An excerpt from The Edge has been published in The Guardian this week. It is the first of three such pieces that will appear over the coming weeks.
Here is how it starts:
The allegations of systematic, state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes have rocked the sports world on the eve of the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the core of the allegations are alleged efforts by Russian government and sports officials to subvert the science of drug testing in order to enable doped athletes to appear clean and then win medals.
Recent weeks have seen a focus on what to do about the eligibility of Russian athletes for the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. Few think that the International Olympic Committee and other organizations have handled this crisis particularly well. But the problems facing governing bodies in sport go much, much deeper. Beyond the headlines, one important challenge facing anti-doping organizations is scientific integrity in sports, a subject that until now has received little attention.
In my forthcoming book, The Edge: The War Against Cheating and Corruption in the Cutthroat World of Elite Sports, I document numerous instances of the corruption of science in sport. Science is at the centre of issues involving huge economic and political stakes, making scientific integrity something that matters. The episode I describe here, adapted from The Edge, involves Erik Tysse, a Norwegian race walker, who was not treated well by the sports organizations that were supposed to be protecting his rights.