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USADA’s Science Team Addresses Anti-Doping Information for Health Professionals

Health and medical professionals play a vital role in helping athletes and athlete support personnel make sound anti-doping decisions. USADA recognizes this and remains committed to helping further educate these constituencies on their important role in ensuring athlete success in both program compliance and clean competition.

To that end, USADA is committed to helping further educate athlete support personnel, physicians, and health and medical professionals on their role in the anti-doping movement.

Shikha Tandon, Dr. Larry Bowers, and Dr. Matt Fedoruk of USADA’s anti-doping science team authored an article in the March/April 2015 issue of Missouri Medicine. Titled “Treating the Elite Athlete: Anti-Doping Information for the Health Professional,” the aim of the article was to provide health professionals in Missouri with an overview of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, Therapeutic Use Exemptions, roles and responsibilities of health professionals in the anti-doping movement, as well as providing additional resources that will guide their work with high-level athletes.

Read the full article here.

Education is one of the key aspects of an effective anti-doping program and is often the first line of defense in protecting the rights of clean athletes. With this understanding, USADA provides extensive anti-doping education to thousands of athletes and coaches each year, helping them understand their rights and responsibilities in regards to the drug testing process. In an effort to increase anti-doping specific knowledge, competence, and/or performance, USADA has developed HealthPro Advantage to educate physicians, and other health and medical professionals who treat athletes. The topics covered in this education tutorial are much the same as in the Missouri Medicine article.

In a joint commitment to athlete support personnel education, the tutorial was mandated by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for all health and medical professionals going to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. USADA continues to develop this tool, and content for it, in order to ensure that it meets the needs of health professionals treating athletes. USADA is aiming to soon offer the tutorial for CME credit to physicians through an accredited CME provider, a first for anti-doping specific education

It should be noted that, as per the revised 2015 Code, athlete support personnel, including physicians, and health and medical professionals, may also receive anti-doping rule violations and sanctions. The revised Code also prohibits an athlete from associating with physicians, or other athlete support personnel who are sanctioned and/or criminally convicted of doping. In fact, WADA just recently published it global list of suspended athlete support personnel on its website. This list represents 114 individuals who are currently suspended from working with athletes or other persons under the 2015 Code’s new “Prohibited Association” rule. To learn more about the 2015 Code and review the areas relevant to athlete support personnel, such as the Prohibited Association and Complicity anti-doping rule violations, click here.

It is essential that physicians and other health and medical professionals are knowledgeable on various anti-doping rules and policies. USADA is looking at formally launching the HealthPro Advantage tutorial to a larger health professional audience in 2016. In the meantime, USADA has developed this website with more information and resources.

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