What is the nature of athletic performance? This book offers an answer to this fascinating question by considering the relationship between sport, techlogy and the body. Specifically, it examines cultural resistance to the enhancement of athletes and explores the ways in which performance techlogies complicate and confound our conception of the sporting body. The book addresses concerns about the techlogical invasion of the natural body to investigate expectations that athletic performances reflect thing more than the actual capacity of the untainted athlete. By examining a series of case studies, including Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, Fastskin swimsuits, hypoxic chambers and an array of illicit substances and methods, the book distinguishes between internal and external techlogies to highlight the ways that performance enhancement, and public reaction to it, can be read. Sport, Techlogy and the Body offers a powerful challenge to conventional views of athletic performance that stand authenticity against artifice, integrity against corruption, and athletic purity against techlogical intrusion. It is essential reading for all serious students of the sociology, culture or ethics of sport.
Tara Magdalinski is the Academic Director of the Centre for Sports Studies at University College Dublin. Her research focuses on the construction of social identities and the production of historical narratives through sport. She co-edited With God on Their Side: Sport in the Service of Religion (Routledge, 2002).