FIH and partners have been delivering an extensive anti-doping education programme in recent years Photo: FIH/Getty

Hockey athletes and coaches team up to battle doping

October 13, 2017

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) continues to lead the global battle against doping with latest figures revealing thousands of the world’s top hockey athletes and coaches have completed anti-doping education programmes.

Easy access to information, plus a continuous learning programme is an approach backed by both International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the national hockey associations as they work together to ensure that clean athletes are protected and the players compete on a level playing ground, in a fair environment. 

Comprehensive tracking of hockey’s education programme for elite hockey players began back in 2016 when 1,224 top level athletes and support personnel from 25 countries participated in either WADA’s on-line anti-doping education programme ‘ALPHA’, or a course led by one of the national associations. Further to that, all 432 hockey players who competed at the Rio Games completed anti-doping education.

"As of 11 October 2017, 1,991 athletes and support personnel from over 25 countries have completed anti-doping education programmes." 

Since then, FIH has widened the education programme to include second tier nations and youth teams prior to the Youth Olympic Games, as well as running an anti-doping education booth at the Indoor Asia Cup, in collaboration with the Qatar Anti-doping Commission and the Asian Hockey Federation. As of 11 October 2017, 1,991 athletes and support personnel have completed such education. 

The programme has also extended to participants on courses offered by the FIH Hockey Academy, who all have to complete a CoachTrue online programme. The recent FIH Level 2 Coaching Course in Lancaster, USA, included an anti-doping education webinar, run in collaboration with USADA.

Speaking about FIH’s anti-doping initiatives, Rob Koehler, Deputy Director General and Senior Director, Education and NADO/RADO Relations, praised FIH’s anti-doping programme. He said: “WADA is very pleased with the commitment that the FIH has shown to ensure that education is a priority in promoting clean sport in hockey. Their education programme has been multi-tiered with a focus on athletes and their support personnel. Such an approach to education fosters a clean sport environment that empowers all athletes to make the right decisions.”

While hockey is one of the low risk sports when it comes to doping, there are still transgressions, and positive tests do occur. FIH and its partners are very aware of this and continue to develop stringent testing procedures as well as continuing education for all athletes and coaches.

One of the best ways to educate people is to involve them in the learning process. Head coaches are far more likely to sit down with their players and agree common goals and team behaviours than to dictate how the team will operate. The days of the coach ‘telling’ and the players ‘doing’, is by and large over. The general consensus among many of the world’s leading coaches is that it is essential to involve players in the decision-making process.

It is an approach that is also beginning to yield results in the battle against doping in sport. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the IOC put together a series of educational awareness programmes, featuring real-life scenarios that the athletes could access online and through their mobile phones. This educational approach, backed up by a strict enforcement process has continued to develop so it will be at the heart of the Olympic Agenda 2020, ensuring that the integrity of the sport continues to be protected.

In addition, WADA - the World Anti Doping Agency – has put together a package of quizzes, questionnaires, videos and information guides that are easily accessible for athletes and coaches at any time.

For more information Anti-Doping, visit: 


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