The use of alcohol and drugs seems contradictory to the popular ideal of sport as a healthy moral and physical pursuit, and yet it has been present in sports culture since clubs first became the focus for competitive games and social gatherings. Charting the changing patterns of the use of drugs and alcohol since the nineteenth century, this is a critical history that relates substance consumption and regulation to social relations of power: sports men and women almost revelling in their deviance and leaving the moral agonising to their supposed 'superiors'. In addition, certain substances have become at various times the focus of heightened controversy, raising questions about the symbolism of the body in sport, its uses and behaviours and associated perceptions. These questions are tackled here in a lively discussion on the social construction of drug and alcohol use, ideal as a catalyst for debate or as an informed introduction to the hottest topic in sport today.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Sport in History.