RE>ACT is a Clean Sport Bystander Intervention Program designed to help equip and empower student-athletes to play an active role in the pursuit of clean sport. During a two-year pilot and feasibility study, RE>ACT was delivered to student-athletes in the US, UK and Canada alongside the delivery of an active-control group session. The control group participated in one 60-minute interactive session adopting the standard compliance-based anti-doping education format. Meanwhile, participants receiving the RE>ACT program engaged in two consecutive interactive sessions (delivered in person) which cover: (1) theories underpinning RE>ACT and introduces concepts related to effective confrontation (75 minutes), and (2) dietary supplements, appearance and performance enhancing drugs, prescription medications, and recreational drugs (90 minutes).
Results will be released in the near future.
For further information on RE>ACT, including how to bring it to your organization, please contact Dr Kelsey Erickson (email@example.com). You can also follow us on Twitter (@cleansportreact).
The RE>ACT’ (which stands for ‘recognize’ and ‘take action’) clean sport bystander intervention stems offers a viable alternative to current anti-doping education practice by offering a bystander intervention to address doping behaviors. Specifically, RE>ACT introduces confrontation as an effective self-regulation approach to address substance use behaviors in sport. RE>ACT employs the established situational model of bystander intervention (Latane & Darley, 1970) which outlines five decision-making steps towards intervention: (1) notice the event, (2) interpret the event as a problem, (3) assume personal responsibility, (4) know how to help, and (5) implement the help – RE>ACT!
The main aims of RE>ACT are to:
- Raise individuals’ awareness to intervention-worthy substance use (i.e., dietary supplements, appearance and performance enhancing drugs, prescription medications, and illicit drugs) situations,
- Help individuals recognize their personal role and responsibility in such situations,
- Equip individuals with the skills/knowledge necessary to safely confront these situations.
Importantly, the life skills (e.g., confrontation, communication) introduced and learned during the session will also serve individuals in situations beyond sport (e.g., classroom, relationships, future jobs).
RE>ACT consists of one interactive session (120 minutes) which: (a) introduces the theories and evidence underpinning the situational model of bystander intervention (i.e., 5 Steps towards Intervention) and concepts related to effective confrontation and (b) facilitates an opportunity for participants to apply the skills and knowledge they have garnered in addressing specific substance use situations: dietary supplements, appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs), prescription medications (e.g., cognitive enhancers, painkillers), and illicit drugs. Each workshop is interactive, including discussions and opportunities to practice addressing hypothetical substance use scenarios.
Impact and Future Developments
So far, RE>ACT has been delivered to student-athletes in the US, UK and Canada. The program has also been featured in various platforms hosted by international stakeholders (please visit the Press section for specific articles).
In an effort to create a community-based approach to doping deterrence, the next step of RE>ACT is to adapt and deliver the program to athlete support personnel (ASP) populations. This progression will enable ASP to support and reinforce the key concepts and principals introduced to athletes and establish a critical line of communication between athletes and ASP in relation to doping matters.