Volunteers needed for Anti-doping research project

Researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University in Great Britain and KU Leuven University in Belgium have partnered together to understand the experience of athletes with intellectual impairment in anti-doping and drug testing. The research project is funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This study is among the first to provide recommendations and guidance to international and national sports and anti-doping organisations on how to best support athletes with an intellectual impairment. Dr Philip Hurst from Canterbury Christ Church University along with Virtus Eligibility Head- Professor Jan Burns and Virtus Academy Manager Dr Debbie Van Biesen will be working closely on this project.

Interested volunteers will be invited to attend a focus group interview with other athletes with intellectual impairments and parents/guardians/coaches. During the interviews, questions will be asked related to experiences of anti-doping, such as education sessions, drug testing and what can be done to help improve these practices for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Information provided will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous, whereby none of the information provided will be passed on to others.

Who can participate?

Both athletes with intellectual impairment and those who support them, such as their parents, guardians or coaches are eligible to participate in the study.

Athletes will need to:

  1. Have competed in an event that is compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
  2. Be registered to compete with VIRTUS (the International Sports Federation for athletes with an intellectual
  3. Be aged 16 or older.
  4. Attended an anti-doping education session or have been drug tested in sport.

If you are unsure of whether you fulfil the criteria outlined above, do not hesitate to contact the lead researcher, Dr Philip Hurst, at Philip.hurst@canterbury.ac.uk.