Twenty-three year old Christian Coleman took home a gold medal in the men’s 100-meter race at the world track and field championships in Doha, clocking in at 9.76 seconds- the fastest time this year. Even with a gold medal win, the crowd was not as enthusiastic as Coleman after the race.
Earlier this year, Coleman was charged by the US Anti-Doping Agency for missing three drug tests within 12 months. Due to a backdated rule for one of those accusations, he was able to compete in the World Championships. Because of this background, however, his reputation as an elite track and field athlete is tarnished.
Doping in sport is considered a deviant activity. Many people view doping in sport as dehumanizing and unnatural. It is considered a dangerous activity for the athlete and non-doping athletes involved. Drugs, in most cases relating to sport can be overlooked by the public due to the power that athletes gain within their communities. Athletes are seen as powerful role models and people tend to look up to them regardless of most transgressions.
Coleman discusses his missed drug tests in a later interview, stating that he is more so dishearten rather than mad about these accusations. He says that people don’t know him enough personally to be able to accuse him of such activities.
Drugs becoming more readily available has most likely contributed to high rates of doping in sport. The urge to win against competition becomes so obsessive it leads to deviant behaviour. The critical question involved is, are drugs becoming the norm in elite sporting events? If all athletes are contributing to this deviant behaviour, will it be considered a norm at some point in time? These are the types of questions coaches, athletes and spectators all ask themselves. This type of deviance has and will continue to exist in sport and it will be difficult to discontinue in the future.