University Of Tasmania

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Control, consent and complicity in the coaching of elite women’s cycling in Australia: a media analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 14:25 authored by Christopher Zehntner, McGannon, KR, Jennifer McMahonJennifer McMahon
The purpose of this study was to extend understanding of how athletes and coaches in a women’s cycling talent development and selection programme negotiate and normalise athlete abuse in the media. A thematic analysis of six online cycling magazine articles and their representations of the Australian women’s elite cycling development camp was analysed to explore athletic abuse and the (re)production of coaching practices using Bourdieusian theory. The findings revealed a link between the expression of coaching practice and the maltreatment of athletes. Analysis of these articles also revealed that athletes were complicit in the normalisation of coaching practices through the misrecognition of social power embedded in the coaching intervention. The representations by athletes within the articles contributed narratives related to the reproduction and proliferation of abusive coaching practices. This study extends understanding of how taken for granted and power laden aspects of coaching practices can be presented in the media and highlights the implications for coaches, athletes and the general public that consume online cycling media content.


Publication title

Sport Education and Society










Faculty of Education


Carfax Publishing

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Equity and access to education

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