African Athletes Challenge Western Notions Of Doping
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expand the authority. Of World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and made it a leading authority for the fight against cheating. WADA define doping as using ban substances and methods that are design to improve the performance of athletes.
Are prohibit substances define by only their chemical make-up? According to West African athletes, many of whom use spiritual techniques to improve their performance serious.
Soccer is play in West Africa is often associate with witchcraft. The practice is known as witchcraft in Nigeria and Cameroon the practices known as jars or juju. The athletes use them to improve the performance of their athletes in ways comparable to doping. According to the way WADA define it as well as to hinder competitors. The secret to these methods however, isn’t the chemical substance of the substances, but rather the spiritual power they bring.
Based on Cameroonian footballers, with which I carried out my fieldwork the spiritual realm is a superimposed reality on the physical world, and the actions of the spiritual world have direct and powerful effects on the latter.
In West Africa, accusations of spiritual performance-enhancing practices can be much more serious than those involving materials and chemicals.
The idea jars jars difficult to identify, in part because it is shroud in mystery and constantly evolving. Details about these practices could found in reports and allegations. Stories often refer to small pieces of specific herbs, bits of tree bark, or even tiny threads that players obtain from healers who entrust them with supernatural abilities.
Beware that Cameroonian referees could punish them if caught, footballers conceal them in shin guards in their shoes, or their rubber bands on their shorts. Some are mixtures made by healers from herbs that footballers drink to clean their hands, face or feet in.
Doping Performance And Permit
These herbs and objects can boost performance and permit players to perform amazing actions on the pitch. Although certain FIFA officials have voiced concerns about these claimed African types of doping they’ve been wary of their chemical components however they have not considered their vital spiritual aspects.
One could dismiss jars as a psychological belief or as a form of an occult belief. However, the fact that athletes frequently scrutinize and accuse others of using it suggests that it is much more. When Cameroonian footballers show extraordinary skill in the game, players and even their opponents examine them for evidence or evidence jars.
One participant I spoke to said that, during a game, his opponents made him remove his clothes at the center of the pitch insisting that they were hiding a religious token. The users have also been identify by the distinctive scent in the water they soak their hands in.
Like doping, the majority of footballers from Cameroon are extremely oppoed to making use of jars, arguing that athletes should eliminate it completely.
Age Tampering Doping
Another type that is cheating, a public fact that is a part of the game international is lying to players regarding their age. All athletes from around the globe submit documents to their prospective clubs which state that they are not more than 19 years old. age.
In Cameroon the process of preparing for trials with European soccer clubs usually requires obtaining documents that prove that the player is younger than he is.
Although the clubs of football and sports bodies try to deter and sanction athletes, West African footballers do not see this as cheating.
The athletes alter their age in the hope to level the playing field. They seek to make up for the fact that athletes from their Global North, who from an early age have greater access to an excellent equipment and sports facilities and are in a better position to turn their athletic talents into a career that lasts for a long time.
While international sporting organizations talk about athletes having to accept individual responsibility for different types of cheating young African footballers are addressing the massive power relationships that they believe made against them.
Through adjusting their ages by adjusting their age, footballers contest their moral tallies upon which international sporting institutions declare to stand. They also show that cheating is not always being honest, but rather a protest against unequal power relations.
What Is Cheating? And The Definition Of It?
The anti-doping policies of WADA are built on the distinction between the mind. And the body as well as the biological and physical, as well as the spiritual. The focus is always on the physical as a sign. That being an clean athlete means being free of prohibited substances.
While the type of regulation WADA will apply globally can be beneficial, it’s not in line with the principles. Rhat are the norm for West African athletes, for who the spiritual and physical are deeply intertwined.
Are jars a form of doping that WADA should try to regulate? Do international sporting bodies need to take action against the practice of altering the age of a footballer? Absolutely not.
The significance of religion in sport is not limit to Africa. For instance, the Thai manager of Leicester City famously flew buddhist monks to Thailand for blessing. The team during the club’s incredible 2015-2016 campaign.
The African game gives us a different insight into what performance-enhancing and cheating really mean. This shift in perspective lets us not take WADA’s and IOC’s. Definitions as a given and not regard them as universal truths.
Instead, we need to look at them as they really are: hegemonic ideas developed during a particular time period. Derived from a certain philosophical viewpoint and implemented from the position of power.