Be(coming) clean: Confessions as governance in professional cycling | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-1898
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1901



Drawing from the public confessions of performance-enhancing drug (PED) use by high-profile riders and interviews with current North American-based professional cyclists, we examine the role that confessional accounts play in anti-doping regulation and governance of the sport of cycling. Our research examines the ways in which the confessional accounts make sense of cycling’s PED use and then become the raw material that the current generation of professionals use to both explain the past and inform their own thinking on PED use. We argue that these accounts are key to the emerging narrative of clean cycling, a narrative that legitimates and bolsters the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) strategies, rationalities and cultures that are distinctive to sport governance.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cycling; doping; drugs; institutional deviance; sport; surveillance
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