Department for Health

MPhil graduate wins award for anti-doping research

Thu Aug 30 10:38:00 BST 2012

mike-earl-292 A former MPhil student from the Department for Health’s Sports & Exercise Science programme has received a Young Investigator Award from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for his research into doping in football.

Mike Earl carried out research into the impact of drugs and doping control education on young professional footballers in England as part of his M-Phil during 2007 and 2011.

The research was linked to the development of a new Football Association (FA) education programme for young professional players and aimed to find out whether the programme had any effect on players’ anti-doping and drugs knowledge and their general attitudes towards doping.

Mike is currently working as the Anti-doping and Medical Manager for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and was previously the Doping Control Programme Manager at the FA.

Mike said: “I'm delighted to have won the award. It's an honour to have my research work recognized by WADA and I am extremely grateful for the support and tutelage I received from Dr Martyn Standage and Dr Keith Stokes at Bath.

“This award is also recognition for the Football Association who had the foresight to fund the research, and the Professional Footballer's Association, Premier League, Football League, League Football Education and the numerous professional clubs in England and Wales who fully supported the study. It was a real cross-football effort that has given some valuable insights into the nature of anti-doping education and why it may or may not work for certain athletes.

“I hope it paves the way for more sports organisations to scientifically analyse the educational work they do with their athletes in anti-doping prevention and awareness, and leads eventually to funds being better used on proven, effective education.”

Mike was one of three recipients of the awards who each received a trophy and prize money of US$2,000 for outstanding research into topics related to anti-doping.

Rob Koehler, WADA Director for Education and Program Development said: “The awards were created to give students added incentive to conduct research into topics related to doping and add to the information we have on an issue which continues to threaten sport and has wider social implications.”