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Doctor of Philosophy




Schneider, Angela J.


This dissertation analyzes the impacts of the 2016 Russian doping scandal from a philosophical and historical perspective. This dissertation’s second chapter, the article entitled (1) “The Brave New World of Athletes’ Rights: A Canadian Perspective on Significant Shifts for the World Anti- Doping Agency” in time for the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 20 th anniversary, puts into words the new investigative reality of contemporary anti-doping. It explains a new attitude of anti-doping authorities in response to the ‘game-changing’ Russian manipulation of samples, what has been described as “one of the most elaborate doping ploys in sports history” 1 (Icarus, 2016) The third chapter, the entitled (2) “Caring for Athletes in the 2016 Russian Doping Scandal” makes a novel philosophical distinction. Feminist theory, particularly the ethics of care, is used to distin- guish women and men leaders’ general reaction to the Russian scandal. The article nuances their proposed solution and finds that women leaders tended to suggest listening to athletes more than their counterparts. The fourth chapter, (3) “The Role and Relationship of Science and Ethics in the Evaluation of Fairness in Sport” is another feminist critique of ‘pure science’. It argues for the social problem-solving standpoint, in contrast to the impartial rational biotechnological scientific standpoint. Examples connecting the critiques to the Russian doping scandal are given in ‘How chapter 4 concretely relates to the Russian scandal’ (p. 95). The final chapter, the article (4) “A Narrative of a Canadian Self-Diagnosis on Anti-doping Contributions” establishes the historical context in which the scandal emerged through the lens of Canadian experts and their respective contribution in anti-doping. Even if the article was written in the context of the country’s 150 th anniversary, it explains experts’ scepticisms and concerns with current anti-doping. It finds that the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) governance is the source of many fears. The themes of contemporary anti-doping, state-sponsored doping, athletes’ vulnerability and sport corruption best summarized this dissertation. This exploratory doctoral study is one of the first, if not the first, in-depth analysis of the 2016 Russian doping scandal and it is argued that the controversy was as impactful to the world of sport as the 1970s East German state-sponsored doping system

Summary for Lay Audience

In 2009, Yulia Stepanova (née Rusanova), a Russian track and field athlete, fell in love with anti-doping officer Vitaly Stepanov. She was a successful member of the Russian national team and they shared many interests, including a passion for sport. They understood each other in a meaningful way. They were the two sides of the Russian anti-doping world. They were helping to construct the same façade together; the façade of clean Russian sport.

I was encouraged to study the unfolding Russian scandal (‘the scandal’) only a few months after the release of the first World Anti-Doping Agency independent person report. The 2016 Russian doping scandal was a worthwhile case of study for a multitude of reasons. First, it spread chaos in international sport at an overwhelming pace. Second, the press and officials involved lacked time to make profound conclusions about the scandal. Lastly, it was worthwhile to dig deeper than the press because gathered intelligence about the scandal was released in a sporadic fashion, on top of conflicting with past coverage. Recent news contradicted older news; the past contradicted the present.

The principal theme of this research project is ‘institutionalized’ doping. The expression ‘institutionalized’ doping refers to a distinct doping sport system, where performance-enhancement is assured by political and social structures. In such systems, institutions (pharmaceutical laboratories, police forces, legal authorities, universities, sport federations, ministries, etc.) are set forth to coerce national teams’ athletes to dope and win Olympic medals.

Only twice in history have these systems been proven. German researchers had an opportunity to study the classified files from the 1970s after the collapse of the GDR in 1989-1900. In 2016, researchers had once again an opportunity to analyse classified documentation, which the author of this project took. The aim of this dissertation is to determine the impact of the most recent institutionalized doping system on Anti-Doping, WADA and Athletes’ Rights.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.