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When Every Test is a Winner: Clean Cycling Surveillance and the New Preemptive Governance

This article examines the trend toward risk-based, preemptive social control as it has developed in anti-doping regulation in professional cycling. Specifically, this research considers how the regulatory technologies of anti-doping surveillance have become a core component of the everyday routines of professional cyclists. Drawing from interviews with professional cyclists and analysis of mediated representations of anti-doping, we find that surveillance and disclosure have become not simply routine, but a central orienting practice in the everyday lives of professional cyclists. Blended into the everyday routines, surveillance technologies extend the gaze of those who watch and increase pressures to disclose. As athletes internalize surveillance and disclosure as consistent with their professional norms, the power relationships that surround sport performance become increasingly difficult to discern.