By Paul Dimeo
This booklet deals a brand new historical past of drug use in activity. It argues that the belief of doping up to reinforce functionality has no longer regularly been the trouble or ‘evil’ we now imagine it really is. as a substitute, the late nineteenth century used to be a time of a few experimentation and innovation mostly unhindered by means of speak of dishonest or future health dangers. by means of the interwar interval, experiments have been modernised within the new laboratories of workout physiologists. nonetheless there has been little or no experience that this used to be opposite to the ethics or spirit of game. activities, medications and technology have been heavily associated for over part a century. the second one global War provided the impetus for either elevated use of gear and the emergence of an anti-doping reaction. through the top of the Nineteen Fifties a brand new framework of ethics was once being imposed at the medicines query that built doping in hugely emotive phrases as an ‘evil’. along this emerged the technological know-how and procedural forms of trying out. The years as much as 1976 laid the rules for 4 a long time of anti-doping. This publication deals a close and significant realizing of who used to be concerned, what they have been attempting to in achieving, why they set approximately this activity and the context during which they labored. by means of doing so, it reconsiders the vintage dichotomy of ‘good anti-doping’ up opposed to ‘evil doping’. Winner of the 2007 Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for the simplest booklet in British activities historical past.
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Additional info for A History of Drug Use in Sport: 1876-1976: Beyond Good and Evil
Enhancing performance the American way The first signs of this new body of science in North America can be seen in the years immediately preceding the First World War. Several textbooks appeared that aimed at providing physiological knowledge based on research and sound scientific principles. Of the four main contenders for ‘first’ physiology text, three were published in New York and the other in London (McArdle et al. 2000: 18). The American Journal of Physiology was established in 1898. In 1904 the Nutrition Laboratory at the Carnegie Institute in Washington DC was set up to study nutrition and energy metabolism.
Other sources, including athletic coaches, military authorities and doctors testified to its value in combating fatigue and improving overall health. The basis for knowledge was the experimental work conducted in various countries by scientists interested in the ‘medicinal value’ of kola. Overall, this was a triumph for the manufacturers who were to be congratulated for: Doping and the rise of modern sport 25 Supplying to the world such an admirable tonic – one which strengthens the whole frame, a tonic which banishes weakness, whether physical, mental or moral, a tonic which will prove a priceless boon to all of the human family who struggle under adverse conditions with the heavy tasks of life.
The debate on drugs in sport reflected the debate on drugs in society: an on-going discussion on whether the potential benefits could be controlled and if they outweighed the broader risks. Stimulants in sport were being framed in the same way other drugs were, and Virginia Berridge sums up the changing attitudes to opium and heroin thus, ‘the definition of drug taking as a problem – the whole “problem framework” which began hesitantly to emerge in the nineteenth century – remains now as a dominant and usually unquestioned legacy’ (1999: 236).