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How is amateurism and anti doping connected in sports?

How is amateurism and anti doping connected in sports?


The historical context of financial rewards and amateur sports has parallels in anti-doping in sports. The original ideal of amateur sport was characterised by participation for the love of the sport, and to address the issue of "lacked of drive and passion" and "living in greyness" of society's youths11, and not for extrinsic rewards. While intrinsic motivations are still relevant, once the permission for monetary rewards for athletes and the necessary consequences of an exaggerated importance of winning occurred, a greater risk of athletes using performance enhancing drugs to win was also created18. And although the issue of financial gains are now resolved, the ideals (and pitfalls) of amateurism in sport persist in the current anti-doping concept of the Spirit of Sport. And much like the historical events of finances in amateurism, the hypocrisy of official rhetoric versus pragmatic realities persists. For example, at the IOC meeting in 2005, baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 London Olympics apparently because the drug-testing provisions of major league baseball's collective bargaining agreement were more lenient than WADA's rules19. In contrast, road cycling remained in the Olympic programme despite apparent widespread, enduring abuse of anti-doping rules by both the athletes and officials of the sport's governing body — Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) — alike.20 21 In another example, an international cycling competition for 2013 was cancelled with the reason given by organisers that the decision to cancel the event was because the financial costs involved in complying with the UCI rules regarding drug testing would be too onerous.22

If financial costs involved in reinforcing anti-doping rules in sports increases ⎯ as a result of WADA rules become stricter ⎯ a possible future scenario would be that eventually only "wealthy" sports and organisers are able to conduct competitions. This situation whereby only financially secured organisers are able to organise "anti-doping compliant" competitions harks back to the days when only rich aristocrats were able to compete in "amateur" competitions.


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