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Study aims to shape global anti-doping programmes

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Dr Paul Dimeo
Dr Paul Dimeo

Athletes' attitudes on the fairness of current anti-doping programmes and how they believe they affect their success will be explored by academics from the University of Stirling in a new study.

Commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) the researchers aim to use the results of the two year study to shape global anti-doping programmes as well as educate athletes on the safe use of products that may have an effect on performance.

“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,” said Dr Paul Dimeo of the University of Stirling, the study’s leader and prominent authority on doping in sport.

Targeting a range of sports, athletes across the globe will be interviewed, comparing responses from athletes that have been caught doping alongside those of clean athletes.

Dr Dimeo said: “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.”

The study will involve 70 national or international athletes from six countries in sports deemed at high risk for doping - cycling, athletics and swimming and those deemed low risk,  - badminton, hockey and fencing.  All athletes will be asked to share their perceptions regarding the fairness and effectiveness of current anti-doping systems.

Addressing a range of anti-doping issues, including inadvertent use of drugs, athletes’ responses will be collated and the results used to help educate current and future athletes regarding safe use of prescription medication, supplements and other treatments that may have an effect on performance.


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Notes for editors
Background information

University of Stirling

The University of Stirling is among the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years old  (Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 Table 2015)

Ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability, 96% of our graduates are in employment, or further study, within six months of graduating. (Telegraph/HESA, 2015)

The University achieved an overall 5 stars in the QS World University Rankings 2015

Stirling is 5th in Scotland and 40th in the UK for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

We are Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and are ranked among the top 10 in the UK for Sport (The Complete University Guide, 2015)

We were a winner of the Queen’s Anniversary prize for Higher and Further Education 2014 for ground-breaking research led by the Institute of Social Marketing into the effects of tobacco, alcohol and food marketing on the health of young people


WADA’s Social Science Research Grant Program was created to ensure that preventative anti-doping education programs were designed using an evidence-based approach. Since the creation of the Program in 2005, 73 projects have been funded awarding close to US$ 2.5 million.

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