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It’s important that you understand what it means to compete clean and have an awareness of anti-doping. Here are some top tips to help you in anti-doping:
Our advice at this stage is to get prepared. Find out about what an athlete is required to do, how they can keep themselves clean and learn from the mistakes athletes may have made in the past. Start to learn about anti-doping now so that when you reach the top you are not putting yourself in a position where you may have broken the rules. Making silly mistakes still causes athletes to be banned from sport.
You would always check your sporting equipment to make sure it is safe to use. The same applies to the things you take such as medications. Checking a medication is safe to take such as a cold remedy from the chemist or antibiotics from a doctor, is a core skill that athletes need to learn how to do.
There is a long list of banned substances which athletes cannot take. This is known as the Prohibited List. It contains a range of substances you may have heard of including steroids, stimulants and even methods such as blood doping.
Some medicines contain these banned substances so athletes need to get into the habit of checking any medications BEFORE they take them.
The questions you should always ask yourself are: are these safe to take? And, who can help me decide?
There Are No Shortcuts
There are no short cuts to sporting success. It takes hard work, dedication and personal drive to become the best you can be.
You may be tempted to take nutritional supplements such as vitamin tablets or energy drinks. You may have even seen other athletes take them. Be careful, as there’s no guarantee that they are free from prohibited substances.
The best thing you can do is focus on healthy eating habits to optimise your ability to train hard and compete at your best. Be cautious about taking any additional supplements and never take them without seeking advice from your parents or Doctor, or another suitable person.
On and Off the Field
As a talented athlete you will no doubt already be making decisions about your lifestyle and how you choose to spend your time. It’s likely that you will be committing more to your sport and training more as a result. Being a successful athlete means committing to an athletic lifestyle and looking after your body.
Anti-doping doesn’t just apply to substances that may enhance performance. There are also recreational drugs, such as cannabis, on the Prohibited List too. As a dedicated and talented athlete remember that being the best you can be applies both on and off the field.
Make the right decisions to protect yourself as an athlete. As an athlete - whether you’re choosing which competition to take part in or whether you are out with your school friends - your decisions can affect your chances of making it to the top.
Remember no one else is responsible for your actions but you.