By Fair Means. Cycling, Mountaineering and the Problem of the Normative Regulation of Social Action
Public opinion and the majority of the specialized literature tend to be skeptical about the chances of fighting against doping in competitive sports. This pessimistic view is justified by the development in most high-performance disciplines. But there are notable exceptions which are not only drug free but go far beyond the minimum permitted by institutions. High-altitude mountaineering is one of them. This study will explain this exceptional position of mountaineering in comparison with a sports discipline which is considered as one of the most drug-loaded: cycling. It is argued that a stricter regulation in mountaineering is the result of the maintenance of open spaces for normative innovations. Performance can be made visible not only by norm-standard cuts but also by an increase of the norms. Basically, each sports discipline has a normative self-regulatory potential. This remains mostly unused because of the closed spaces for normative innovations. A fateful role in doing so is played by the doping ban itself.