Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Drugs in sport

Analysis and Comment (46)

Australian sport has been in a so-called ‘crisis’ since 2013, but what is the best way address it? Australian sport has been in a so-called ‘crisis’ since 2013, but what is the best way address it? AAP/Lukas Coch

Are we doing enough to promote integrity in sport?

The “crisis” in Australian sport in 2013 prompted calls for change to rebuild integrity and public trust. But while beefing up policing and instituting harsher penalties seems to be a natural reaction…
What’s changed since the ACC report was handed down? What’s changed since the ACC report was handed down? Flickr/ hitthatswitch

One year on – the real doping scandals of 2013

A year after the “darkest day in Australian sport” the catastrophic bang has led to an all too predictable whimper. The days after the Australian Crime Commission’s report Organised Crime and Drugs in…
Many more Australians want to build the ‘body beautiful’ and we want to do it in a hurry, increasingly through the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs). Many more Australians want to build the ‘body beautiful’ and we want to do it in a hurry, increasingly through the use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs). shutterstock

Muscling up: are steroids an emerging criminal threat?

High-profile claims of links between elite sports and organised crime in Australia – such as those outlined in last year’s Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report – have put performance and image enhancing…
The Essendon supplements scandal that has enveloped the current AFL season has created the narrative of villains and heroes. Is it a sports marketers' dream? The Essendon supplements scandal that has enveloped the current AFL season has created the narrative of villains and heroes. Is it a sports marketers' dream? AAP/Julian Smith

Marketing sport: villains and heroes in AFL brand narratives

This season, some sports commentators and footy fans have argued that the investigation into the supplements regime at Essendon has brought the club, the AFL and “the code” to their knees. From a branding…
The devotion of Essendon fans towards their coach and club legend James Hird - despite his involvement in the club’s supplements saga - can be easily explained away. The devotion of Essendon fans towards their coach and club legend James Hird - despite his involvement in the club’s supplements saga - can be easily explained away. AAP/Julian Smith

Understanding the ‘cult’ of James Hird

It’s times like these when we get to see just how much sports like Australian rules football shape the thoughts and dreams of so many Australians. Not only has the Essendon drugs scandal dominated much…
It looks likely to be lawyers at ten paces as Essendon and the AFL head to court over the supplements scandal. It looks likely to be lawyers at ten paces as Essendon and the AFL head to court over the supplements scandal. AAP/Julian Smith

Essendon vs the AFL: what are the legal issues?

The only real winners in the whole Essendon drug supplement saga are set to be the lawyers. With all parties “lawyering up” and multiple court actions either under way or threatened, legal eagles will…
The alleged “supplements program” at Essendon Football club raises many questions. The alleged “supplements program” at Essendon Football club raises many questions. David Crosling/AAP

Supplementary reading: why was there no red flag at Essendon?

The notice of charges by the AFL against Essendon Football Club has been published, and we have dealt elsewhere with some of the facts of the matter. But some harder questions remain. What does this list…
Dr Frankenstein created a beast of horrifying power; Essendon just created a shambles. Dr Frankenstein created a beast of horrifying power; Essendon just created a shambles. Image from shutterstock.com

Frankenfooty: Essendon’s mixed bag of supplements

The list of charges by the AFL against the Essendon Football Club for its alleged supplements program makes for compelling reading. Early on in the Essendon charge sheet is this paragraph, which sets the…
Essendon coach James Hird, along with his club and three other senior officials, have been charged by the AFL over the supplements saga. Essendon coach James Hird, along with his club and three other senior officials, have been charged by the AFL over the supplements saga. AAP Image/Julian Smith

The Essendon supplements saga: what you don’t know can hurt you

The idiom “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” usually means the less you know about the possible risks and harms that can befall you, the less likely you are to worry yourself sick about them. The recently…
Anti-doping is about protecting the integrity of sport, but what about the people? Anti-doping is about protecting the integrity of sport, but what about the people? ĐāżŦ {mostly absent}

AFL, NRL – it’s time to move on from anti-doping

With the AFL and NRL “doping scandals” grinding on it seems there’s no end in sight to this saga. But there should be – and soon. Anti-doping will never work and should be replaced with a different approach…
Essendon coach James Hird outside his home on August 14, 2013 after the AFL charged him and four other club officials for bringing the game into disrepute over the alleged banned supplements scandal. Essendon coach James Hird outside his home on August 14, 2013 after the AFL charged him and four other club officials for bringing the game into disrepute over the alleged banned supplements scandal. Julian Smith/AAP

Human experimentation and ethics at Essendon Football Club

The news that the AFL has charged James Hird, and other members of the Essendon Football Club’s management staff (including the club doctor, Bruce Reid) with bringing the sport into disrepute should surprise…
Catching all dopers would be an expensive exercise, running into tens of millions of dollars. Catching all dopers would be an expensive exercise, running into tens of millions of dollars. EPA/Dominic Favre

Exposing dopers in sport: is it really worth the cost?

