Doped and disclosed: Anatomopolitics, biopower, and sovereignty in the Russian sports industry

08 Aug 2019

(Politics and the Life Sciences) Abstract: In this article, we scrutinize a policy area in which the Russian government has had to react to negative publicity in the last few years, namely, the doping scandal surrounding the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. This scandal uncovered important aspects of Russia’s vulnerability in the global sports milieu, yet so far, it has remained almost unnoticed in the literature on mega sports events in Russia. Our analysis is premised on the convergence of two types and techniques of control and regulation: anatomopolitics, which presupposes, in Michel Foucault’s interpretation of the term, measures of control over individual bodies, and biopolitics, which refers to policy practices that target and concern the entire population. Their conflation in the Russian context results in a controversial effect: it strengthens relations of hegemony yet also exposes the sovereign power to the regulations of global sports organizations.

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