ASADA engages athletes to spread anti-doping message

15 February 2019
Athlete education presenters

A new team of elite, current and former Australian athletes have been engaged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) to be education presenters around the country.

This is the first time ASADA has employed athletes to be education presenters. ASADA has chosen a mix of 17 athletes and teachers to spread the anti-doping message because athletes are more likely to relate to people who they see as their contemporaries.

This week, seven of the current and former athletes have been put through a three-day training session at the ASADA headquarters in Canberra.

Once they have completed their training, they will then be tasked with educating Australian sportspeople through ASADA’s education programs.

The athletes undergoing the course this week include former Hockeyroo Juliet Haslam, Australian women’s water polo captain Bronwen Knox, swimmers Keryn McMaster and Kurt Herzog, Australian climber Annabelle Cleary, former gymnast Ashleigh Brennan and middle distance runner Riley McGown.

Knox, a triple Olympian, says the whole experience has been enlightening. “It has definitely expanded my knowledge of what is required to keep sport clean and fair. I now have a greater appreciation of the effort being undertaken to ensure the welfare of athletes is at the forefront,” she says.

ASADA CEO David Sharpe says it’s a major development in the way anti-doping education programs are delivered in Australia from the elite through to the grassroots and schools.

“This is an important step forward with athletes delivering anti-doping programs and shows how ASADA is working with athletes to ensure the messaging is effective,” Mr Sharpe says.

The Minister for Sport, the Hon Bridget McKenzie, says the Liberal Nationals Government is committed to ensuring that Australia is a world leader in clean, safe and fair sport.

“It’s fantastic that we have former and current elite athletes with first-hand knowledge and experience ready to help educate other athletes on anti-doping messages,” Minister McKenzie says.

“We want Australians to know that competitions and athletes are all competing on a level playing field and that families and kids can all look up to their sporting heroes.”

Media statement: ASADA Athlete Education Presenters