chapter  3
28 Pages

The structural ambivalence of sports medicine

WithChristophe Brissonneau, Montez de Oca Jeffrey

In Chapter 3, we go on to show that by the 2000s the inherent contradiction between the medical ethic to heal and the sporting ethic to win created structural ambiguities in the field of sports medicine. First, given the recognised harms of elite sport, sports physicians differentiate elite sport from healthful physical activity. Second, some moral entrepreneurs admit that scientific knowledge does not support the claim that doping is unhealthy. Third, physicians that specialise in drug addiction argue that anti-doping policy for the past 40 years has been ineffective and therefore they propose risk-reduction policies. What we see from this point forward is a range of different medical positions on pharmacology. These positions range from primarily a moral concern to primarily a health concern that depends upon a doctor’s medical specialisation and how intimately they work with sportspeople. The ultimate goal of this chapter is to map out the various medical positions on doping that different doctors hold.