chapter  Chapter 12
21 Pages

The ‘dark side’ of the Olympics

ByJohn Horne, Garry Whannel

This chapter considers recent developments affecting the organization of the Olympics and other mega-events. The Olympic movement is hugely successful in that it has evolved a global mega-event that grips the imagination and signifies human aspirations – faster, higher, stronger. The Olympic ‘product’ remains, judging by the large sums paid by television corporations and sponsoring corporations to obtain the rights, a highly valuable one. The Olympics maintains its environmental credentials are good, yet every Games is also accompanied by stories of displaced people, demolished housing, and environmental damage. Doping is currently seen as a form of competition corruption in sport. The Olympic system came late to ethical regulation, with an Ethics Commission only being set up in 1999. The International Olympic Committee is not slow to trumpet its anti-drug programmes, proclaiming that the 2012 Games had the most comprehensive testing programme of any Olympic Games in history.