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Stephen Moston, Brendan Hutchinson and Terry Engelberg

One of the implicit justifications for antidoping is that athletes are so committed to winning that they will take performance-enhancing substances regardless of the apparent consequences. Athletes are alleged to be, quite literally, willing to die to win. Support for this claim usually centers on the results of research by physician Bob Goldman, in which athletes were asked to respond to a hypothetical dilemma in which they were offered spectacular success in their chosen sport, but at a heavy price: they would die after five years of glory. In this paper, we examine the origins of this bargain, now popularly referred to as the Goldman dilemma, finding that both the methodology and implications of the original work have repeatedly been described inaccurately in both popular and scientific writings. These errors reflect both poor scholarship and deliberate misuse, where the flawed narrative is used to justify contentious policy decisions.

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Kenon A. Brown, Simon Ličen, Andrew C. Billings and Michael B. Devlin

Given Slovenia’s independence in 1991, examining the potential impact of Olympic media consumption on this young nation offers a unique opportunity for scholarly investigation. Prior examinations of Olympic telecasts in Slovenia have uncovered core elements of nationalized pride and focus (Ličen & Billings, 2013a), yet have not fully explored the potential effect of the mass viewership found within the Olympics. This study explores how social cognitive and social identification theories interact to influence consumption behaviors relating to international competition—in this case, the Olympics. For this study, 175 respondents were surveyed to examine the relationship among personal determinants defined by one’s national identity, Olympic fan involvement, and behaviors related to Olympic media consumption. Findings revealed that basic identification with Slovenia as a nation, and a need to defend Slovenia when faced with discouraging opinions, influenced one’s fan involvement with the Olympics, which in turn influenced digital and televisual media consumption.

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Benjamin J. Downs and Adam Love

This study investigated the desegregation of Mississippi State University varsity football, focusing on newspaper coverage of the first Black players at the university, Robert Bell and Frank Dowsing. Two hundred and three articles about Bell and Dowsing from three newspapers (Starkville Daily News, Mississippi State Reflector, and Jackson Clarion-Ledger) were examined using a three-tiered qualitative analysis. Data analysis resulted in 426 frame instances and 686 theme instances, or a total of 1,112 codes. The resulting data were interpreted using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an analytical lens to generate understanding of the desegregation of the football program. The CRT-guided interpretation challenges popular narratives about the amicable nature of desegregation at the university, indicating that the football team and the careers of Bell and Dowsing were covered in a way that promoted colorblindness and supported the Whitecentric interests of the university’s and community’s dominant power structure.

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R. Glenn Cummins and Collin K. Berke

Although a variety of tools are employed to package sport for at-home consumption, instant replay is among the most ubiquitous. Excitation transfer theory has been a useful lens for explaining how emotion compounds during sport consumption, but research has failed to explore how instant replay can serve to facilitate the transfer of arousal between sequential events in televised sport. This experiment invokes excitation transfer to examine how both the nature of content and instant replay can facilitate sustained arousal and enhanced evaluations of events in the context of college football. Results suggest the superiority of game content to facilitate excitation transfer, both in terms of objective measures of emotion and self-reported enjoyment. The production feature examined here, instant replay, yielded mixed results. Although it failed to consistently impact objective physiological measures of emotion, it did elicit enhanced enjoyment when the content being represented was intrinsically exciting.

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David T. Rolfe

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Tang Tang and Roger Cooper

Mega events, such as the Olympics, provide a unique context and valuable opportunity to study changing media use patterns in today’s convergent environment. This study examined how and why audiences watched the 2016 Rio Olympics across media, and found that while TV was still the dominant platform for mega-event viewing, audiences tended to seek alternative content and niche sports on computers, and primarily used mobile devices to get a second-screen experience during the Rio Games. In addition, findings suggest that multiscreen Olympics viewing was not exclusively determined by individual characteristics and psychological needs. Structures, media use routine, and social contexts played a big (though maybe less obvious) role in driving screen choice.

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Robyn Lubisco

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Liam J.A. Lenten, Aaron C.T. Smith and Ralph-Christopher Bayer

This article introduces and then examines a novel antidoping policy mechanism, based upon a conditional superannuation fund for professional athletes. It begins by presenting a theoretical case in favor of the scheme relative to the background of current policy. Consideration is given to the utility and benefits of a conditional superannuation mechanism to augment existing antidoping policy structures. The case is developed using results from a pilot experimental economics study testing the policy proposal, which suggests that the conditional superannuation mechanism has the potential to outperform existing measures, such as fines and bans. This article offers a policy variation that could supplement the existing arrangements as a contiguous mechanism. While no single policy intervention seems plausible in fully eliminating sport doping, a combination of incentive and punitive mechanisms may yield a superior policy mix to help attenuate doping’s prevalence in elite sport. The evidence presented here within the antidoping policy context may also recommend the utility of conditional superannuation as a mechanism to address other enduring challenges in sport, such as violence, gambling, and behavioral transgressions.