Doping in Sport and the Law edited by Ulrich Haas and Deborah Healey hardback 22 September 2016 hart publishing limited Oxford United Kingdom pages 298 + XL ISBN 978-1-50990-588-1price: £80
Doping is the scourge of sport and it is perhaps not surprising that, with so much to be gained on and off the field of play, where winning and financial rewards mean more than just taking part, many athletes are taking banned performance enhancing drugs and engaging in other more sophisticated forms of doping, such as blood doping, gene doping and mechanical doping, in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage!
Apart from the International Sports Governing Bodies, the fight against doping in sport is being spearheaded, since 1999, by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from its base in Montreal, Canada.
Following the doping scandals involving Russian Olympians and Paralympians, which came to light before the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games, and the resulting IOC Summit on Doping, which was held, on 8 October, 2016, at its Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, WADA is set to receive additional powers and more funding to continue and strengthen its fight against doping.
Accordingly, this new Book is a timely and welcome addition to the literature on this sad subject, where doping offences are adding to the workload of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which, under the reforms proposed at the IOC Summit on Doping, will take over the role from Sports Bodies of sanctioning doping offenders.
The Book in its fourteen chapters, contributed by specialists, examines the subject of doping in sport from a variety of different and relevant legal perspectives, which have an impact on sport at the elite and grass roots levels, including, amongst others, sports’ governance; employment and human rights law; and sports’ science – often characterised, colloquially, as how to cheat legitimately!
Your reviewer particularly found very interesting the Chapter on ‘The Commercial Rationale of the World Anti-Doping Code’ and the need to provide a ‘clean sporting product’ for the benefit of sponsors, promoters and broadcasters of international sporting events, especially the Olympics. This reflects the importance of sport, from a commercial point of view, where nowadays sport has become an industry in its own right, accounting for more than 3% of world trade.
The Book is completed with useful Tables of Cases, Legislation, Codes and Policies and International Instruments, as well as a good Index.
Your reviewer has no hesitation whatsoever in wholeheartedly commending this Book to all those with an interest in doping in sport, which, sadly, perhaps, like the poor, will always be with us – at least, in some form or another! But that, I suppose, is down to human nature!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
International Sports Lawyer, Academic, Author and Member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport