Background: This study examined the effects of the iPlayClean anti-doping intervention on attitudes towards doping and susceptibility, and whether delivery mode affected the results.
Methods: A total of 1,081 high-level UK athletes (14-18 years old, 904 males, 177 females) were cluster-randomised to the control (11 teams/organisations/schools, 314 athletes), face-to-face group presentation (8 teams/organisations/schools, 254 athletes), online (11 teams/organisations/schools, 251 athletes), or face-to-face presentation with online access (5 teams/organisations/schools, 262 athletes).
Results: Compared to the control group, all modes of the iPlayClean anti-doping education programme reduced favourable attitudes towards doping immediately after the intervention, which was sustained across all intervention groups 8 weeks later. All delivery modes impacted doping susceptibility immediately after the intervention, in comparison to the control group, but the effects were only sustained for the face-to-face presentation group.
Conclusion: Contrary to findings within previous anti-doping interventions, we have shown that doping attitudes can be changed and that the results can be sustained across all modes of delivery, 8 weeks later. Research is required to assess for how long these changes are sustained, and how often anti-doping education should be delivered to high-level athletes to reinforce clean play values.
Thompson, M. A., Morley, D., Abt, G., Nicholls, A. R., Rothwell, M., Cope, E., …Huang, C. (2020). The effects of the iPlayClean education programme on doping attitudes and susceptibility to use banned substances among high-level adolescent athletes from the UK: A cluster-randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Drug Policy, 82, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102820