More New Zealand athletes than ever before are receiving anti-doping education due to heightened awareness of doping in sport.
Drug Free Sport NZ Education Manager Sian Clancy says more than 150 seminars have been delivered across the country in the past 12 months, a year on year increase since 2013.
“I think what we’re seeing is a lift in national sporting organisations (NSOs), athletes, support personnel and parents taking doping in sport more seriously,” Ms Clancy says.
“Anti-doping needs to be talked about more. Without education, how can athletes or their support personnel know about the risks of taking supplements, the Sports Anti-doping Rules or what they need to do should a prohibited medication be required for medical reasons?”
Ms Clancy says many NSOs are making anti-doping education a compulsory part of their programmes.
“Some of our NSOs such as Basketball New Zealand and Netball New Zealand are implementing DFNSZ education within their programmes. Their athletes are attending anti-doping seminars and those who cannot attend in person are going online to complete our new anti-doping E-Learning programme, which is fantastic.”
“It’s as simple as choosing to engage and learn from it. Athletes at all levels can be tested at any time and that can be confronting if they haven’t had education about the process,” she said.
The education seminars cover all aspects of anti-doping including the testing process, anti-doping rules, the risks of supplement use and using prohibited medications.
“Our Educators are located throughout New Zealand so we try and facilitate all requests for a seminar. We’ve educated all levels from Olympic athletes to teenagers playing in school sports teams,” Ms Clancy says.
“Educating young athletes is an important step helping shift the culture in some codes with supplement use a recognised problem. If we can educate them early enough about the risks, then it encourages respect towards clean sport.
Ms Clancy says the DFSNZ anti-doping education seminars have been developed to ensure a values-based approach to participation in sport.
For more information on DFSNZ’s anti-doping education seminars, please click here.