On the back of an interim report by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) into the Essendon Football Club’s controversial supplements program in 2011-12, the AFL last night charged the club…
The Essendon drugs saga is but the latest in a long history of scandals for Australian rules football. The Essendon drugs saga is but the latest in a long history of scandals for Australian rules football. AAP/Julian Smith

Essendon charged with bringing the game into disrepute: a history of footy scandals

As I write, the front pages of Melbourne’s newspapers this morning scream in chorus: Charged: Bombers Drug Scandal. But is this really the worst “scandal” in footy history? My first lesson in football…
WorkSafe Victoria has chosen not to investigate events at the Essendon Football Club. WorkSafe Victoria has chosen not to investigate events at the Essendon Football Club. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Time for OHS regulators to get off the bench and into the game

Imagine a construction company asks its employees to take some health supplements to increase their stamina, thereby enabling them to work more productively. Imagine that the efficacy and legality of the…
World champion sprinters Tyson Gay (centre) and Asafa Powell (right) have tested positive to the banned substance oxilofrine. World champion sprinters Tyson Gay (centre) and Asafa Powell (right) have tested positive to the banned substance oxilofrine. EPA/Peter Klaunzer

We know Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell … but what’s oxilofrine?

American sprinter Tyson Gay and former 100m world record-holder Jamaican Asafa Powell are reported to be among six athletes to test positive for a banned substance: oxilofrine. But what is this drug that…
Essendon champion Jobe Watson said this week he believes he was injected with a banned substance - but who is to blame for the saga surrounding him and his club? Essendon champion Jobe Watson said this week he believes he was injected with a banned substance - but who is to blame for the saga surrounding him and his club? AAP/David Crosling

Doping in sport: who is to bless and who is to blame?

Essendon captain and reigning Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson has admitted that he believes he was injected with the banned substance AOD-9604. The anti-obesity drug is at the centre of the ASADA investigation…
Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in front of the map for the ‘cleanest tour ever’. But have attitudes towards doping in cycling changed in the past year? Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in front of the map for the ‘cleanest tour ever’. But have attitudes towards doping in cycling changed in the past year? EPA

It’s the first Tour de France since the Armstrong saga – but has anything changed?

The historic 100th edition of the Tour de France, kicking off tomorrow in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, is being heralded by many as the cleanest Tour ever. This year’s Tour favourite, Britain’s Chris Froome…
Essendon captain Jobe Watson was at the centre of the latest drugs-in-sport scandal this week after admitting he took a banned substance. Essendon captain Jobe Watson was at the centre of the latest drugs-in-sport scandal this week after admitting he took a banned substance. AAP

New anti-doping powers won’t fix culture of drugs in sport

It’s been more than four months since Australia’s “blackest day” in elite sport, with allegations of widespread misuse of drugs and other substances. After several years of high-profile cases of drugs-in-sport…
Is sport the last remaining institution of faith in Australian society? Is sport the last remaining institution of faith in Australian society? Sascha Wenninger

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi: why do we love sport so much?

Australians have a remarkable affection for their sport, an affection which has endured for well over 150 years. They love the sports they play but, even more so, they love the sports they watch – both…
‘Deeply sorry’: Essendon chairman David Evans announced the findings of the Switkowski report into governance issues at the AFL club. ‘Deeply sorry’: Essendon chairman David Evans announced the findings of the Switkowski report into governance issues at the AFL club. AAP/David Crosling

Essendon drugs crisis: more questions than answers in Switkowski’s half-baked report

From the outset, Ziggy Switkowski defined his report on Essendon’s supplements program as “constrained” because two parallel investigations could not be compromised. What Swiztowski calls constrained could…
As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. AAP/David Crosling

Drugs in sport saga: do the fans really care?

