Anti-Doping in grassroots sport 

Doping is a huge issue in elite sport. But doping issues can also impact at a sub-elite and even grassroots level of sport. Is doping an issue at your club? Do you know where to get information and support on doping issues? 

Athletes get caught out all the time for anti-doping rule violations, including those competing at sub-elite and even in community level competitions. 

There are a number of reasons why people dope, like improving self-esteem, image, and performance. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t know what they were taking would cause a positive test, but ignorance is no excuse. There are plenty of resources to help you know what you can and can’t take and when so you can prevent an anti-doping rule violation, and to keep sport fair.

Check your substancesGlobalDRO is a great resource that tells you if a substance like cold and flu tablets or your prescription medications are banned, a controlled substance, or okay to take any time. If you need to take a banned substance to stay healthy, you may need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption through the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) with your doctor.

Get smart – Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) Level 1 and Level 2 eLearning courses cover all the basics of anti-doping and the rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), and can be completed in an afternoon. More and more state-based clubs are demanding their athletes complete it before they compete, so it makes sense to have it under your belt. If you ever need to refresh your memory on anti-doping, you can also visit the ASADA website.

Assess the need, assess the risk – There’s a lot of pressure to take supplements, but one in five supplements on Australian shelves are contaminated with a banned substance. You need to make the call if you really need to take a supplement to gain an edge and risk being banned from all sport, or if you can make the gain through training harder and eating better.

What if you see something?

Doping doesn’t just affect the doper. Doping affects everyone else in competition with them, as well as their friends and family. If you suspect someone is doping, you can make a confidential tip-off to ASADA through their website or by calling 13 000 ASADA (13 000 27232).

What you should know 

In 2015 Play by the Rules joined forces with ASADA and other partners for the Safeguarding the Integrity of Sport forums. These forums addressed a range of issues including anti-doping. Below you can see a recording of the presentation by Simon Henry and Michelle Heins from ASADA  at the May Sydney Forum who provide a comprehensive insight into doping issues at a grassroots level of sport. 


You can also download the transcript of this presentation by visiting our ebooks section.