Doping in High-Performance Sport—The Economic Perspective

  • Frank DaumannEmail author


Doping is a ubiquitous phenomenon in every type of sport. However, some cases appear particularly spectacular. In this article, we show that the elite sports framework provides strong incentives to use doping substances. These incentives are greatest for sports with precisely measurable results and they are weakest in the case of team sports. Although it is hard to justify a legal ban of doping methods, it makes sense for the organizer to hinder athletes who are using doping methods to take part in the contest. To fight against doping, a wide range of measures is available. A penalty-carrying ban based on the negative list comes closest to the objective; however, it also offers strong incentives to evade the negative list, in other words in favour of doping innovation. One way out of this dilemma is presented by the accompanying innovation bonus, which rewards the registration of doping innovations. The possibility of liberalizing doping for adult athletes should also not be totally ruled out: liberalization would presumably lead to across-the-board doping in elite sport, but not necessarily to higher health risks for athletes, since it would also permit better supervision and supply.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Sportwissenschaft, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany

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