Doping in sport – what do we actually know?

The international doping conference at Aarhus University will provide a forum for discussing what we actually know about doping in sport. For example, it will take a critical look at our knowledge of doping cultures, the athletes’ psychology and existing research in the area.

Researchers from all parts of the world will be discussing doping at an interdisciplinary conference in Aarhus.
Researchers from all parts of the world will be discussing doping at an interdisciplinary conference in Aarhus.

What do we actually know about doping in sport – and what do we need to find out? Are doping tests, where athletes are tested, punished and subjected to sanctions, still the best approach?

These are questions that researchers from all parts of the world will be discussing at an interdisciplinary doping conference to be held at Aarhus University on 15 and 16 August under the banner of “What do we (really) know about doping?” The conference has been organised by The International Network of Humanistic Doping Research (INHDR), which is based at Aarhus University.

“Stories about athletes doping appear in the media at semi-regular intervals, and journalists often contact researchers for expert statements to add weight to their articles and arguments. However, the conference is intended to turn the spotlight on the fact that, when all is said and done, we don’t know all that much about the number of athletes who use doping, about the decision processes behind the use of doping, or about the most effective ways to prevent doping,” explains Ask Vest Christiansen, Associate Professor at Aarhus University.

“It may be that the doping issue is so complex that even research is facing a major challenge in avoiding propagating myths and speculation.”

Leading researchers coming to Aarhus

Generally speaking, the conference will shed light on the opportunities for - and challenges facing - humanistic and social scientific research into doping, and serve as a platform for presenting the latest insights from research. The topic has convinced a number of leading researchers to book their tickets to Aarhus this August.

For example, Professor Don Catlin, founder of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory - the largest anti-doping laboratory in the world - will be giving a talk on the “Development of Anti-Doping Testing” . Other keynote speakers include Professor Jay Coakley from the University of Colorado, USA, Professor John Hoberman, University of Texas, USA, Professor Andrea Petroczi, Kingston University, UK, Dr. Werner Pitsch, Universität des Saarlandes, Germany, and Professor Verner Møller, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Additional information:

Associate Professor Ask Vest Christiansen, PhD, Head of Section

Department of Public Health, Aarhus University

Mobile:  +45 2778 2833