When the drugs in Australian sport investigation was announced in early February, much was made of the importance of protecting fans from the actions of wrongdoers. But here we are, three months into this…
Are these medications being used to treat genuine illnesses? It’s difficult to tell. Are these medications being used to treat genuine illnesses? It’s difficult to tell. Image from shutterstock.com

Athletes need performance-enhancing drugs to treat illness

Ever wondered how many athletes are legally allowed to take “performance-enhancing drugs”? You read correctly - many elite athletes are given official permission to use drugs that are otherwise banned…
There are so many “performance enhancing” drugs floating around - but what do they actually do? There are so many “performance enhancing” drugs floating around - but what do they actually do? heather aitken

Glossary: ‘sports science’ drugs

Ever since a year-long investigation by the Australian Crime Commission alleged “widespread use” of drugs in sport we’ve been hearing about a dizzying array of substances allegedly used by elite athletes…
A dejected James Hird walks from the field after Essendon were beaten by Geelong in Rd17 2012. Hird faces media allegations that he has taken performance enhancing drugs. A dejected James Hird walks from the field after Essendon were beaten by Geelong in Rd17 2012. Hird faces media allegations that he has taken performance enhancing drugs. AAP/Castro

Explainer: coaches, ASADA and drugs in sport

With a media firestorm engulfing James Hird, coach of AFL club Essendon, over allegations that he may have taken substances banned by sports doping agencies, where do coaching staff stand in relation to…
James Hird suffers an injury as a player. Could yet worse hurt be to come? James Hird suffers an injury as a player. Could yet worse hurt be to come? AAP Image

ASADA can throw the AFL into chaos - and here’s how

AFL club Essendon has so far avoided the imposition of any sanctions by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). Yet the investigation into the activities of the club, especially the supplements…
In the debate on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, what should we consider an unfair advantage? In the debate on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport, what should we consider an unfair advantage? www.shutterstock.com

Drugs in sport: what constitutes ‘unfair advantage’?

At the heart of growing concern about performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport is the very basic matter of sport as an even contest. As Roy and H.G. used to put it, no one is particularly interested…
Myths surround the use of polygraph machines. Myths surround the use of polygraph machines. Lie detector photo from Shutterstock.

Lie detectors and anti-doping – who’s kidding who?

Please, sit down. Try not to sweat. Just relax. Now, answer honestly: could lie detectors succeed where current anti-doping measures in sport are failing? If you answered “yes” you are not alone. There…
Recent controversies in sport won’t keep the fans away. Recent controversies in sport won’t keep the fans away. Julie Edgley/Flickr

Drugs in sport? Why our memory of scandal fades so readily

Despite the recent controversy arising from the ACC report into organised crime and drugs in sport, it is unlikely that substantial numbers of fans will stop supporting their sport. In fact, we are surprisingly…
Unnamed players from the Cronulla Sharks NRL club are being investigated over the alleged use of performance-enhancing drug TB-4 … but what is it? Unnamed players from the Cronulla Sharks NRL club are being investigated over the alleged use of performance-enhancing drug TB-4 … but what is it? AAP Image

Cronulla Sharks and thymosin beta-4 … is it doping?

Fairfax Media reported today that 14 players from the Cronulla Sharks NRL club may be suspended by the Australian Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) for the alleged use of a substance called thymosin beta-4 (TB-4…
NRL CEO David Smith at this week’s season launch. The NRL now faces a challenge to its credibility with an ASADA investigation into performance enhancing drug use. NRL CEO David Smith at this week’s season launch. The NRL now faces a challenge to its credibility with an ASADA investigation into performance enhancing drug use. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

NRL: more than Sharks in the water at Cronulla?

When millimetres can be the difference between glory and anonymity, how far will some athletes go to get an edge? For some, it seems, not even their soul is too high a price. In a day sports authorities…
Members of the Olympic men’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay team James McEvoy, James Magnussen and Eamon Sullivan at a news conference in Sydney yesterday. Members of the Olympic men’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay team James McEvoy, James Magnussen and Eamon Sullivan at a news conference in Sydney yesterday. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Treatment, enhancement or recreation – why sports and Stilnox are a bad mix

It was a bonding session that involved prank phone calls, knocking on doors late at night and other acts of “harmless fun”. The men’s 4x100m Olympic freestyle relay team made it sound like they were boys…
Public interest can suffer when sports journalists look the wrong way. Public interest can suffer when sports journalists look the wrong way. Natursports/Shutterstock.com

On scandal after scandal, sports journalists drop the ball

The year so far has been terrible for the reputation of sport. Lance Armstrong confessed (sort of) to Oprah; Europol discovered widespread match-fixing in European football; the Australian Crime Commission…
Is our current form of hyper-competitive sport transgressive of fair play? Is our current form of hyper-competitive sport transgressive of fair play? Art-Of-2

We’re getting tougher on doping cheats – but why?

What’s the point of anti-doping? And what’s the point of sport in the early 21st century? Is the current system of anti-doping good for our kids, our athletes and is it good for sport? Is it even good…
According to Plato, corruption is the ‘perfect injustice’ appearing to be good and just when you are not. According to Plato, corruption is the ‘perfect injustice’ appearing to be good and just when you are not. Flickr/Erlend Aasland

The ‘perfect injustice’: is Australia more corrupt than we think?

