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From fighting the bad to protecting the good: Legitimation strategies in WADA’s athlete guides
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning. University of Gävle, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8942-3058
Lund University, Sweden.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1230-3415
University of Gävle, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Performance Enhancement & Health, E-ISSN 2211-2669Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The global anti-doping effort in sport is based upon perceptions of the system as desirable, proper and appropriate and thus considered legitimate. The legitimacy of the anti-doping system has earlier been studied bottom-up, based on the views of athletes. In order to gain greater understanding of legitimation processes, it is also important to study legitimation strategies top-down, used by decision-making and governing bodies. The aim of this study was to use Fairclough’s critical discourse analytical approach to analyse the social construction of legitimacy in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s three editions of a guide to anti-doping rules aimed at athletes. The analysis was performed based on van Leeuwen’s four specific legitimation strategies: authorization, rationalization, moral evaluation and mythopoesis. Our analysis shows that the legitimation of the anti-doping discourse as constructed in the athlete guides that has accompanied anti-doping regulations for more than a decade is characterized by continuity as regards an authoritarian attitude, but also by change towards a more rational and athlete-centred stance. A shift can be seen in the construction of legitimacy in the anti-doping discourse from “fighting the bad” to “protecting the good”. We discuss the moral evaluation strategy as a way to construct legitimacy for anti-doping efforts and sport in general towards a wider public. In the light of the results of this study, we conclude that policymaking in relation to doping issues should take into account the dimension of the discursive top-down legitimation, which could affect how the policy is received at the level of the athletes and provide conditions for a sustainable anti-doping system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Doping in sports, Anti-doping, Legitimacy, Legitimation strategies
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5902DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2019.100147OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5902DiVA, id: diva2:1368161
Note

This article was part of Anna Qvarfordt's dissertation as a manuscript.

Available from: 2019-11-06 Created: 2019-11-06 Last updated: 2019-11-06

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Qvarfordt, AnnaBäckström, Åsa

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