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China and US doping viewpoints at conference

Historically, the campaign against doping in sport has been driven by Europe. This week, Chinese and US experts will give their take

The drive to stop doping in sport has so far been led by Europeans. But this week, a number of anti-doping experts from the wider world will meet up in Copenhagen. And they may challenge some European pre-conceptions, according to conference organiser Ulrik Wagner, a post doc at the Department of Exercise and Social Sciences.

»From an American viewpoint, doping is traditionally seen as part of the game. And in the US and in the wider world, there is more sympathy for the use of anabolic steroids in sports like baseball and ice hockey. Also, US researchers and policymakers do not make the same distinction between drugs used in sport and recreational drugs,« says Ulrik Wagner.

As an example of one of the speaker’s surprising new takes on drug-taking, Professor John Hoberman of the University of Texas will talk Friday on a culture of steroid-taking among US policemen: ‘Doping the Action-Oriented Male’.

Clean China

One thing is conceptual divides, another is whether or not some parts of the world, like for example China, are actually serious about fighting the taking of drugs in sport.

»Up to the Olympic Games of 2008 one of the big questions was whether China would sweep the medals stakes with government-sponsored doped athletes. But so far, there have not been many failed drug tests,« says Ulrik Wagner.

It will be interesting to follow research on and from the Chinese perspective. Thursday Jinxia Dong will talk on ‘Changed attitudes towards doping in China since the turn of the century’.

Intense coverage

The University Post will be closely following the event which runs from Wedensday through Friday.

Read more about the conference here.

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