Commercialization in Professional Cycling

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The rediscovery in the past three years of the widespread and highly organized use of performance-enhancing drugs—known as “doping”—in professional cycling has thrown the sport into a period of turmoil. Through a critical historical analysis, the article argues that profound institutional changes introduced into professional cycling by the sport’s governing body both facilitated and reflected the increasing commercial penetration of the sport. These institutional transformations put new pressures on team managers and racers, leading to significant changes in team organizations and rider preparation, in part fostering a new social organization of doping practices.

The author is with the Department of Sociology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

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