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WADA, the Promises of Law and the Landscapes of Antidoping Regulation



The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) spearheads the international campaign against doping in sport, working within and across nongovernmental and legal spheres. This article examines WADA's organizational structure as a hybrid entity that operates between formal law and informal regulation. It analyzes the events that led to WADA's establishment, the rhetoric in which policy makers have lobbied for more legalistic measures, and the unforeseen side effects of pursuing these aims. The rhetoric deployed characterizes events in terms of a contextually specific framing of time, space, and social orientation (kairos) designed to reach and shape a particular audience. In this case, images of imminent danger pervade an antidoping rhetoric that envisions criminal law as a necessary antidote. Ironically, the success of WADA's rhetorical reframing could well undermine its stated goals, demonstrating the double bind created for hybrid NGOs that operate between formal and informal sectors in global arenas.

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