The events in the Tour de France 1998 proved to be a watershed moment in the history of anti-doping. The scale of drug use and complicity of team managers and doctors reinforced the view that sports and countries could not be left to control doping. However, the media took a passive approach to doping stories until the 2010's when the cultural landscape of anti-doping had significantly changed as media organisations and individual journalists pursued doping stories through investigative methods - case studies include Lance Armstrong/US Postal, Kenyan athletes, and Russian state sponsored doping.
In this seminar, Dr Paul Dimeo, Fulbright alumnus and Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling, will review how enhanced involvement of the media has coincided with formal policy empowerment (through the World Anti-Doping Agency) to help shape the anti-doping environment in new ways. The recent spotlight shone on Bradley Wiggins asthma-related medicines is the outcome of a longer term inter-relationship of media and policy that has radically increased public awareness. The discussion will assess the consequences for sport, including suspicion of successful sports men and women, public trust in anti-doping agencies and pressure for athletes to publicly explain specific situations.
This lecture is part of the Fulbright Frontiers series, which aims to share the diverse research of Fulbright Programme alumni with the public throughout the UK.Thanks to the School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde for hosting us in Glasgow.
Dr Paul DImeo is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling. He has been researching historical, social and policy aspects of doping and anti-doping since the mid-2000s. He won a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2012 to work with researchers at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center, University of Texas, Austin. He is currently working on a book provisionally entitled ‘The Crisis of Anti-Doping’ (Routledge).