Fitness Doping pp 115-134 | Cite as

Fitness Doping Online

  • Jesper AndreassonEmail author
  • Thomas Johansson


In Sweden, but also internationally, official regimes and public health organizations are conducting fairly comprehensive anti-doping measures. As a consequence, numerous ‘new’ ways of learning about and accessing these types of drugs have emerged. For example, social media and various Internet forums have become part of a new self-help culture in which people can anonymously approach these substances, discuss their experiences of using them, and minimize the likelihood of encounters with the police. This chapter focuses on how the use of performance- and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs) is perceived and negotiated socially in the context of an Internet-mediated, online community called Flashback. The results are in accordance with findings from similar studies on Internet-based bodybuilding communities. That is, although the participants are to some degree aware of the risks and health costs of this kind of physical regime, the gains of using PIEDs clearly dominate the discussions. Moreover, the chapter also shows that, in the imaginary world of online fitness doping, a number of ideas circulate about the ‘genetic max’ as well as the ultimate possibility of exceeding one’s limits and creating something special and extraordinary. These stories confirm in many respects the legitimate mission of searching for the ultimate bodybuilding adventure, using different means and methods to transcend the limits of the self/body.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport ScienceLinnaeus UniversityKalmarSweden
  2. 2.Department of Education, Communication and LearningUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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