The Realization of Control

Listening to Greg Jackson's presentation this weekend at the Queen's Macintosh Conference, I was reminded of WADA's comprehensive policy against adding code to the body, or against methods such as removing blood from the body, oxygenating it, and re-inserting it. But more importantly, I was reminded that world-level athletes must continually notify the WADA authorities of their whereabouts (up to 365 days a year) so that they may be summoned for a drug test at any time.

What is the athlete's responsibility regarding whereabouts information?

An athlete identified in the registered testing pool by his/her ADO [anti-doping organization] is required to provide accurate and current whereabouts information. This information is usually required on a quarterly basis, although ADOs may have specific requirements, and updates are required if the athlete's plans change.

Whereabouts information may include details such as home address, work schedule, training venues and schedule, and competition schedule — anything which will help a Doping Control Officer (DCO) find the athlete on any given day.

International or national level athletes identified in a registered testing pool are responsible under the Code for providing whereabouts information to their ADO. Failure to do so in accordance with ADO anti-doping regulations may be considered an anti-doping rule violation and may result in a sanction.

I would like to juxtapose against this a quote from Virilio that I have cited earlier:

Until the Second World War — until the concentration camps — societies were societies of incarceration, of imprisonment in the Foucauldian sense. The great transparency of the world, whether through satellites or simply tourists, brought about an overexposure of these places to observation, to the press and public opinion which now ban concentration camps. You can't isolate anything in this world of ubiquity and instantaneousness. Even if some camps do still exist, this overexposure of the world led to the need to surpass enclosure and imprisonment. This required the promotion of another kind of repression, which is disappearance.

In the context of high-performance athletics, we might say that the overexposed athletic body, both externally, in terms of its global position, and internally, in terms of its chemical composition, prefigures the telos of total control. We might also say, in following Virilio's logic, that the threat of disappearance comes from the disgraced few that are caught being erased from the archives/record books as if their performance never existed.

(On a side note, the Canadian troika of Pound, Johnson and Dubin appear to bear a significant responsibility in contributing to the sporting realization of the control society.)


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