The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has started targeting parents of young athletes in its war on anabolic steroids and doping. ASADA wants parents to keep a close eye on their children and look for signs of doping. But ASADA insists that it does not necessarily want parents to “police” their kids so that they can “snitch” on them.
David Sharpe, the Chief Executive Officer for ASADA, introduced ASADA’s latest strategy in its fight against steroid use in sports during an interview with Tracey Holmes on ABC News’ weekly sports panel program “The Ticket” on September 28, 2018.
“We’ll launch an awareness program for parents of school age children to help them understand the pressures of doping,” Sharpe said. “I think we can influence not just sports but youth and we need to understand the health impacts to do that.”
Sharpe emphasized that his vision for the role of parents is more of an educator than a policeman. Of course, most people can be excused for being suspicious of the true motives of ASADA’s latest initiative.
After all, Sharpe is a career cop who was previously employed as the Assistant Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police. In his old job, Sharpe undoubtedly loved snitches who helped him take down the underworld figures of organized crime.
However, Sharpe would deny that he is trying to recruit parents as snitches in his role as ASADA boss. Sharpe just wants to encourage parents to become educators and teach their children about the dangers of steroids and doping substances.
Sharpe hopes this leads to an open dialogue between parents and children. This would allow kids to open up to their parents and, for example, discuss what supplements they are buying at the sports nutrition store.
“It means mums and dads need to be aware of what the issues are, what the health impacts are so they can inform their children when they come home and start talking about having been to the supplements store.”
ASADA has created new educational programs telling parents what their role should be in ASADA’s war on doping. ASADA encourages parents to indoctrinate their children with its vision of “clean sport” in the “Parents’ Guide to Support Clean Sport”.
“As parents or guardians, you know that the pressure to train hard, compete and achieve at a higher level can lead athletes to entertain dangerous options presented as shortcuts, such as extreme dieting, excessive training, taking supplements, and doping.
“The importance of your role as parents to help your children achieve their sporting goals, while also teaching them respect for and appreciation of the true spirit of sport, cannot be over-emphasized. You must be the consistent voice promoting safety, good health, integrity, balance, and enjoyment of clean sport throughout their pursuit of excellence. This resource is designed to help you enhance your children’s knowledge of how to protect themselves in their sport or career.”
Parents are reminded that they are not policing their children. They are merely educating them about the religion of clean sport.