WADA launches online informational anti-doping course for athletes called ALPHA

Hoping to provide a fresh new method of anti-doping education, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has produced an online educational course for athletes called ALPHA, which is designed to teach athletes about anti-doping policies and ways to stay clean of doping within their sport.

Rob Koehler, the Director of WADA’s Education and Program Development department, says the program approaches anti-doping education in a new way.

“Instead of telling athletes ‘Don’t do this and don’t do that,’ which can come across as negative and daunting, ALPHA provides athletes with solutions,” Koehler says in Play True Magazine, the official publication of WADA.

ALPHA stands for Athlete Learning Program about Health and Anti-Doping, and you can find more about it on the WADA website here.

WADA has been working on the program for two years. It’s an 8-session course taken online. Though athletes are encouraged to take it in several stages, the whole course should take about two hours to complete consecutively, Play True magazine reports.

Here are the first 6 sessions, as listed on the WADA website:

  • Ethical Reasons not to Dope
  • Medical Reasons not to Dope
  • The Doping Control Process
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • TUEs
  • Whereabouts

The final two sessions focus on “providing athletes with positive solutions to enhance performance, and ways to identify risk factors,” the site says.

The program is currently available in English, with more languages to be added down the road, starting with French and Spanish later this year.

You can find the program itself on the WADA website here.

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9 years ago

Sounds like a great initiative. Maybe I’m a pollyanna about this, but I believe that the vast majority of athletes have no interest in doping and will do everything possible to avoid it. As the parent of a young swimmer with aspirations, my single greatest concern is avoiding inadvertent consumption of a banned substance.

The fact that methylhexyltrichlorphosphamene-2 (a made up substance) is on a long list of banned substances doesn’t necessarily help you choose between a cold remedy from Company A vs a cold remedy from Company B.

Or as in a not too long ago case that I recall seeing on SWIMSWAM that the formulation of cold remedy A as sold in one country was fine, but… Read more »

9 years ago


Braden: You have a navigation design-issue on your site that you might wish to remedy.

When I click on “View More Stories,” I am sent to a page with a list of recent articles. At the bottom of this page it says:

Page 1 of 87512345…102030…»Last»

When I push “Last” it takes me to some very old stories (vintage 2012).

I believe that you should change the “Last” button to be a “Next” button so that when the user pushes “Next”, he/she will be taken to Page 2 (or the next most recent set of articles), etc.

I know this would be helpful for me — especially when I want to catch on comments from a week-old story.… Read more »

Reply to  Roger von Oech
9 years ago

Thanks Roger. We’re aware, and are working with our developers to fix. It involves a 3rd-party plugin, so it’s been a slow process.

Reply to  Braden Keith
9 years ago

Good luck. You are guys are doing a bang-up job.

Here’s a story I wish you would do: “Convince US Swimming to use 3 yellow lane lines (from lanes 3-5) for the upcoming US championships/World Games trials.” From a spectator’s POV (either on site or watching TV/YouTube), it’s so much easier keep track of which competitor is swimming is which lane with the color system.

Here’s your proof: you just did a story with 10 Michael Phelps WR videos. I don’t remember the exact breakdown, but it seems like half of the venues used the “color-lane-lines-in-middle” setup, and the others used “all the same color lane lines.” The videos with color-lane-lines were significantly easier to watch and comprehend who was… Read more »

9 years ago

Sounds like a good initiative, but maybe they should have launched it in Russian 🙂

Philip Johnson
Reply to  DanishSwimFan
9 years ago

Haha yeah, perhaps it wouldn’t do harm for them to get knowledgeable on the “ethical reasons not to dope.”

Reply to  DanishSwimFan
9 years ago

As long as we’re snaking on the usual suspects, can I hope that the web site is not blocked by Chinese censors in that country?

Eric McGinnis
Reply to  DanishSwimFan
9 years ago

As sketchy as Russian swimming has looked recently, if you think there aren’t U.S. swimmers taking PED’s you are mistaken.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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