Sport’s Doping Game: Surveillance in the Biotech Age

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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Bryan SluggettUniversity of Alberta

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While a considerable amount of work has centered on the doping problem within sport scholarship, little extended attention has been given to drug testing as a surveillance system in itself. The paper draws from Haggerty and Ericson’s (2000) surveillant assemblage model to highlight the increasing convergence of once discrete surveillance systems now evident in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) recent policy changes. It outlines the unique contribution that Deleuzian assemblage theory offers doping and sport scholarship. Assemblage theory opens up a line of research to study how surveillance is produced through the continuous monitoring of information across multiple interacting control systems. The article draws from WADA policy documents to suggest that the changing dynamics of transparency within sport increasingly place all athletes under more intense and nuanced scrutiny for any signs of suspicious activity.

Sluggett is with the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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