1st Edition

Rethinking Drug Use in Sport Why the war will never be won

By Bob Stewart, Aaron C.T. Smith Copyright 2014
    288 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Drug free sport is an unattainable aspiration. In this critical, paradigm-shifting reappraisal of contemporary drug policy in sport, Bob Stewart and Aaron Smith argue that drug use in sport is an inexorable consequence of the nature, structure and culture of sport itself. By de-mythologising and de-moralising the assumptions that prop up current drug management controls, and re-emphasising the importance of the long-term well-being and civil rights of the athlete, they offer a powerful argument for creating a legitimate space for drug use in sport.

    The book offers a broad ranging overview of the social and commercial pressures impelling drug use, and maps the full historical and social extent of the problem. With policy analysis at the centre of the discussion, the book explores the complete range of social, management, policy, scientific, technological and health issues around drugs in sport, highlighting the irresolvable tension between the zero-tolerance model as advanced by WADA and the harm-reduction approach adopted by drug education and treatment agencies. While there are no simple solutions, as long as drugs use is endemic in wider society the authors argue that a more nuanced and progressive approach is required in order to safeguard and protect the health, social liberty and best interests of athletes and sports people, as well as the value of sport itself.

    1. Revisiting the Drugs in Sport Debate 2. Setting the Scene 1: Drug Use in Contemporary Society 3. Setting the Scene 2: Critical Drug Use Incidents and Cases in Sport 4. Setting the Scene 3: Scale and Scope of Drug Use in Sport 5. Setting the Scene 4: Player and Athlete Attitudes to Drug Use in Sport 6. Framing the Debate 1: Neo-liberalism and the Cult of Individualism 7. Framing the Debate 2: Social Ecology and the Primacy of Context 8. Framing the Debate 3: Capital Accumulation through Bodily Enhancement 9. Framing the Debate 4: Life-Course Analysis as a Tool for Identifying Gateways to Success 10. The WADA Revolution 1: How it Happened and What it Does 11. The WADA Revolution 2: Sport League Responses 12. The WADA Revolution 3: A Critical Appraisal 13. Re-thinking Drug Control in Sport 1: Why Regulation? 14. Re-thinking Drug Control in Sport 2: Bringing it All Together 15. Rethinking Drug Control in Sport 3: The Case for a New Deal


    Bob Stewart is Associate Professor of Sport Studies at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Bob has been teaching and researching the field of sport management and sport policy for fifteen years, and is currently working with the University’s College of Sport and Exercise Science, and Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living. Bob has a special interest in cartel structures, social control, and player regulation in elite-sports, and the ways in which neoliberal ideologies shape sport’s governance and management practices.

    Aaron Smith is Professor and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Industry Engagement) in the College of Business at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Aaron has research interests in the management of psychological, organisational and policy change in business, and sport and health. In recent times he has focused on the impact of commercial and global forces sport policy, the ways in which internal cultures shape organisational conduct, the role of social forces in managing change, and the management of social policy change such as those associated with health and drug use.