Hang around endurance sports enough and the issue of doping comes up. Most people know about the most high profile doper in sports, Lance Armstrong. There have been a few more high profile cases since Lance “came out” so to speak, but nothing quite like doping was at it’s height in the 90’s. Still, there is more to be done, and a new initiative is starting to gain momentum; The Clean Sport Collective.
The Clean Sport Collective is an initiative that was started to support and promote anti-doping efforts on all fronts. They focus on 4 main areas to promote change in endurance sports: awareness, testing, industry advocacy, and restoration.
This one is obvious. The Clean Sport Collective encourages all its members who have taken the pledge to speak out about living and competing clean. The idea is to create an environment of positive peer pressure so that people see that you don’t have to use PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) to be at the top level of the sport. The Collective is working at all levels of the sport to do this, from the pros to amateurs as well as companies, races, clubs, and coaches.
This is nothing new either. Testing is a big part of a pro’s life, but it is something that can still be expanded. The collective will be supporting organizations and testing centers to increase testing and transparency.
- Industry Advocacy
This is similar to awareness but in the whole industry of endurance sports. When manufacturers and companies are all encouraging their customers to stay clean, it is a big push for athletes to make the right choices.
This point is the one unique one. As a whole, endurance sports have a way of vilifying dopers. In some ways, yes, they deserve it. But humans are fallible, and we all make mistakes. If an athlete has made mistakes and is repentant, they deserve forgiveness. The process of restoration is important for endurance sports to deal with the issues and make things right. Constantly berating those who have made mistakes is not healthy for the sport.
So how can you get involved? Check out the Clean Sport Collective’s Website and read what they are all about. Then you can take the pledge for your specific category of the sport and share it on social media, especially with the tag #CLEANSPORTCO. It’s free to join, but you can support the initiative through donations if you would like. You can also go a step further and get certified, although that is a process that will take some time to get through.
So, go check it out, and take the pledge. I did.
— Nate Deck (@n8deck) November 3, 2016
Amateur Athlete Pledge
I pledge to honor myself, competitors, sport and society by choosing to stay clean of performance enhancing drugs. Choosing to not play by the rules steals from hard working athletes who chose to do the right thing and challenges the health and integrity of sport. I will be a positive example in the community as an advocate and ambassador for clean sport. I pledge that I have and will always train clean, compete clean and live clean.