The development of ant-doping policy in norway

Por: Atle Hansen.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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This paper examines the development of anti-doping policy in Norway from a sociological perspective. Norway is claimed to be one the leading countries in the fight against doping. Both the Norwegian government and ‘the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sports’, which govern all organised sport in Norway, use considerable amounts of resources on anti-doping measures each year. Today Norwegian athletes are tested more than any other athletes, both in and out of competition. In addition Norway has become on of the first countries to establish an independent anti-doping organization. In this paper we therefore address the question: Why has anti-doping become so important for Norway and their involvement in top-level sport?


Through a discourse/system-theoretical analysis we discuss the important processes and mechanisms behind the shaping of this policy area. The development of anti-doping policy will be understood in terms of a conjuncture involving processes of an increasing competitiveness of sport, the medicalisation of sport and a growing governmental concern for the health of the athletes.

Discussions/ Conclusions

Further, the argument is developed through a case study of the fight against doping within top-level sport in Norway. As a case we have chosen above-mentioned the Olympiatoppen. The methodical approach in this paper is primarily based on studies of documents and qualitative interviews. The documents consist of all political documents, plans, journals, records, yearbooks and so forth, concerning the fight against doping in top-level sport. The qualitative interviews are made with politicians, bureaucrats and different actors that have been involved in the decision-making process behind the shaping of the policy area.






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