Virtual reality and mobile app to tackle doping in sport

11 April 2018

Visiting the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Minister McKenzie today launched a world first virtual reality anti-doping testing experience, developed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

“Being tested for performance enhancing drugs can be a very intimidating time, especially for young athletes. This experience lets athletes understand the whole process,” Minister McKenzie said.

In addition to the virtual reality experience, the Minister also unveiled a new mobile app developed by ASADA, designed to mitigate the ongoing risk posed to athletes by nutritional supplements.

Every month, at least one Australian athlete tests positive from a supplement contaminated with a prohibited substance. Five athlete sanctions have already been announced in 2018 alone as a result of supplement use.

The new ASADA Clean Sport app gives athletes a complete list of all supplements sold in Australia that have been screened for prohibited substances by an independent laboratory. These cannot give athletes a 100% safety guarantee, but does significantly lower the risk of a positive test. It also gives athletes access to a new quiz to assess the risk posed by other non-tested supplements by highlighting key risk factors.

“Contaminated supplements are the largest cause of inadvertent doping cases in Australia. I congratulate ASADA for developing this app to help educate and protect athletes who might consume performance enhancing drugs accidentally” Minister McKenzie said.

The new app also provides athletes with the functionality to report doping, check if a medication is banned in sport, give feedback on testing missions, and complete online education modules.

ASADA CEO David Sharpe said education and prevention is a key priority for ASADA as it focus’ efforts on the facilitators of doping, both in Australia and abroad.

“Using new, innovative technologies is key to engaging and educating athletes, and ASADA will deliver even more unique approaches to educating athletes about their rights and responsibilities in future.” Mr Sharp said.

The launch coincides with international Play True day, designed to raise awareness on the importance of clean sport.

“Clean sport is important for every athlete who hopes for their moment on the podium, for every child who looks up to their sporting hero, and for every fan who loves fair sport. At ASADA we work for all Australians who love sport, and celebrate courageous performances,” Mr Sharpe said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to improving integrity in sport, so all athletes are confident they are competing on an even playing field and international Play True day celebrates this,” Minister McKenzie said.