«Anti-Doping and grassroots sport A production of Play by the Rules In cooperation with © Play by the Rules 2015 The content of this ebook is ...»
A production of Play by the Rules
In cooperation with
© Play by the Rules 2015
The content of this ebook is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this
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The information in this ebook is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the ebook undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 2 Safeguarding the integrity of sport Preface On 1 June representatives from Northern Territory sports organisations and major clubs gathered to attend the Safeguarding the Integrity of Sport forum in the Michael Long Learning Centre in Darwin. The Darwin forum concluded a unique national roadshow, organised by Play by the Rules, which addressed the impact that doping, match-fixing and the use of supplements are having on sport at a grassroots and sub-elite level.
The forums were unique in many ways, not least for the extent of inter-agency cooperation that went into staging them. Major partners were the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity in Sport Unit (NISU) and all state and territory departments of sport and recreation. The initiative was funded via the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO), the collective of federal, state and territory heads of sport. CASRO’s support followed recommendations from the Access All Levels report, commissioned by Play by the Rules on behalf of CASRO and produced by Bluestone Edge in 2014.
The report confirmed what CASRO suspected — that doping, match-fixing and the use of supplements were no longer confined to high performance sport.
This ebook is a direct transcript of the presentation from ASADA at the forum that was held
in Sydney in May 2015. To view the full video, or major topic session videos, simply go to:
www.playbytherules.net.au/news-centre/projects-sport-integrity/1446-safeguardingintegrity At the time of producing this ebook we are in the process of planning for the next stage of support in these areas of integrity. If you would like to be kept informed of these initiatives and resources then sign up here – www.pbtr.com.au/safeguarding/ Thanks Peter Downs Manager – Play by the Rules October 2015 Play by the Rules PART 2: ANTI-DOPING AND
GRASSROOTS SPORTSimon Henry (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) Thanks very much, Paul. Simon Henry is my name, and I’m the director of intelligence at ASADA. So, I’m going to take the next 20 minutes or so to talk about some of the challenges at the sub-elite level, in terms of doping. And then, the next 20 minutes or so, I’m going to share with my colleague, who will talk about some of the, I guess, ways we can collaborate together to perhaps overcome and make us more resilient to those challenges that I’m going to talk about.
So, I’ll give you a little bit of background, if you indulge me for a moment, as to how I came to be on this stage, talking about these issues to you today. I started with the ASADA back in January, and it’s a new role, the director of intelligence role. And I’m here with ASADA on secondment from the Australian Federal Police. So, I’m filling into the space, but I have some knowledge of sports integrity, because like many of you, back in 2013, I saw the press conference with a bunch of eminent Australians who are in leadership positions in sport and government, talking about threats to sport. And to me, as a police officer, that was something completely foreign to me. I had no idea that sport faced any sort of challenge or threat to its integrity. And it was something that I thought, “Well, I’d ike to be part of the solution.” 4 Keeping sport safe, fair and inclusive I’m preaching to the choir here with this sort of stuff, but as an individual who’s participated in and consumed sport, I see its benefits to individuals, and also culture as a nation. So, I wanted to be part of the solution, and started digesting as much material as I could around sports integrity issues. And thankfully, in January, I was able to translate that into a day-today position. So, the last four months have been a really steep learning curve. So hopefully, in terms of session outcomes, I’d like to convey to you guys some of those challenges that I’ve picked up on in the last couple years, but in particular the last four months, in terms of doping-specific challenges.
Having said that, I don’t want to overstate the problem. I don’t want you guys to go away from here thinking that the sky is falling and that everyone’s doping. Certainly, that isn’t the case. It is only a minority of people. But such is the challenge, and such is the number of people who are looking to dope or are doping at several levels, that it is a problem worth thinking about, so that we can make ourselves more resilient to it, so it doesn’t become a larger problem. And one of the rationalizations people with dope use often is, “Well, everyone else is doing it.” And that’s often not the case, but once that perception is there, the problem can become self-fulfilling.
I’m going to talk about some of the drivers that are, I guess, pushing these changes we’ve seen in doping in the last 20 years or so, and then, following on from that, some of the trends that we can start to see, which, I guess, gives you some hard evidence as to what these drivers—what sort of effect they’re having on our society and sport as a part of that.
So, I’m going to now talk—I’m going to give you three statements, and I’d like your opinions, because I’m pretty sure you’ll know the answers, in terms of some of this stuff, and have your own thoughts, which can later inform other aspects of my presentation.
But I’ll throw a statement out there, a true-or-false statement, “Doping is a practice confined to elite-level sports only.” Who disagrees with that? Over on my right, in the green shirt, what’s your name? Simon? Good name. Why do you disagree with that statement?
Respondent: I’ve seen it.
Simon: Witnessed and seen it?
Respondent: I’ve played sport for 40 years, and I’ve seen it.
Simon: Haven’t done it, I hope? No? Good. So, sport is a human endeavour. Doping isn’t an issue confined to elite-level sport. Perhaps, 20 years ago, that statement may have largely been still accurate. Nowadays, for a number of reasons, which I’ll highlight in some of the drivers that I’ll talk about—it’s not confined to elite-level sport. It’s well and truly breached that quarantine. It is affecting sub-elite sports, and it even goes down as far as communitylevel sport.
