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James Skinner and information about the lecture

Inaugural Lecture - Professor James Skinner

  • 10 January 2018
  • 5pm (light refreshments served from 4.30pm)
  • Lecture Theatre LDN.0.01, Loughborough University London

About this event

The fight to eradicate the use of performance-enhancing substances in sport has been a matter of significant public attention in recent years. Perhaps no sport has been affected more than the sport of cycling. 

Indeed, many consider the genesis for the development of sophisticated modern anti-doping rules to have been the televised death of British cyclist, Tommy Simpson, in the 1967 Tour de France. It was in that year that the International Olympic Committee established its own anti-doping code. 

Over the next three decades, the fight against doping in sport continued, however, it was not until the scandal in the 1998 Tour De France that the need to address the doping issue was taken seriously. 

As a consequence, in November 1999 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was created as an independent organisation to initiate and monitor the attack against doping in sport. This move was seen as essential in order to ensure the application of consistent, harmonised and appropriate approaches to the anti-doping efforts. 

However, in recent years the image of sport has been tarnished by a constant succession of revelations showing that sporting achievements have been made possible through the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. In response, sporting organisations and governments have introduced legislation and accompanying punishments to deter the use of both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. 

However, it could be argued that effective strategies for combating doping in sport are hindered by a lack of organisational commitment, varying opinions on how the problem should be managed, and a lack of reliable information and empirical data from a broad cross-section of stakeholders to formulate and implement appropriate anti-doping policy.

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Skinner tracks the evolution of WADA and the regulatory framework used to combat doping in sport. In doing this, the lecture challenges official estimates about the extent of doping in sport. It draws on a number of externally funded research studies to ascertain the attitudes and perceptions of different stakeholder groups towards drug use in sport and how it should be combatted. 

The research studies were completed between 2008-2015 and were funded by the Australian Federal Government’s Sport Anti-Doping Research Program and the World Anti-Doping Agency, and formed part of a range of research studies that were used to inform and shape future anti-doping policy. 

The lecture concludes by outlining future research directions for addressing drug use in sport. 

Contact and booking details

Jess East
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01509 222252
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