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Tackling doping in sport: a call to take action on the dopogenic environment
  1. Susan H Backhouse,
  2. Claire Griffiths,
  3. Jim McKenna
  1. Carnegie Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Susan H Backhouse, Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Fairfax Hall, Headingley Campus, LeedsBeckett University, Leeds, LS6 3QS, UK; s.backhouse{at}

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Widespread allegations of doping in sport consistently make front page news. The findings of an independent commission for the WADA1 underscore the importance of moving beyond a focus on individual athletes to concurrently address individual, social and environmental factors in anti-doping policy and practice (socioecological perspective).

The concept of such a complex interactive system has successfully generated positive behaviour change in other domains. Many sports physicians will be familiar with the Foresight Report,2 the UK’s most comprehensive investigation into obesity and its causes. This report highlighted that many obesity risk factors emerge from multiple contexts and interact to place individuals at risk. Building on this, researchers and policy makers are increasingly engaging with the idea that ‘whole systems’ create the deep harm associated with obesity and this has spawned the term ‘obesogenic environment’.3

Defining the dopogenic environment

Appreciating the equivalent complexity of doping in sport, we define a ‘dopogenic environment’ to acknowledge the sum of influences produced by the surroundings, opportunities and conditions that promote anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs). Local level factors …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed equally to this editorial.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with ’BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.