Given the breadth of the programme and experience of the speakers, this is definitely an event not to be missed! Deliberately designed to activate candid conversation across the life-cycle of the anti-doping process, PCC 2019 brings together an impressive array of anti-doping representatives, including lab directors, lawyers, social scientists, and athletes. Critically, athletes are at the heart of the event and their experiences will bring to life the personal impact of the current anti-doping system.
Rarely does an anti-doping event include content of interest to a broad spectrum of anti-doping stakeholders, but PCC 2019 is designed to do just that. It is because of this event ethos that Professor Sue Backhouse and Dr Kelsey Erickson of the Sporting Integrity Research Group in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University (LBU) became involved in the development of the programme. For over a decade, researchers at LBU have evidenced the complexity of doping in sport and joining Sue and Kelsey at the event are fellow members of the research team, Dr Laurie Patterson and PhD student Hayden Allen. Hayden is a recipient of a PCC 2019 Travel Award. LBU will not only be represented by current staff and students - BSc Sport and Exercise Science graduate and British Paralympian powerlifter, Ali Jawad will also be speaking.
Graduating from LBU in 2018, Ali is participating in the opening night keynote on “Promoting the Athlete Voice in Protecting Clean Sport” alongside fellow Olympians. When asked what participating in the conference means to him, Ali said, “My belief - like many other athletes around the world - is to have an athlete-centred, transparent, and independent anti-doping system that truly protects clean athletes and the integrity of sport”. Ali went on to say, “Global sporting organisations simply would not exist without the athletes. Therefore, athletes are the number one stakeholder in sport, and every decision should be for the benefit of the athlete. The PCC Conference will give a platform for the athlete voice to be heard and support pushing the agenda for positive change within anti-doping and athlete rights.”
Ali’s passion for athlete representation and positive reform aligns with the mission of the Sporting Integrity Research Group at LBU and this spirit will be brought to life through Sue and Kelsey’s conference contributions and the broader team’s conversations at the event. On Day One, Kelsey will be co-presenting with Lindsey Ingraham from Major League Baseball on effective collaboration in education through a case study of their experiences of working together on implementing anti-doping education. In relation to the upcoming presentation, Kelsey said: “I look forward to sharing key challenges and successes we experienced throughout the process in the hopes of inspiring further collaborations within the anti-doping industry moving forward”. On Day Two, Sue will moderate a session on the ethics of therapeutic use exemptions and contribute to a panel discussion on the future of anti-doping. Reflecting on the forthcoming panel discussion, Sue said: “I’m really looking forward to reinforcing Ali’s athlete-centred approach by highlighting that athletes are not in the way, they are the way! I also hope to consider that how we tackle a particular problem depends on the lens through which we see it. In London, we will bring together a diverse group of people with differing perspectives and in doing so we begin the process of connecting the system to more of itself and unleashing its collective potential to bring about system change”.