the sports police+judiciary, parallax view

From the World Anti-Doping Agency yesterday:

"WADA announced that it had approved a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing its cooperation with Interpol, the world’s largest police organization. This Memorandum of Understanding, approved by Interpol at its October 2008 General Assembly, provides a framework for cooperation between the two organizations in tackling doping, in particular in the areas of evidence gathering and information sharing."

* * *

Indeed, we must recognize that since the eight-year window essentially renders the current winners temporary, the boundaries of the competition space mutate over time to match the shape not only of the stadium, the testing lab, and the specimen storage facility, but also of the sites of out-of-competition testing and the transportation and transmission vectors through which these flows of human corporeality and competitive uncertainty travel. Qualitatively, this suggests that Bale’s formal conception of the contemporary sports stadium must be revisioned as a topological figure to account for this mutability and the social relations these changing spatial configurations produce in a shift from the optics of surveillance to the haptics of control. The potential vulnerabilities that exist in this topological model as competition moves out of the stadium and into smooth space should also be understood in a technical sense from both material and immaterial perspectives. Not only do anti-doping authorities need to secure samples from intruders, chemical change, etc., but they must also secure the data once it has crossed the threshold from the biological to the electromagnetic. And not only is that data susceptible to interception during transmission, but the physical storage devices that enable database mining and statistical regression are themselves vulnerable, given their "penchant for remanence."

Smith, S. (2008). WADA as sporting Empire: Prospects and shadows. Pathways: Critiques and Discourse in Olympic Research—Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium for Olympic Research, Beijing, CHN.


Comments are closed.