The ‘spirit of sport’, WADAs code review, and the search for an overlapping consensus
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. 2019, 11(2), 325-339 10.1080/19406940.2019.1581646
In this paper, we argue for the recognition that anti-doping is in itselffirst andforemost an ethical position. The current World Anti-doping Code formula-tion of‘the spirit of sport’is an acknowledgement of this point anda counterweight against scientific and technicist understandings of the nat-ureofanti-dopingitself.WecriticallyreviewtheCodeformulationson‘thespirit of sport’. Based on a theoretical background of various approaches tonormative agreement and consensus in a setting of diversity of‘comprehen-sive views’, we argue for revision of the Code. Specifically, we argue for a re-formulation of‘the spirit of sport’in terms of athlete protection and thepreservation of the integrity of sporting competition that could meet require-ments on an overlapping consensus among all WADA stakeholders. This isnot just a matter of formality and Code acceptance. An overlapping consen-sus is not a meremodus vivendibut a normative consensus based on fair,honest, and transparent discourse in which participants deliberate in a settingof mutual respect and trust, and of‘decency’, which is a basis for a consensusthat cultivates authentic stakeholder commitment.
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