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How Does Doping Diminish the Brand of Sport?

Anti DopingAs a Lecturer in Australian Sports Policy at LaTrobe University, I have had some very interesting conversations with people about their understanding of Anti doping in Australia and how this links to the wider sporting world. Most of what is discussed pertains to the elite level of sport including professional sport and how athletes know what is prohibited or not. If you are like many Australians, especially in Victoria, you had limited knowledge and exposure to ASADA and the doping codes as they relate to sport in Australia and even overseas, until 2011 when the Essendon Football Club experienced their supplements saga.

Drugs in sports date back to the 1950’s where the use of steroids as performance enhancing drugs were first detected. In the 1980’s the use and detection of drugs in sport became more widespread. Generally there are three categories of drugs; Performance Enhancing (PE), Illicit (Illegal) and therapeutic (medicinal).

The formalisation of an anti-doping policy came about in Australia as a result of the Senate Drugs in Sport Inquiry held 1989–1990 after which, the Australian Government established the Australian Sports Drug Agency through the Australian Sports Drug Agency Act 1990.

On 14 March 2006, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) replaced the Australian Sports Drug Agency. Besides education and testing, ASADA was given increased powers to conduct investigations, present cases at sporting tribunals, recommend sanctions, and approve and monitor sporting organisations’ anti-doping policies.

In June 2013, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Bill 2013 provided ASADA with increased investigation powers. The Bill provided ASADA the right to compel those it believes that have knowledge about doping practice or a specific doping violation to attend an interview and to produce related documents. Failure to cooperate will lead to civil penalties.

Australia has a National Anti-Doping Framework that aligns domestic anti-doping efforts in Australia through a set of agreed principles, alongside clearly identified areas for co-operation between the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments. Members of the Framework are Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, Australian Sports Commission, State and Territory Governments, national sports organisations, state sporting organisations and professional associations.

Government agencies that play a role in the Framework include National Measurement Institute, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission.

ASADA plays a prominent role in the development of the World Anti-Doping Code, which was introduced in 1999 led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who initially funded the development of the code. The IOC now funds half of the costs associated with WADA with the other half from various national governments.

Athletes competing in sports governed by a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy need to be aware that they can’t just take any drug or medication, or even use certain methods.

Each year the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) updates and publishes a Prohibited List. The Prohibited List is the international standard that outlines the substances and methods that are prohibited in sport. It reflects the latest scientific and medical advances and is finalised after a consultative process facilitated by WADA.

WADA is responsible for preparing and annually publishing the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods following consultation with experts and WADA’s many stakeholders. Development of the List involves a number of meetings each year of the List Expert Group. The List is approved by WADA’s Executive Committee in September of each year and published three months prior to it coming into effect on 1 January.

In addition to WADA’s promotion of the Prohibited List, ASADA also promotes the List and its changes to Australian sports and athletes each year.

The information for this article was sourced from www.asada.gov.au. For more information regarding the prohibited list, testing and other responsibilities of athletes in relation to these issues, please visit the ASADA and or WADA site.

How does this relate to marketing? Negative publicity of this kind can hurt the branding of sport and their associated organisations. All levels of sporting organisations rely upon sponsors and government funding which can be adversely affected by doping/drug scandals. Marketing efforts must be employed to combat these negative impacts. Having an anti-doping as well as an illicit drugs policy can be used as a marketing tool to help combat the negative publicity and maintain integrity in the sports that are affected.

If you are looking for assistance with any corporate image or brand marketing, contact Hall of Fame Marketing Bendigo.





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