All right, “Doping requires sophisticated support to undertake.” Who would disagree with that statement? Yes, on the back in the middle? Yes?
Play by the Rules Respondent: Depending on your definition of doping, whatever you could find at the local pharmacy would be doping, so that’s an important discussion.
Simon: No, it certainly doesn’t require Lance Armstrong-style dedicated professional specialist medical support to dope. As you said, it might be as simple as just going to your local pharmacy and getting a substance that is technically banned by WADA. So, you certainly don’t need long supply chains or specific medical advice to dope.
And last of all, “There’s no compelling reason to dope at the sub-elite level.” Who would disagree with that? Man in the leather jacket on my right?
Respondent: I think the pressure placed on junior athletes by their parents would create a reason for them and their coaches to go into doping or to use it, if they can.
Simon: Yes, so there’s pressure, and that’s one of them. And I’ll touch on a study a bit later, in one of the slides, around elite-level juniors, in particular, and doping issues. But yes, I disagree with that statement, as well. I’ll go through, at the back end of this presentation, a number of reasons why people have doped at the sub-elite level, and just help you understand some of the reasons people would articulate why they have doped in the past.
Sport is a human endeavour, so we all make mistakes. So, now, look at me. I decided to get married and have three children. So, no one’s immune to making mistakes. It’s not confined to elite-level sport. These are issues that are relevant to yourselves and your sports that you are administering.
How do I know this sort of stuff? Tip-offs. I manage the tip-off line for ASADA, so most of our tip-offs come in via our web form on our website. Occasionally, we get calls, as well, or emails. So, most of the tip-offs I receive don’t concern elite athletes. They concern sub-elite or community-level sports participants. So, we can well and truly see from that—I just did an analysis on those sort of trends over time. Probably 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have been the case. Nowadays, most of my tip-offs relate to people that you may be accountable for dealing with on a daily basis.
ASADA investigations—when we send our investigators out to talk to someone who’s been detected doping, they’ll tell us about more people at the sub-elite level who’ve doped, introduced them to doping, or are facilitating their doping, or that they’re supplying and trafficking doping substances to.
Law enforcement supplies us with intelligence. We have a good information-sharing relationship. Increasingly, they are producing intelligence around these issues, because it’s something that’s increasingly on their agenda, as well. For example, steroids in Queensland is now a Schedule 1 drug, so equivalent with heroin or something like that. It’s becoming identified as a serious community health issue, not just a doping issue, so there’s more law enforcement attention on the issue, as well.
6 Keeping sport safe, fair and inclusive Testing—when we test at the sub-elite level, we get positive presence for banned substances at the sub-elite level. Research—there was a research report released by a couple of universities from Australia last year, and it concerned the elite-level junior athletes. So, they surveyed 900 elite juniors. Within their results, they found that 4% of those 900 admitted to using performance-enhancing substances that were banned for performance-enhancing purposes. So, these aren’t supplements or anything like that. These were people making admissions to using performance-enhancing substances that were banned, purely to get a performance effect. So, I asked myself, “If 4% of elite juniors are doing it, what’s it like for more adult populations who have greater means, greater ability to facilitate such things, if 4% of elite juniors are up to that sort of stuff?” And last of all, when I talk to my international counterparts, particularly the UK, U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, their experience replicates our own, that it’s not an issue confined to elite-level sports. They have the same issues at their sub-elite and community sports levels.
And we’re each wrestling with what to do about these problems, given that it’s no longer confined to the elite-level models that we’re all set up for.
So, some of the drivers that are making, I guess, these changes a reality and bringing to bear some of these trends that I’ll talk about and picture on the slide show—these are situational drivers, and these relate back to some of the things Paul was talking about. These are locallevel influences on athletes and people participating in sport. These are your local-level role models, your near role models, your local sports administrators, coaches, captains of teams, peers—what their mindsets are, what their ethical mindsets are, such as Paul was talking about, the subcultures—those sort of situational-level influences—they’re the things I think you can have a really good effect and impact upon, depending on your policies, etc., and the sort of cultures you’re looking to create.
The big changes we’re seeing, in terms of doping, tend to be driven by the environmental drivers. And these are the big-daddy changes that you and I can’t influence. A lot of these are global changes that are creating trends in doping. And I’ll talk about four in a bit more detail. The first I’ll talk about is technological change. In the last 20 years, what would you say has been the biggest technological driver, perhaps, of doping?
Respondent: Access to information on the Internet.
Simon: Exactly, the Internet—a relatively new phenomenon, probably since the mid-90s.
As it’s gained a lot of traction and use, it’s enabled the sharing of information, however— across the globe, across all sorts of markets and between people in a way as never before.
So, whereas before, 20 years ago, to dope effectively and have some sort of doping regime that wasn’t going to kill you, you might have to know someone else that was doping to get that inside knowledge, now that knowledge is on the public Internet. If you go a bodybuilding forum, you will see people openly talking about what substances to take, how to stack it, how to test your body’s threshold to work at what your body can take and then back off a little bit, in great detail. So, if you want to know how to dope, that information is readily available. 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have been as easy to come across that sort Play by the Rules of information. You probably would have had to know someone doing it and get that expertise firsthand. Now, you just have to log on to the Internet. And that comes, also, down to—question?
Respondent: It might make it easier for athletes of any level to access information, but it might be easier for people like yourself, as well, because you have access to the same information.