Doping in Sport : A Defence book cover
1st Edition

Doping in Sport
A Defence

ISBN 9780367528300
Published October 13, 2020 by Routledge
84 Pages

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Book Description

In this provocative and thought-provoking book, Professor of Ethics Thomas Søbirk Petersen explains why the World Anti-Doping Agency’s doping rules are poorly justified and makes a case for a new third way in anti-doping policy that would allow athletes to use substances and methods currently on WADA’s prohibited list.

The book identifies, clarifies and challenges the central arguments that are used in the often highly emotional debates around doping, and argues strongly that open dialogue about doping is essential as it defines the territory in which athletes, physicians, managers, coaches and pharmaceutical companies can operate safely. It is rooted in the theory of ethics and illustrated with real cases, examples and experiences from sport at all levels, from the auto-biographical to some of the most high-profile doping cases in history.

This is an essential addition to the bookshelves of researchers and students of sports studies like sports philosophy, sports law, sports medicine and the sociology of sport, and a fascinating read for anybody interested in the darker side of sport and in its possible futures.

Table of Contents

Warm up: The Tunnel Vision of the Doping Debate


1          Doping and Health                                        


2          Doping and the Spirit of Sport                                  


3          Doping and Role Models                               


4          Doping and Coercion                                    


5          Doping and the Wish for a Doping-free Sport


6          Doping and Fair Competition            


7          Doping and Onwards: A Run-off Heat from the 4th Division

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Thomas Søbirk Petersen is Professor of Ethics at Roskilde University, Department of Communication and Arts, Denmark. Besides having won over 20 Danish tennis championships, he has participated in the French Open as a junior, and is Nordic champion in tennis for +50 veteran teams.



"Thomas Søbirk Petersen is a philosopher renowned for ruffling mainstream thinking by controversial ideas about a broad range of topics. As an untiring challenger of common sense, Petersen has demonstrated that challenging established perceptions can yield interesting insights. His new book Doping in Sport is testament to that."

Verner Møller, Professor in the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark

"There are few topics more loaded with hypocrisy, bullshit (in the sense of saying things with no regard for truth or falsity), implicit and politically correct assumptions never justified, than in the discussion about doping in sport. This book is different. With the author’s analytical rigor and sharp eye at all the contradictory views, it prepares the way for critical and systematic thought about the subject. I congratulate the author for having had the courage to write this timely book. It was a pleasure to read it."

Torbjörn Tännsjö, Professor of Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University, Sweden

"Analysing the most widespread colloquial and scholarly arguments for banning doping, Thomas Søbirk Petersen provides a passionate and thought-provoking defense of the need to include pro-doping voices in the debate on whether the World Anti-Doping Agency should allow performance-enhancing substances and methods."

Francisco Javier Lopez Frias, Assistant Professor, Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University, USA