11 May May 2021 1350 11 May 2021

Survey exploring athlete vulnerability associated with potential doping

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Montreal, 22 April 2021

Dear Colleagues,
[International Federations]

As you may know, one of the key initiatives outlined in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Five-Year Strategic Plan is to ‘ Focus on impactful research based on key priorities and outcomes’. In keeping with this initiative, in October 2020, WADA commissioned a Social Science Research project – in partnership with Canada’s Université de Sherbrooke Research Chair on Anti-Doping in Sport – to examine the concept of ‘athlete vulnerability factors associated with potential doping’ in different sports.

Today, WADA is pleased to launch the next phase in this Social Science Research project by publishing the Vulnerability Sport Profile Survey – which aims to explore the key athlete vulnerability factors associated with potential doping in different sports.

The survey, which takes less than 15 minutes to complete, welcomes both International and National level sport perspectives and seeks to explore:

  • the vulnerability factors that exist or are prevalent in different sports
  • the most influential athlete support personnel at different stages of an athlete’s career for different sports
  • the risk of inadvertent doping in different sports
  • the stages of an athlete’s career or their experiences that may increase their vulnerability to dope

It is important to note that the survey is anonymous as no private information will be collected or shared and the analyses will focus on aggregated data at either a sport, national or regional level.

The objective of the research project, which will incorporate the insight gathered via this survey, is to increase our understanding of the factors that may make athletes more vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional doping – and to identify what interventions can be implemented to enhance our collective efforts to protect athletes and clean sport. The outcomes of the research, which will incorporate the insight gathered via this survey, will be shared with you and the clean sport community.

The survey is an initial scoping survey of International Federation (IF) and National Federation (NF) personnel familiar with the culture and structure of their sport – as well as any other individuals who can provide an informed perspective on the vulnerability of athletes in their sport.

If the response from this initial survey is sufficient, each sport and/or country will be better informed about the groups and types of athletes who may be more vulnerable to doping and, therefore, allow the federations to be more proactive in protecting these athletes. The results will also help WADA to identify specific areas for additional and/or more robust research.

The deadline to complete the survey is 23 May 2021. Where possible, WADA kindly requests that the personnel responding from both IFs and NFs be technical, medical, sport or coaching staff with a good knowledge of the structure and culture of their sport. We understand that one individual may not be able to provide feedback on all questions. The Agency therefore kindly asks all IFs to forward the survey to as many relevant staff, volunteers and respective NFs as possible in order to gather as much input as possible about the sport at both the international and national levels.

Should you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact WADA’s Social Science Research team at: ssr@wada-ama.org.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation on this important project and for your contribution to the protection of clean sport.

Best regards,

World Anti-Doping Agency

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