Stirling academic leading fight against doping

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Dr Paul Dimeo webA doctor at the University of Stirling is to lead a new study into athletes’ attitudes towards doping in sport.

Dr Paul Dimeo is to lead a two-year programme, during which athletes will be questioned about their views on the current anti-doping programmes that can be found in sport, as well as how they believe it affects their chances of success.

The study, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), will involve 70 athletes from across six countries. Those involved in the study will have represented their country at either national or international level in one of six sports; cycling, athletics, swimming (categorised as ‘high risk’ of doping by WADA), badminton, hockey or fencing (categorised as ‘low risk’).

The athletes that take part in the study will be asked for their thoughts on the fairness and effectiveness of current anti-doping measures in their particular sport. Issues including the inadvertent use of banned substances, such as in the case of Scottish Winter Olympian Alain Baxter, will be addressed, with the responses of those taking part in the study to be used to help educate current and future athletes on the safe use of prescription medication and other medical treatments.

With the study announced at a time where anti-doping procedures in sport are subjected to ever-increasing scrutiny, Dr Dimeo is hopeful that the work carried out by his team will have a positive impact.

“My aim for this study is to provide practical guidance to WADA and other national governing bodies on how to increase athletes’ buy-in to anti-doping policy.”

“This is the fourth in a series of WADA commissioned projects by Stirling researchers that examine drug use in sport. I hope that athlete input will help shape anti-doping policy, making future programmes more relevant and effective.”

by Craig Wright

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