October 16, 2012
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USADA symposium examines deterrence

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) recently staged a science symposium to look at ways of better measuring the deterrence impact of testing programs.

Deterrence is a key component of any anti-doping program and the Oct. 12-15 event in Atlanta, Georgia allowed members of the anti-doping community to examine the impact of ‘perceptual deterrence’ as opposed to ‘general deterrence’.

Perceptual deterrence assumes athletes make rational decisions about doping after weighing up the risks and benefits, while general deterrence is the impact resulting from an athlete being tested and sanctioned for doping.

USADA’s 2012 symposium was organized to stimulate discussion about how perceptual deterrence concepts can influence sample collection strategies, guide laboratory testing and research, and impact direct and indirect sanctions to increase the risks associated with doping in a cost-effective way.

USADA have also confirmed that the outcomes of the Symposium may have an influence on any recommendations the agency makes to the ongoing World Anti-Doping Code Review.

Rob Koehler, WADA Director of Education and Program Development, and Osquel Barroso, WADA's Senior Manager Science, attended the symposium.