The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the launch of a Social Science Research (SSR) Collaboration Platform established by WADA in partnership with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to raise the visibility of social science research in Sport.

The Social Science Research Collaboration Platform is an informal “community of practice” for international organisations that fund or support social science research in sport integrity matters. Its focus is to share best practices and raise the visibility of social science research to increase its usability and, ultimately, its impact on the sporting system. The organisations involved engage to share experiences using their collective insights to improve the benefits of social science research, including reducing duplication of research and importantly, improving the way in which social science research is disseminated, understood and adopted by stakeholders in the field of sport.

As outlined in the Communiqué, while each of the organisations involved in the Social Science Research Collaboration Platform has its own specific research priorities, the overarching research themes that capture all of the organisations’ common interests are:

  • Athlete welfare/wellbeing
  • Sport integrity
  • Values-based education
  • Sport governance
  • Effectiveness of education
  • Equality and inclusion in sport
  • Athlete environment/influences on behavior
  • Impact of technology on sport integrity

WADA and its partners are confident that the Social Science Research Collaboration Platform will have a positive impact on the sporting system and welcomes requests to join the Platform from other international and regional organizations that have a role in funding or supporting social science research in sport (including private organisations).

IFMA Director, Charissa Tynan, stated: IFMA has utilised the last 12 months during the time of the pandemic to improve strategies to protect the clean athletes and has been working with offenders holding discussions on why these athletes decided to break IFMA’s code of fair play being fully aware of the consequences what doping is doing to their health and well-being and consequences for their further career. IFMA will certainly participate in the social science research of WADA, as we see this as an important collaboration for the fight for clean sport.