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Professor examines anti-doping in sport in public lecture


Susan Backhouse has hosted her professorial inaugural lecture as Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Nutrition at Leeds Beckett University, where she highlighted the need for greater human and financial resource to help prevent doping in sport.

Professor Sue Bckhouse

The lecture, From Anti-Doping to Clean Sport: Critical Reflections on a Changing Research, Policy and Practice Landscape, saw Professor Backhouse examine the limitations of the current detection-deterrence approach for making sport drug free and suggest a focus on preventive, system-based approaches.

Susan Backhouse is Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Nutrition and Head of the Centre for Sports Performance in the Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure at Leeds Beckett University. She is a British Psychological Society Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and a Health and Care Professions Council Practitioner Psychologist.

In 2005, Susan was awarded a Promising Researcher Fellowship to work alongside Dr Paddy Ekkekakis in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Iowa State University. Inspired by her voluntary role with UK Athletics’ Anti-Doping Policy and Support team, she submitted a funding bid to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to undertake a systematic literature review. The review’s findings initiated a pioneering programme of research on the social psychology of drugs in sport and established Leeds Beckett University as a global research leader in the anti-doping field. Susan’s collaborative approach to research has founded links with internationally renowned doping in sport researchers and prominent sporting bodies, such as the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Rugby Football Union, UK Anti-Doping, UK Athletics and the International Association of Athletics Federation.

In 2012, Susan was invited by the European Commission to join its expert working group on doping prevention, giving rise to EU-wide recommendations on the prevention of doping in recreational sport. In 2014 she became a member of UK Anti-Doping’s Research Steering Committee and she convened the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Clean Sport Interest group.

Professor Backhouse is currently working with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to explore the use of performance and image enhancing substances in male adolescent rugby union players.

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