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Leading the fight against doping in sport


Leeds Beckett is playing a central role in helping vulnerable athletes stay dope-free.

athletes on track doping

Prof Sue Backhouse Director of Research at Leeds Beckett University today chaired a Clean Sport at the Front Line event in Loughborough.

The event, organised by UK Anti-Doping, brought together over 100 stakeholders from across the UK working in athlete support, research and sports administration and development.

The theme of this year’s Forum was the protection of vulnerable athletes. Vulnerability in this context can be defined as the diminished capacity of an athlete or group of athletes to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the surroundings, opportunities and conditions that promote anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs). This sum of influences has been defined by Professor Backhouse and colleagues as the dopogenic environment.

Doping vulnerability is therefore relative and dynamic; athletes will differ in their exposure to risk as a result of their sport, social group, demographics and other factors.

Vulnerability may also vary in its forms: the threat of a contract ending, for example, may mean that an athlete is unable to maintain their mortgage payments, or an athlete receiving a prohibited substance through a prescription because their GP was not aware of their responsibilities as an athlete.

In contrast, we can consider our clean sport capacity, which can be described as the resources available to athletes, athlete support personnel, teams, sports, governing bodies, etc to cope with the threat or to resist the impact of doping. Such resources can be physical or material, but they can also be found in the way the sports community functions or in the skills or attributes of individuals and/or organisations in the sporting community.

Professor Backhouse said: “I am delighted to have been asked to chair this event which aligns closely with our research in the Carnegie School of Sport and the BASES Clean Sport Interest Group that I convened.

"This is an important event that gives key stakeholders the opportunity to come together, learn from each other and discuss some of the pertinent issues that matter most to them – and the pursuit of clean sport.

"That over 100 practitioners from the UK sporting community have committed to attending this event signals the importance of the Forum and the actions that will arise from the day."

Join the conversation: #FrontLine


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