U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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USADA emblem logo.In an ongoing effort to best serve and protect clean athletes, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) partnered with The Center for Athlete Well-being and Prevention Strategies, University of North Carolina Greensboro to survey USADA testing pool athletes to better understand their perceptions of doping and get their feedback on anti-doping efforts.

Sent to elite athletes in the USADA testing pools, the 55-question survey was anonymously completed by 994 athletes across 76 sports in 2022. The results have provided USADA with a high quality and rich dataset that’s being used to shape operational improvements and future strategy reflecting the beliefs and interests of athletes.

“We want athletes to know that we are always listening and always working to improve for them,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “Listening to athletes and acting on that information is the only way we can ensure that our anti-doping program not only protects the integrity of sport, but also protects the athletes who have dedicated their lives to those sports.”

Following detailed analysis and compilation of the results by the researchers at Prevention Strategies, USADA reviewed and discussed the survey results with board members and staff, as well as the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Advisory Council and the World Anti-Doping Agency. From those collaborative and solution-oriented discussions, USADA was able to identify a number of ways that it could immediately operationalize feedback from athlete respondents, such as providing further education around how tips are processed once submitted to the Play Clean Tip Center. Stakeholders also identified opportunities for the findings to inform future strategy, for example through updates to athlete technology tools, education on the impact of scientific advancements in detection methods, and advocacy around athlete rights.

“I want to thank all the athletes who took the time to share their views with us,” reflected Allison Wagner, a 1996 Olympian and USADA’s Director of Athlete & International Relations. “It is our privilege to serve athletes and it is essential for us to hear their voices to best protect clean sport. It’s our hope that we may continue working in tandem, so that one day, fans and athletes alike can be certain all sport results are both fair and just.”

The survey asked for athlete perceptions on 10 key topics, including athlete wellbeing, deterrents to performance-enhancing drug use, and whistleblowing. Summary findings from the survey can be found on the USADA website. Prevention Strategies and USADA are also preparing to present the survey methodologies and findings in an academic peer-reviewed publication.

UNC Greensboro Center for Athlete Wellbeing.
Prevention Strategies: Inspiring Brighter Futures.

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