The origins of the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission and its technocratic regime : an historiographic investigation of anti-doping regulation and enforcement in international sport

Henne, Kathryn E.

(Final report submitted to the IOC Olympic Studies Centre in the framework of the Postgraduate Research Grant Programme 2009)

The research subject of this study is the development of anti-doping regulations - that is, the norms, institutions, and practices governing methods of perfomance enhancement in sport. In particular, it focuses on the origins of this regulatory regime under the jurisdiction of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission. Through archival research, this project engages the... Plus

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    Summary
    The research subject of this study is the development of anti-doping regulations - that is, the norms, institutions, and practices governing methods of perfomance enhancement in sport. In particular, it focuses on the origins of this regulatory regime under the jurisdiction of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission. Through archival research, this project engages the following historiographic question: What were the norms, institutions, and circumstances that led to the establishment of anti-doping regulations ? What were the early rules regulating performance enhancement in sport ? Currently, doping encompasses any performance enhancing methods considered to be unethical or that undermine a level playing field in sport (WADA, 2008). Since 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has sought "to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms" (WADA, p. 1). Prior to 1999, however, anti-doping codes and testing were determined by the IOC Medical Commission, which conducted the first drug testing at the Olympic level in 1968 (Wrynn, 2004). This archival research focused on the early administrative discourses surrounding doping and how various actors in sport viewed the problem of doping and its possible solutions. Further, as previous research indicates that Olympic anti-doping policies and practices have been a topic of debate from some of the earliest days of their implementation (Dimeo, 2007, Wrynn), this project sought to understand the nature of these conflicts, the actors involved, and their impact on administrative procedures implemented during the Olympic Games. The objectives of this research were thus to provide an in-depth analysis of the history of anti-doping efforts, particularly its Olympic origins. Specifically, research tracked the sociohistoric circumstances surrounding early anti-doping movements in sport. A second objective was to glean insight into the notion of the "athlete-citizen," a central figure in the Olympic Movement, and the extent to which, by virtue of the IOC's influence on anti-doping regulation, it affected both regulatory discourses and the practices themselves. This report provides an overview of results found along the following themes, which, though distinct stages of the Commission's development, at times chronologically overlap : 1) Establishing the Commission and its Authority 2) The implemention of testing procedures and protocols 3) The expansion of testing and the banned substances list. By examining the Medical Commission's efforts throught a historiographic lens, this research focused on the institutional discourses and regulatory aspects of the Olympic Movement, and its results can aid in addressing future challenges in the area of anti-doping regulation. Specifically, there are three ways in which this project is relevant to and may potentially impact the Olympic Movement. First, it will contribute to the existing body of literature on the histroy of anti-doping efforts, especially with regard to the Olympics. Secondly, by providing members of the Olympic Movement with a sociohistoric account, this research can also help to create a dialogue about past and contemporary anti-doping rules. Cumulatively, these impacts can contribute to the increased effectiveness of the Olympic Movement's goals to educate athletes, protect their health and wellbeing, and ensure fair play.