athletics, with spectacular results before determined to be a category of cheat-
ing. Blood doping, which improves endurance and is increasingly prevalent,
has caused controversies in cycling, swimming, athletics, and other sports. In
cycling, several varieties of doping have become endemic as competitors in
a substance-saturated field recognise that, given already widespread abuse,
they cannot compete successfully without it. This is the very definition of a
doping-induced integrity threat: everyone is using, and every winner seems
dishonest. Why should anyone watch or care?
Performance enhancement is a contemporary threat that is difficult to bar
because of the sophisticated technology involved. Some drugs are extremely
hard to detect, either as a matter of chemistry or of the loopholes in testing
procedures. New drugs, masking agents, and techniques to subvert testing
are constantly in development, and the equivalent of an international “arms
race” is under way, pitting ever more ingenious malefactors against integrity
watchdogs scrambling for new detection technologies.
In 1999, mounting concern led to the formation of the World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against the use
of performance-enhancing drugs and procedures in sport. Initially supported
by the International Olympic Committee, WADA now draws on financial con-
tributions from governments and concerned individuals and organisations.
WADA coordinates with more than 40 international sporting federations and
testing labs in more than 30 countries.
According to recent WADA statistics, in 2009, cycling, basketball, football,
athletics, and weightlifting experienced the highest number of “adverse ana-
lytical findings” among all sports in which athletes were routinely tested. On
a percentage basis, sports reporting the greatest incidence of adverse findings
by total number of samples per sport were equestrian, boxing, weightlifting,
basketball, cycling, and archery. The intersection of these two indices includes
weightlifting, basketball, and cycling.
Among Olympic sports, major cases of
doping in athletics have earned notoriety for erstwhile Olympic champions
Ben Johnson and Marion Jones, both of whom subsequently forfeited their
medals after discovery of their drug use.
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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