LAUSANNE, 09 OCTOBER 2015 (INSIDE THE GAMES) ----Seven "innovative" research projects are being funded and supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to illustrate its commitment to the fight against doping, the organisation has claimed.
Spanning work undertaken in Australia, Spain and Great Britain, the seven were selected by an "expert panel" which considered applications received during two open calls by the IOC for worldwide proposals.
A repledging of their "zero-tolerance" attitude against doping was emphasised within the IOC's Agenda 2020 reform process, although the body, like many other arbiters in the sports world, have faced criticism from some quarters for not backing up these strong words.
But a US$20 million (£13 million/€18 million) fund has been unveiled in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to protect clean athletes.
Half of the money has been earmarked to fund social and scientific research pertaining to anti-doping while the rest will go towards tackling match-fixing.
A separate fund has also been set aside for new anti-doping research in the fight against doping, specifically for researchers involved in athlete-centered projects with a scientific or social focus, and it is from this fund that the seven projects have been supported.
The chosen programmes involve two in Britain: studying "doping confrontation efficacy" at the University of Birmingham and a "Clean Sport Bystander Intervention Programme" at Leeds Beckett University.
Studies in Australia are also selected: attempting to establish the “intention to dope” through interviewing techniques at Brisbane's James Cook University, on "low-volume blood sample kits" at the National Measurement Institute and on development and evaluation of an anti-doping intervention app targeting the psychological variables that make an athlete susceptible to doping at Curtin University.
The remaining two are both at institutions in Spain: Improving compliance with blood testing at the Fundació Institut Mar d'Investigacions and considering "massive expression analysis" to identify doping, a Spanish Olympic Committee project undertaken in collaboration with IMDEA Nanociencia.
Each was chosen due to their relevance to IOC research priorities involving originality, practical application and importance for athlete, as well as the scientific validity, expertise and experience of researchers, and likelihood of success....PACNEWS