"We are not sportsmen, we are professionals": Professionalism, doping and deviance in elite sport

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  • Department of Sport Science
As a part of its legacy of being the first genuine modern sport, cycling has a proactive attitude to pharmacological developments. This attitude, however, is in conflict with the norms and values of both the wider society in general and the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) historical emphasis on the amateur ideal in particular. As such, riders who use banned substances are considered deviants or pariahs. Using Danish elite cycling as a case study, the paper will explore how these contradictory norms are reflected in today's professional and amateur riders' attitudes to doping. The paper concludes by illustrating how the entrepreneurial attitudes of the athletes have developed in different directions: While amateurs came to regard the professionals' attitude to sports as normative, the professionals had to submit to the norms of the amateurs in order to be allowed to compete in important competitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Management and Marketing
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • elite sport, cycling, doping, modernity, amateurism, professionalism, deviance, moral entrepreneurship, Olympic Games, banned substances, Denmark

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