Drawing on rich empirical material from elite French sport, this book offers a detailed history of how the concept of doping evolved from the twentieth to the twenty-first century. The first study to span the period from 1950 to 2010, it sheds new light on the extraordinary world of elite sport in France – a world governed by its own moral standards and defined by extreme expectations of physical performance and highly medicalised training regimes.
Including exclusive insights from athletes and their doctors, it explains how the use of drugs became an integral part of training in elite French sport. Considering the complex and paradoxical moral arguments that frame this phenomenon, it explores the decades-long social and political process that resulted in the normalisation of this doping culture. Drawing on examples from cycling, athletics, weightlifting, wrestling and bodybuilding, this book compares doping practices in these sports and questions the effectiveness of anti-doping policies.
This is fascinating reading for all those interested in the use of drugs in sports, the ethics and philosophy of sport, or sports history.
Christophe Brissonneau is a researcher in the sociology department of the University of Paris Descartes, France. He holds a PhD in sport sciences from the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His research interests include sociological theory, socialisation, deviance, health, and ethics. His recent work has focused on elite sport, its medicalisation, and different types of doping careers in France from 1950 to 2000. He has also served as director of expertise on doping issues for the European Parliament and the European Commission. He has been interviewed in the national and international media, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, La 5, Itélé, and Europe 1. He also has contributed chapters to ten different edited volumes in French, English, and German
Jeffrey Montez de Oca is an Associate Professor in the sociology department at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, USA. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Southern California. His past research focused on college football, media, and popular culture during the early Cold War, studied through the lens of citizenship and political economy. His current research primarily focuses on the National Football League’s marketing strategies. His monograph Discipline and Indulgence: College Football, Media, and the American Way of Life During the Cold War won the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Outstanding Book Award. His peer-reviewed research has also been published in numerous journals including Signs, American Studies, Sociology of Sport Journal, Popular Communication, American Behavioral Scientist, and the Journal of Historical Sociology
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