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The Puerto affair: revealing the difficulties of the fight against doping

Abstract : In 2006, an investigation by the Spanish Guardia Civil led to the identification of a huge network practicing blood doping. Difficulties in terms of fight against doping of professional cyclists are analyzed using a systemic approach. This article aims at enlightening the factors that made it impossible to impede the spreading of doping via auto-transfusion as well as the attempts at restoring a balance among the professional cyclist elite. Through a qualitative inquiry, results show that timid attempts at gathering information prevent a full exposure of the affair and the punishment of its actors. The teleological priorities of many protagonists generate strategies preventing the identification of the network involved and the issuing of sanctions. Besides, we perceive the limits of a regulating system confronted with difficulties in characterizing the behaviors it is supposed to punish, with diverse legal and regulatory frameworks, and which is subject to an unwilling judicial authority.
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Contributor : Ludovic Lestrelin <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 1, 2019 - 6:32:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 2:38:14 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 6:07:42 PM

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Bastien Soulé, Ludovic Lestrelin. The Puerto affair: revealing the difficulties of the fight against doping. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, SAGE Publications, 2011, 35 (2), pp.186-208. ⟨10.1177/0193723511405478⟩. ⟨hal-02087123⟩

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