Drug games: the international politics of doping and the Olympic movement, 1960-2007
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The widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among elite athletes is the most important policy problem in modern Olympic history. Although several works have addressed the subject (a few of which are admittedly excellent), they have been limited either temporally or by a lack of access to archival sources of information. Based on research in both American and foreign archives, this dissertation complements earlier, path-breaking works by tracing the evolution of Olympic doping policy from 1960 to the present. Olympic policymakers first seriously considered the subject of doping after suspicions arose that the death of Danish cyclist Knud Jensen at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games was triggered by the use of amphetamines. For most of the next decade, these officials attempted to define the doping problem and struggled to formulate a program for its solution. An international politics of doping consequently developed, under which the various bodies of the Olympic governance structure failed, due to their divergent interests and jurisdictions, to implement a coordinated plan. Until recently, administrators working at all levels of this organizational system tended to formulate doping policies with the idea of dampening the effects of public controversy. In addition, the influence of the Cold War on the Olympics exacerbated the situation, as national governments on both sides of the Iron Curtain, believing that success in the Olympic medals race was essential to their images abroad, condoned the use of ergogenic aids among elite competitors. It was not until Canadian track star Ben Johnson tested positive for an anabolic steroid after setting a new world record in the one-hundred meter sprint at the 1988 Seoul Games that a different policy direction was initiated. The involvement of national governments after the scandal led eventually to the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in November 1999. The consolidation of regulatory authority in this agency has transformed the issue of doping in the Olympics from a combined political and scientific problem to one based more appropriately on the latter.