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Be(coming) clean: Confessions as governance in professional cycling

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Drawing from the public confessions of performance-enhancing drug (PED) use by high-profile riders and interviews with current North American-based professional cyclists, we examine the role that confessional accounts play in anti-doping regulation and governance of the sport of cycling. Our research examines the ways in which the confessional accounts make sense of cycling’s PED use and then become the raw material that the current generation of professionals use to both explain the past and inform their own thinking on PED use. We argue that these accounts are key to the emerging narrative of clean cycling, a narrative that legitimates and bolsters the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) strategies, rationalities and cultures that are distinctive to sport governance.
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Keywords: cycling; doping; drugs; institutional deviance; sport; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Western Carolina University 2: University of Denver

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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