There were 66 swimming records set at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – a more than six-fold increase over the number set in Athens in 2004 – and 108 swimming world records set in 2008. The furor over the exotically designed and manufactured swimsuits worn gave rise to allegations that such gear was tantamount to ‘doping on a hangar’. Technology is ubiquitous in sport. Whilst the World Anti-Doping Agency recognizes that technology is to be embraced, sports governing bodies struggle to derive a consistent approach from which to regulate technologies that modify performance. Whereas skating venues compete to see who has the fastest ice, swimming’s governing body seems uncertain what to do with technologies which too serve to make the athlete faster. This paper analyzes the concept of ‘spirit of sport’ as defined by WADA and the conceptual limitations in viewing technology as a performance enhancing method. The paper also evaluates the competency and coherence with which sports governing bodies such as swimming’s FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation), skating’s ISU (International Skating Union), and track’s IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) to effectively deal with the interface of technology with sport.
|Keywords:||Performance Enhancing Technology, Spirit of Sport, WADA Code, Technological Doping|
Assistant Professor, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada
Lecturer and Head of Sports Law, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, UK