Media statement: Anti-doping education by athletes, for athletes

10 November 2017

ASADA has today released a series of anti-doping videos designed to help athletes cope with the pressures of life in sport and prevent doping.

The videos were developed by athletes, for athletes, and acknowledge the range of triggers which can lead to doping.

Speaking from his own experience as an athlete and coach, ASADA CEO David Sharpe said: “Life as an athlete is not easy. There is constant pressure to train harder, and perform better. At times, your world can be completely consumed by the sport.”

“Athletes also face moments when they are particularly susceptible to doping – for example if they’re trying to recover from an injury or if their sponsorship deal is on the line.”

“These videos are designed to help athletes think beyond those moments, and take a look at their choices from a distance.”

The videos were developed by athlete-run organisation Crossing the Line, and launched at their annual athlete symposium in Sydney today.

The clips examine pressures like the fear of letting teammates down, the fear of staff losing their jobs because you don’t perform, or the fear of not making a team in the first place.

They also encourage athletes to think ahead before making the decision to dope – how will you explain it to your family? What sort of example are you setting for people who look up to you?

Finally, they look at the choices facing athletes – how to say no, how to report suspicious activity, and how to pull yourself from the idea that ‘everyone is doing it’.

Mr Sharpe said: “Understanding the pressure that athletes face and helping them cope is important for athletes’ health, and is important if we want to prevent doping in Australia.”

“It can be very difficult for an athlete to think beyond their next race, their next competition, their next season. But there is life after sport, and we want to help athletes so they can look back on their careers with a true sense of pride and personal accomplishment. Doping does not fit that picture.”

Four-time Olympic rower and Crossing the Line CEO Gearoid Towey said: "Doping can do incredible damage to an athlete's life beyond sport. It can challenge their personal relationships and hamper their future career prospects. We believe in educating athletes early so that they make the right decisions and feel truly in charge of their own lives."

The videos are available on ASADA’s YouTube channel: