Based on recent research, it has become evident that testing should not be the only anti-doping strategy applied by international sport federations. Thus, by focusing on anti-doping education, the international sport federations can both save economic resources and better protect the clean athletes.
According to the study conducted by the IFF Anti-Doping Manager, Merita Bruun, as part of her Master of Sport studies, floorball players need more anti-doping education. Her research shows that anti-doping education is needed in a wide range of topics such as prohibited substances and nutritional supplements, the athletes’ right and responsibilities as well as testing and therapeutic use exemptions. In addition, the floorball players wish to have more possibilities to decide how they receive the education and from which organisation.
– Floorball players, like other athletes, are subject to doping controls both during the competitions and outside of the IFF events. Therefore, it is also important that the players receive education about anti-doping topics. This is one of the rights that athletes have. One of the challenges is however, that the IFF does not meet the athletes outside of the IFF Events and the Events are quite packed with other programme. Another challenge is the language, as we do not speak all of the languages of our 69 member associations, Bruun informs.
Based on the research results, a new approach to anti-doping education has been developed and the new IFF anti-doping education programme is up and running. The programme approach requires increasing cooperation with the national anti-doping organisations in order for the athletes to primarily receive anti-doping education in their own language from the national anti-doping organisation or national association. In addition, E-learning programmes are also an option as more and more digital resources are available. The focus shall also be on educating the younger athletes and prioritising new teams entering the IFF Events. A PDF version of the study is found here and the summary is found here.
In floorball the risk of doping is still low and most of the anti-doping rule violations are caused by either recreational drugs or due to use of nutritional supplements that include banned substances. Therefore, one important aim with educating athletes is to avoid these unnecessary doping cases. Floorball players should be more aware of the consequences of their actions and know how to check that the products they use do not include prohibited substances.
Supplements in sport
Supplements have recently been one of the leading causes of failed anti-doping tests in floorball and the IFF´s advice is that no supplement is safe to use and athletes should not risk their careers by taking a supplement. This is because many supplements are contaminated with substances prohibited in sport, which may not be listed on ingredient labels.
However, the IFF recognises that there may be circumstances where sports dieticians recommend supplements, or where athletes use supplements regardless of the risk. In these circumstances, the IFF´s advice is that athletes should only use supplements which have been screened for prohibited substances by an independent company, such as Informed Sport. But these companies cannot offer a 100% guarantee that an athlete will not test positive, but they are significantly less risky than other supplements.
The IFF wishes to warn athletes about the risk associated with supplements and has produced a video which raises the issue:
For more information about nutritional supplements visit: https://floorball.sport/anti-doping-and-medical/prohibited-list-and-therapeutic-use-exemptions-tue/nutritional-supplements/
For more information about available anti-doping education resources visit: https://floorball.sport/anti-doping-and-medical/anti-doping-information-and-education/