This short post follows my last comments about the role of those who surround athletes (including coaches). I got good feedback on it as I aimed to focus our collective coaching minds on the wider impact of what we (the coaches) say to and do with our athletes on their decision-making. Should we take that impact seriously? Today’s International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) media release said:
“The [IWF Clean Sport] Commission has made it clear that structural and cultural changes to the way weightlifting is run, particularly in historically high-risk countries, is a key priority. This has already begun to be addressed by the IWF as the federation aims to send out clearer deterrent messages to Member Federations, to ensure they fulfil their anti-doping responsibilities. This was reflected by IWF’s decision to suspend nine member-federations who had been found to have three or more anti-doping rule violations during the retesting of samples taken during Beijing 2008 and London 2012.”
So that’s step one – and step two:
“The Commission is also recommending new rules in the IWF Anti-Doping policy which will require athletes to provide the IWF with details of athlete support personnel so that these individuals, who may perpetuate a doping culture in certain Member Federations, can be monitored and investigated.”
We should all question and test how we influence athlete decision-making. The real test for the IWF rules, however, will come in the laboratory.
(photo source: Sports Illustrated)