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From fighting the bad to protecting the good : Legitimation strategies in WADA's athlete guides

Qvarfordt, Anna ; Hoff, David LU ; Bäckström, Åsa and Ahmadi, Nader (2019) In Performance Enhancement and Health
Abstract

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... (More)

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.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Anti-doping, Doping in sports, Legitimacy, Legitimation strategies
in
Performance Enhancement and Health
article number
100147
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85074421285
ISSN
2211-2669
DOI
10.1016/j.peh.2019.100147
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
88373e06-08b5-42f0-881d-8e2bf426580a
date added to LUP
2019-11-22 13:32:07
date last changed
2020-01-13 02:32:36
@article{88373e06-08b5-42f0-881d-8e2bf426580a,
  abstract     = {<p>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.</p>},
  author       = {Qvarfordt, Anna and Hoff, David and Bäckström, Åsa and Ahmadi, Nader},
  issn         = {2211-2669},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Performance Enhancement and Health},
  title        = {From fighting the bad to protecting the good : Legitimation strategies in WADA's athlete guides},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peh.2019.100147},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.peh.2019.100147},
  year         = {2019},
}