June 2013

INHDR Editorial

Questioning the obvious – INHDR and the upcoming conference

By John Gleaves and Ask Vest Christiansen

It has been one year since Verner Møller handed over the keys to the INHDR to Ask Vest Christiansen and me. In that time, small changes have been made, our membership has grown, and our fifth conference, to be held August 15 and 16 in Aarhus, has taken shape. With keynote speakers booked and conference papers underway, the coming months offer time for vacations (for those in the Northern Hemisphere), research, and the inevitable doping revelations, all of which will be punctuated by the INHDR’s biannual gathering. Our focus on “What do we (really) know about doping?” has been well received and having seen the quality of abstracts, we anticipate exciting advances related both to methods and theories that help capture the complex doping phenomenon. Read more

The compliance factor: limiting the anti-doping agenda?

This time we have two commentaries, both by newer members of the INHDR. Taking her point of departure in the many doping revelations during the last twelve months, Susan Backhouse, in her thought provoking commentary, points to the lack of real education in WADA's anti-doping education programmes. The problem is partly a result of the focus on detection and deterrence that has ruled anti-doping the last forty years, partly the lack of evidence based research on effective anti-doping education. As things stand, Backhouse argues, the focus in anti-doping education is on information giving rather than real education. But instead of allocating funds to better education programs, former WADA president Dick Pound has recently argued that more focus on testing and compliance is needed. But this, Backhouse notes "will simply exacerbate the situation."


  Susan Backhouse

Doping in sport continues to occupy a prominent place in daily headlines, especially during the last 12 months. Most notably, newspaper columns have covered the on-going Fuentes debacle, the Armstrong case, the Australian Crime Commission report and the retrospective sanctioning of 33 Russian athletes. Within the last week, the aftershock of these events came in the form of a 26-page report to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from its former president Dick Pound. Read more

Starting the ethical debate about performance and image enhancing drug use in Flanders (Belgium)

The other commentary is from the network's youngest member, An de Kock, who is a graduate student at KU Leuven in Belgium. In her commentary, De Kock offers a short introduction to her master's thesis for which she interviewed six individuals on their experiences with the use anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). The interviews were analysed by a five step model in order to assess the impact of AAS use on different levels expanding from The Self to Humanity. De Kock concludes by suggesting that while doping controls may play a positive role in fighting the use of doping in elite sport where competition is the pivotal point, this may not at all be the case when it comes to preventing drug use in fitness centres. De Kock's suggestion certainly deserves attention at times where such controls appears to be introduced in still more countries.


   An De Kock

According to recent reports from the Belgian Multidisciplinary Hormone Cell, anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are the most commonly used doping products (Hormonencel, 2010, 2011). To tackle the issue, the Flemish government undertakes targeted controls in fitness centers and has started an information campaign (Vlaamse overheid, 2012). However, in order to develop a sound prevention program, it is important to know why people take cuch products and to what lifestyles and subcultures this behavior is connected. Nevertheless, research in Flanders about recreational performance and image enhancing drug use        (PIED-use) in fitness centers is rare, which was the reason why I wanted to explore this issue. Read more