Systems and Structures

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Vincent Peña, Assistant Professor, College of Communication, DePaul University, Illinois, United States
Luisa Turbino Torres, Assistant Professor, Center for Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Florida, United States

The Compliance-legitimacy Gap in the World Anti-doping Agency’s Education Strategy: Voices From Oceania View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
James Connor,  Vanessa Mc Dermott  

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) ‘one size fits all’ approach to anti-doping education falls short because it fails to take account of key differences in social and cultural contexts. Much of the existing research remains focused on athletes and nations in the global north, with little attention to regions like Oceania. The objective was to learn how stakeholders in Oceania perceive WADA’s legitimacy, and to understand the factors that influence perceptions of the system. We apply a legitimacy-inspired lens to anti-doping governance to consider cross-cultural understandings of anti-doping regulations and the impact on perceptions of WADA’s legitimacy. Data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews (33), with athletes, support personnel, and administrators in Olympic and professional sports across Oceania. Grounded theory and inductive thematic analysis were used to identify themes. There is general agreement that WADA’s anti-doping framework is important to maintain integrity in sport. We found that stakeholders in Oceania wanted to comply but had difficulty doing so. This was from a combination of time poverty, technological barriers, lack of expertise and a belief that doping was not a threat in Oceania. Our findings emphasise that culturally based perceptions and interpretations must be factored into the design and implementation of policies and regulations, and how compliance is monitored. The results show that there is a legitimacy – compliance gap, stakeholders wish to support anti-doping but are unable to in practice. Consequently, WADA, Federations and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) need to rethink their approach to enabling compliance.

The Bodies of the World Anti-doping Agency and Their Effectiveness in Ensuring Clean Sport in the North Africa Zone: Doping -Institution -National policy View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Nassereddine Kesri,  Mourad Chehat  

The World Anti-Doping Agency has developed several mechanisms to achieve good results that reflect a safe and clean sports environment in the global sports community. The World Anti-Doping Program is considered one of the most important mechanisms at the international level, after most countries' commitment to implement it and respect its provisions. To ensure the proper functioning of this program, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has set up bodies to ensure the implementation of the program within the borders of the countries, the most important of which are the 119 agencies anti-doping (NADO) and the 30 accredited laboratories for the detection of doping in athletes. The World Anti-Doping Agency divided the world into twelve Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADO), the North Africa zone (01) consisted of five countries (Algeria - Morocco - Tunisia - Libya - Mauritania). The study focuses in particular on the activities of these institutions by analyzing the content of their local and regional activities and the extent of their reactions against the phenomenon of doping in the elite sports environment and by detecting the indicators of the cleanliness of the sports environment from the scourge of doping. The results were negative due to the impact of geopolitical climate on the reliability of those institutions, noting the lack of coordination between the National Anti-Doping Agencies and remarking a weak influence in the sports community despite the great activity of the practice within these countries.

Changing the Game?: Examining the Effects of Two Years of Name/Image/Likeness in the NCAA View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Andrew Miller,  Joshua Shuart  

In 1995 Ed O’Bannon scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the UCLA Bruins to the NCAA basketball championship. After that his impact as a professional basketball player was minimal, and he quickly moved from NCAA hero to has-been. Until a few decades later when Ed O’Bannon did something that made him one of the most important athletes of the 21st century. In 2009 Mr. O’Bannon filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company over using his name, image, and likeness (NIL) in a NCAA basketball video game. This lawsuit forced EA Sports to halt production of their NCAA games in 2014, it inspired California to become the first state to pass a law allowing college athletes to be paid for use of their NIL in 2019, and set the stage for the US Supreme Court to rule unanimously that the NCAA can’t limit education-related benefits to athletes in 2021. In 2021 the NCAA suspended its previous NIL rules and announced an “interim” policy allowing athletes across the nation to be paid for their fame. This “interim” period will have lasted two years by July, 2023, and this paper explores the current “Wild West” landscape of NCAA NIL. From seven-figure individual athlete payouts to NIL collectives that are guaranteeing incomes to prized recruits, NIL is disrupting the world of sporting culture and relationships between, athletes, fans and communities in new and familiar ways. This study interrogates how NIL may be changing the game.

Featured The Stadium as a Political Space: Feminist Collectives Organizing around Soccer in Latin America View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Luisa Turbino Torres  

Latin American countries have a strong soccer culture that is an undeniable part of their social, cultural, and political life. The region is also surrounded by social, political, economic, and many other conflicts, so I explore how soccer functions as a mirror to society and all these conflicts. With its ability to mobilize people, soccer is also a space for political resistance. Recently, there have been different fan groups organizing around soccer to challenge the discriminatory, excluding, and oppressive behaviors that were understood to be part of the soccer culture in different countries in Latin America. These fandom groups are a spontaneous articulation of fans that aims to create a comprehensive social-political debate around gender and sexuality in soccer. This paper looks at transnational soccer fandom activism, focusing on feminist groups (coletivos feministas) emerging around soccer in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, that engage in feminist activism and have been challenging masculine dominance in different ways. I explore how women are able to mobilize around soccer and incorporate a feminist analysis into their practice of social change, particularly looking at how they are connected to one another. I use interpretivist methodologies and ethnographic methods to understand how these groups are re-imagining a political space (soccer) and their relevance in the current political context. Results suggest that these feminist collectives seek to overturn political, social, and economic structures while trying to establish an emancipatory vision of society.

What Are the Odds: Social Capital, Social Currency, and Sport Betting in Nigeria

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Richard Ajiee,  Geoff Dickson,  Mistura Kehinde,  Temitope Oguntola  

The discourse on sport betting both in academic literature and media is largely dominated by negative narratives of addiction and economic consequences. This paper, however, looks beyond these negative consequences to consider the positive social consequences of sport betting. More specifically, the study explores the acquisition of social capital and social currency amongst sport bettors in Nigeria. This is important to reshape the discourse and fill the existing gap in the literature. Also, given the growth and inevitability of sport betting in Nigeria, there is value in redesigning sport betting policies. Social capital refers to actual or potential profits that arises from social relationships or networks. On the other hand, social currency is the worth of the benefits. Individuals draw or use the social currency when they obtain social support or deposit the currency when they provide social support. To investigate these issues, we deployed a phenomenology informed qualitative research design. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 45 male and female Nigerian sports bettors aged 18 - 50 years (male and female) recruited from within Oyo State. Thematic analysis was utilised to draw themes across all the cases. The findings showed that sport betting enables bettors to establish interpersonal relationships that enabled information sharing and social support. Sport betting also generated both bonding and bridging capital. Whilst the negatives of sport betting no doubt exist, government policy needs to also reflect the benefits of sport betting. Implications on community wellbeing, social policy and ideas for future research are also discussed.

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