Blog: How your ethics and values impact decisions

21 January 2015

While some decisions are straight forward, others might not be quite so clear or easy. Would you report your own teammate if you knew they were doping? Would you take a drug that was permitted in sport now but banned in a months’ time? If the umpire missed a call you know they should have made, would you own up? The decisions we make are often based on our own values, principles and morals.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is running a new face-to-face presentation that focuses on the values of sport and ethical decision making and we‘re encouraging all sports to get on board.

To get the ball rolling ASADA has already brought a number of National Sporting Organisations (NSO) together to show them how to present their own workshop. Our aim is to empower sports to own this information and present it to athletes at all levels.

We are encouraged by a number of sports that are actively working towards adapting and tailoring this workshop and want to hear from other sports who are interested in delivering this presentation.

While much of ASADA’s education is based on providing information, this innovative workshop is the first serious step into education that looks beyond the anti-doping rules, and concentrates more on ethics and values; how they guide behaviours and the choices we make in the complex anti-doping area.

ASADA collaborated with experts in the field to develop the resources used in the workshop. Research shows that providing information to athletes alone is not enough. To tackle prohibited drugs and methods in sport we must first understand the values, beliefs and motivations of those who take them.

The 60 minute presentation uses interactive, theoretical and experimental approaches to learning. Each discussion relates back to decisions that athletes may be faced with in their career (or in life) and goes well beyond anti-doping in sport. The workshop is relevant for all areas of integrity, including match fixing, illicit drugs, gambling and alcohol.

At the end of the session athletes will gain insight into what their core values are, why they are doing sport and, most importantly, how they might make decisions in the ‘grey area’ when the answer is not so clear cut.

ASADA has begun rolling out the workshop across several sports including water polo, athletics, hockey, swimming, fencing and the ACT Academy of Sport. So far the results have been positive with participants actively encouraging other sports to get involved.

High Performance Manager for Water Polo Australia, Tom Hill said, ‘This is a highly interactive workshop that would be beneficial for all sports.’

ASADA’s ethical decision making workshop is a great addition to the ASADA e-Learning programme or standard face-to-face presentation. It also supports the need for values-based education that is promoted in the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

If you are a NSO interested in booking a session, please contact us to discuss where the session will fit in with your current anti-doping education plans.

If you are a group or organisation that would like ASADA to run a session, contact us on 13 000 ASADA (27232) to enquire about availability and costs.