Semantic interpretations of the word-combination “clean sport” in the context of doping scandals in the media

Digital Communication Across Genres and Communicative Practices

The doping scandals caused by the disqualification of Russian athletes, their exclusion from the lists of participants of the Olympic games led to a rather twisted interpretation of its’ meaning. The mass media began to use the phrase as a tool of speech manipulation in public domain. In Western media materials this combination contributes to the creation of a negative image of Russian sport in the minds of the mass audience. “Clean sport” in such passages is a benchmark to which sport in Russia does not correspond. In the Russian media “clean sport” is sometimes used with a touch of irony: journalists themselves suggest that professional sport is impossible without doping, therefore "clean sport" is a sport where the signs of doping drugs are skillfully concealed. A substantial analysis of media materials leads to the conclusion that the combination of "clean sport" is only a cover in the political struggle of competing states. In the mass perception, a real professional athlete does not use stimulants.