Corruption is pervasive, diverse and present in almost all areas of society. From the “greed is good” heyday of the 1980s that encompassed the rise and fall of corporate high-flyers such as Christopher…
Part of Team GB’s success at the 2012 Olympics can be attributed to rigorous sports science. Part of Team GB’s success at the 2012 Olympics can be attributed to rigorous sports science. Sum_of_Marc/Flickr

Sports science: time for proper accreditation

Stephen Dank, the man at the centre of Essendon drug scandal has been widely quoted in the media as a sport scientist or performance scientist. He has a PhD but is not accredited with Exercise Sport Science…
In light of the Australian Crime Commission report into doping, we need to look at how sport scientists are taught. In light of the Australian Crime Commission report into doping, we need to look at how sport scientists are taught. Drugs in sport image from www.shutterstock.com

Doping shock: pointing the finger at sports scientists

The report recently released by the Australian Crime Commission sent shock waves through the sporting world, implicating sport scientists and other support personnel in unethical doping practices. The…
Since claims of systematic doping in Australian sport emerged last week, the role of sports scientists has been called into question. Since claims of systematic doping in Australian sport emerged last week, the role of sports scientists has been called into question. marc falardeau

Tarred with the same brush: what do sports scientists do?

Sports scientists have taken something of a media beating over the past week following revelations of alleged widespread illegal doping across Australian professional sporting codes. While this may be…
In sports-loving Australia, damaging its integrity ultimately undermines supporter confidence and enjoyment. In sports-loving Australia, damaging its integrity ultimately undermines supporter confidence and enjoyment. AAP/Rob Cox

Doping, gambling and sport: integrity begins at home

The Australian Crime Commission’s report on organised crime and drugs in sport has unleashed a storm amongst sports fans, particularly those who follow the clubs or codes so far implicated. Use of new…
In light of relevations into doping in Australian sport, should more be done to protect and inform professional athletes? In light of relevations into doping in Australian sport, should more be done to protect and inform professional athletes? Phil Roeder

We need an advocate against ASADA’s power in doping control

Should an athlete advocacy organisation be established to help athletes navigate the minefield of banned and permitted substances in sport? We believe it should be. Last week’s report by the Australian…
Sports journalists don’t always have the resources to break major crime stories. Sports journalists don’t always have the resources to break major crime stories. AAP/Joe Castro

Don’t blame sports journalists for missing corruption scandal

The cheating scandal that has ostensibly bewildered those in command of Australia’s elite sports could end up being the biggest story involving sport in history. Yet sport journalists, like the officials…
Coach of Essendon James Hird talks with assistant coach Mark Thompson in 2011. Coach of Essendon James Hird talks with assistant coach Mark Thompson in 2011. AAP/Martin Philbey

Essendon scandal a symptom of Australia’s sporting woes

The Australian Crime Commission report released last week, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, claims Australian sport, especially at the professional level, has a serious drug use problem. According to…
Doctors and sports scientists have to negotiate the goals of their employers with the expectations of their profession. Doctors and sports scientists have to negotiate the goals of their employers with the expectations of their profession. Quinn Dombrowski

Embedded sports scientists and doctors walk an ethical tightrope

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) findings about the actions of “specific coaches, sports scientists and high-performance staff” in condoning or orchestrating the administration of prohibited substances…
Sports Minister Kate Lundy at the release of the ACC report into organised crime and sport in Australia. Sports Minister Kate Lundy at the release of the ACC report into organised crime and sport in Australia. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Drugs in the sporting workplace

Sport administrators, employers, policy makers, sponsors, parents and sport fans are understandably scratching their heads right now, as to the facts underpinning claims of corruption and crime in Australian…
AAP/The Australian Customs Service

Not fun and games: organised crime and sport

The findings of the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) report Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport have come as a shock to many and become an enormous media story. Should we be surprised? Are these just…
Australian sport was supposed to be clean. What went wrong? Australian sport was supposed to be clean. What went wrong? AAP/Lukas Coch

Drugs, crime and ball games: how Aussie sport got crooked

The Australian Crime Commission report, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, has come as a hammer blow to Australian sport. According to a review of cycling released only last month, Australia is supposed…
An ASADA investigation has been launched into the alleged use of supplements by Essendon players last year. An ASADA investigation has been launched into the alleged use of supplements by Essendon players last year. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Essendon faces a doping investigation … but what are peptides?

By now you’ll have heard the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is investigating Essendon Football Club. At this stage, there has been speculation about the injection of “peptides” by players…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (1)