Ideology, Doping and the Spirit of Sport

Ideology, Doping and the Spirit of Sport / Vincent Geeraets. - (Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 12 (2018) 3 (26 July); p. 255-271)

  • DOI: 10.1080/17511321.2017.1351483


The current World Anti-doping Code can be characterised as a tough approach to doping. In this paper we investigate how the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) justifies this tough approach. To this end, WADA advances two justificatory arguments. It maintains, first, that protection of the spirit of sport warrants tough measures and, second, that athletes have voluntarily consented to the Code. We argue that in the way they are presented by WADA, neither of these arguments can withstand scrutiny. In the second part of the paper, we go on to show that these arguments are in fact ideological in nature. The specific aim of these arguments is not to be correct, but rather to distort social reality, because in this way they can be used to ward off any critical discussion of the Code. We conclude that WADA’s interest is to create a façade of justice, not in serving justice itself.

Original document


26 July 2018
Geeraert, Arnout
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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
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21 September 2021
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29 November 2021
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