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Evaluation of sport governance policy and practice leads to important changes
Evaluation of sport governance policy and practice leads to important changes
Evaluation of sport governance policy and practice leads to important changes

International sport – influencing gender equity and anti-doping

  • Evaluation of sport governance policy and practice leads to important changes

Loughborough’s Sport Policy and Management Research Group has undertaken a series of studies related to gender equity and anti-doping that has led to changes in governance arrangements in international sport.

Gender equality

A study – funded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – identified the extent of gender inequity in selected national and international sport organisations. It also provided a theoretical analysis of the institutional barriers to gender equity and the impact of those barriers on women within the organisations. The initial research was adopted by the IOC’s World Conference on Women and Sport in 2004.

Further research evaluated the difficulties experienced by women in gaining election to local agencies of the IOC. The research identified the range of structural and cultural factors and specified the difficulties of establishing a unified set of governance principles in highly varied cultural and political environments. It proposed a set of actions to assist in addressing women’s underrepresentation in decision-making bodies worldwide.

Anti-doping policy

An initial phase of research into the governance of anti-doping policy assessed issues of stakeholder representation, compliance and accountability within and between domestic and international organisations. The study’s main finding was to challenge the emphasis on deterrence and detection at the expense of education.

Methodologies for evaluating the impact of anti-doping activity were developed and a number of insights provided. In particular, the research emphasised the need for more effective monitoring of compliance and the development of techniques for ensuring better policy design in relation to anti-doping education.



    The presentation of research into gender equity to the IOC Women in Sport Commission in 2010 and the IOC World Conference in 2012 informed policy change amongst key members of the global policy network on women and sport in the Olympic movement.


    Loughborough experts are regularly invited to address and advise the IOC, International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees on measures to foster gender equity in governance and specifically on national electoral policies and practices.


    Loughborough research has changed the way education programmes are planned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency. It has also impacted the policy towards using legislation to underpin anti-doping policy.


    A handbook for the evaluation of anti-doping education programmes – developed at Loughborough – has been promoted by WADA as a model for the planning and evaluation of anti-doping education and has been adopted by the Japan Anti-Doping Agency.