The spirit of sport: the case for criminalisation of doping in the UK

Sumner, Claire (2017). The spirit of sport: the case for criminalisation of doping in the UK. The International Sports Law Journal, 16(3-4) pp. 217–227.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40318-016-0103-2

Abstract

This article examines public perceptions of doping in sport, critically evaluates the effectiveness of current anti-doping sanctions and proposes the criminalisation of doping in sport in the UK as part of a growing global movement towards such criminalisation at national level. Criminalising doping is advanced on two main grounds: as a stigmatic deterrent and as a form of retributive punishment enforced through the criminal justice system. The ‘spirit of sport’ defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as being based on the values of ethics, health and fair-play is identified as being undermined by the ineffectiveness of existing anti-doping policy in the current climate of doping revelations, and is assessed as relevant to public perceptions and the future of sport as a whole. The harm-reductionist approach permitting the use of certain performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is considered as an alternative to anti-doping, taking into account athlete psychology, the problems encountered in containing doping in sport through anti-doping measures and the effect of these difficulties on the ‘spirit of sport’. This approach is dismissed in favour of criminalising doping in sport based on the offence of fraud. It will be argued that the criminalisation of doping could act as a greater deterrent than existing sanctions imposed by International Federations, and, when used in conjunction with those sanctions, will raise the overall ‘price’ of doping. The revelations of corruption within the existing system of self-governance within sport have contributed to a disbelieving public and it will be argued that the criminalisation of doping in sport could assist in satisfying the public that justice is being done and in turn achieve greater belief in the truth of athletic performances.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 53969
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1567-7559
  • Keywords
  • Spirit of sport; Doping; Criminalisation
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Other Departments > Other Departments
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2016 The Author(s)
  • Depositing User
  • ORO Import

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