Olympic Doping, Transparency, and the Therapeutic Exemption Process

  • Luke Cox School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University
  • Andrew Bloodworth School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University
  • Mike McNamee School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University

Abstract

Within anti-doping policy, the Therapeutic Use Exemption policy enables athletes with a range of medical conditions to compete within elite sport even after receiving prohibited medication substances or methods. It has been claimed, however, that the policy is being misused as a means to enhancing performance in healthy athletes, or athletes who do not suffer from a relevant pathological condition. To counter misuse of TUEs, it has claimed that the data captured in the TUE process should be transparent, even though this would reveal medical information concerning the athlete that would normally be thought of as private. There are further concerns regarding the sharing of medical data within sports organisations, between medical professionals and performance directors or coaches. We critically explore the TUE process, and argue against proposals for a transparent TUE policy on grounds of privacy and concerns for athlete welfare .We conclude that the notion of sports integrity, the threat of doping, and the extension of anti-doping policy, need to be considered within a broader context that also concerns the goals of sports medicine and athlete welfare.

Author Biographies

Luke Cox, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University

Luke Cox is a PhD student in the Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM)Research Centre within the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University. He recently completed a Master of Science by Research, whereby he executed an ethical and conceptual analysis of the Therapeutic Use Exemption policy.

Andrew Bloodworth, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University

Andrew Bloodworth is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Swansea University. His teaching and research is in the field of sports ethics, more specifically the ethics of anti-doping policy. Andrew is also Chair of the College Research Ethics Committee.

Mike McNamee, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Swansea University

Mike McNamee is Professor of Applied Ethics at Swansea University, UK. He is Program Chair of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Sport Ethics and Integrity (MAiSI). A former President of the International Association of the Philosophy of Sport, he has published widely in the ethics of sports.

Published
2017-10-31
How to Cite
COX, Luke; BLOODWORTH, Andrew; MCNAMEE, Mike. Olympic Doping, Transparency, and the Therapeutic Exemption Process. Diagoras: International Academic Journal on Olympic Studies, [S.l.], v. 1, p. 55-74, oct. 2017. ISSN 2565-196X. Available at: <http://diagorasjournal.com/index.php/diagoras/article/view/8>. Date accessed: 16 nov. 2018.
Section
Articles