred stance. A shift can be seen in the construction of legitimacy in the anti-doping discourse from “fighting the bad” to “protecting the good”. We discuss the moral evaluation strategy as a way to construct legitimacy for anti-doping efforts and sport in general towards a wider public. In the light of the results of this study, we conclude that policymaking in relation to doping issues should take into account the dimension of the discursive top-down legitimation, which could affect how the policy is received at the level of the athletes and provide conditions for a sustainable anti-doping system. 

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