14 August 2012

RUSADA reaches remote regions with distance-learning program

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has addressed the challenge of managing an anti-doping education program across its vast region by introducing distance-learning sessions via Skype.

RUSADA’s education officer was able to overcome the logistical and financial difficulties involved by using the online tool to address 26 coaches and athletes in the Siberian city of Tyumen – which lies 2,000km east of Moscow.

Contact was made when RUSADA connected to the Winter Sports Regional Center based in Tyumen.

“Education is one of the most efficient tools to prevent doping in sport, and although RUSADA considers it a priority, the reality is that personal meetings with athletes and their staff often requires much time, money and effort,” explained RUSADA Deputy Director General Igor Zagorskiy.

“That is why RUSADA decided to introduce distance-learning facilities with the help to overcome these shortcomings. As most athletes today are advance PC, tablet, laptop and smartphone users, online education sessions could become a convenient and cost-efficient took to reach out to athletes who reside abroad or in the remote regions of Russia.

“Distance learning will help RUSADA gain access to a bigger audience, including students of sport schools and colleges not only in Moscow but across the entire country.”

Coaches in Tyumen were given instruction on the issue of strict liability for athletes, the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, and therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), while athletes received explanations on the national and international anti-doping rules, testing procedures, anti-doping rules violations and the health consequences of doping.

In addition to Skype, RUSADA can run distance-learning education seminars using Webinar software.