Christ Church Sport

Anti-doping and Intellectually Impaired Athletes


Anti-doping and Intellectually Impaired Athletes

Overview of the Project

As part of a project funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency, researchers at Canterbury Christ Church University and Leuven University are looking to understand intellectually impaired athletes’ experiences of anti-doping. Specifically, Dr Philip Hurst, Professor Jan Burns and Dr Debbie van Biesen would like to invite athletes with intellectual impairments and their parent/guardian and coaches to a focus group interview and share their experiences of drug testing and anti-doping education.

This research project is a first at understanding intellectually impaired athlete experiences of anti-doping, where the aim is to provide recommendations and guidance to international and national sport and anti-doping organisation on how to best support intellectually impaired athletes.

What is involved?

Those interested in taking part will be invited to attend a focus group interview with other intellectually impaired athletes and parents/guardian/coaches. During the interviews, you will be asked questions related to experiences of anti-doping, such as education sessions, drug testing and what can be done to help improve these practices for intellectually impaired athletes. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous, whereby no information which will identify individuals will be made public and no personal details will be passed onto others.

Who can participate?

We would like to interview both intellectually impaired athletes and those that support them (e.g., parents, guardian, coaches). Athletes will need to:

  1. Have competed in an event that is compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency
  2. Be English speaking
  3. Be registered to compete with VIRTUS (the International Federation for intellectually impaired athletes)
  4. Be aged 16 or older
  5. 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, using the email below

Who do I contact?

If you are interested in taking part, or would like more information about the project and what is involved, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Philip Hurst

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