Diane Modahl and Erki Nool today hailed the European Athletics’ I Run Clean(™) online anti-doping education platform for its importance in teaching youngsters about the dangers of doping.
Developed with input from athletes, sport officials, educationists and doping control experts, the I Run Clean(™) programme comprises eight user-friendly, interactive modules that can be accessed through computers, tablets and smartphones from the I Run Clean(™) platform (www.irunclean.org).
Great Britain's Modahl, the 1990 Commonwealth 800m champion, and Estonian Nool, the 2000 decathlon gold medallist, are both ambassadors for this platform as European Athletics takes another big step in the battle against drugs in the sport.
"European Athletics have been very brave to launch this e-learning platform," said Modahl. "It is very much focused about the athletes themselves making a pledge to run clean. And you cannot get any more simpler than that."
Modahl thinks that platform should be extended to other areas in the sport.
"At the moment the pledge is quite rightly focused on the athletes but at some point, the opportunity to extend it to the coaches, the volunteers, to the medical teams will also be crucial to embed those values.
"The thing that is unique about this and why I am sat around this table today is very much around those values. One of the eight platforms focuses on encouraging young people and athletes to think about what is important to them and how those values then impact on their sporting lives and careers," she said.
The units cover the anti-doping rules, doping control procedures and issues such as dietary supplements and Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
The programme starts with an innovative unit stressing values and good decisions, making it unique among current anti-doping education programmes.
Nool said: "I was the athletes’ representative on the European Olympic Committee for eight years and we tried to find solutions for young athletes to fight against doping.
"I think right now we have a very good and very simple platform for all ages, from young kids of 10 or 11 upwards. It is very easy and simple to handle and this main point, the first step is education which is so important.
"Time has changed a lot and these days for young athletes it is not so easy to orientate what's going on."
Nool agrees with Modal about extending its reach.
“Of course, this programme is not only for athletes. We have to open it up a little more to coaches, which is huge, and we have to teach coaches even more than athletes."
Launched in English, I Run Clean(™) will be available in 12 languages by the end of this year.