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Doped humans and rigged bikes: - And why we (wrongly) get more upset about the bikes

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Since the doping scandals of the late 1990s and mid-2000s professional cyclists have often been accused of having poor moral standards. At the same time cyclists’ reactions against so-called motor doping, or technical fraud, has been surprisingly strong and condemning. This article address if professional cyclists’ morality concerning cheating differ from other people’s, and how potential limits of accepted cheating within the cycling culture are constructed. With the point of departure in a common understanding of cheating and dishonest behaviour, I will first present research on how people generally respond to opportunities to cheat, with the purpose of establishing how normal cheating is overall, and what may cause people to cheat more or less. Hereafter, I will assess how this knowledge fits with what has been observed concerning doping in cycling, and compare the apparent widespread acceptance of doping in the 1990s and early 2000s with cyclists’ strong reactions against the use of so-called motor-doping, or technological fraud. With this, I will finally seek to demonstrate that these different moral positions is the result of being embedded in a culture that draws the lines for what is considered the necessary conditions for a sporting performance to be valid, but at the same time blind its members from seeing its own idiosyncrasies on what is fair and what is not.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoping in Cycling : Interdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsBertrand Fincoeur, Fabian Ohl, John Gleaves
Number of pages13
Publication year7 Dec 2018
ISBN (print) 978-1-138-47790-2
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-351-10387-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2018
SeriesEthics and Sport Series

    Research areas

  • Doping, Cycling, Ethics, Cheating

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