The 6th & Final FAIR Forum for Anti-doping in Recreational Sport took place on 8 and 9 November in Belgium. For this final edition, the FAIR+ consortium gave a twist to the annual forum by adding an extra first day for the benefit of future sport professionals and policymakers.  
 
In collaboration with the hosts KU Leuven, an exclusive expert discussion around anti-doping research, education and policy took place Tuesday 8 November. The session offered a keynote address from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Senior Manager for Education, Tony Cunningham, on the role of education within a policy framework. An academic response to the presentation was then given by Dr Monika Frenger (Saarland University), notably highlighting the challenges of addressing doping in recreational sport in comparison to elite sport. The discussion was furthered by Jurgen Secember’s (Flanders Anti-Doping Organisation) practitioner response, which emphasised the practical challenges faced by regional and national anti-doping organisations whose resources are limited and dedicated to elite sport- constituting a minority group in comparison to recreational athletes.  
 
FAIR Forum Chairman, Professor Michael McNamee, then moderated exchanges between the three speakers, and enable participants’ questions, before closing the session and opening the networking cocktail reception.  
 
The Forum’s 2nd day took place in Brussels (Wednesday 9 November) under its traditional format, with both in-person and virtual participants.  
 
Once again, the Forum's Chair Professor McNamee welcomed attendees and speakers, before leaving the floor to EuropeActive's Cliff Collins who presented the FAIR projects and the ground they have covered in the past years.  
 
The Forum’s 1st session was articulated around TEG1’s (Technical expert Group) research, methodologies and findings on ‘the use of performance enhancing drugs in recreational sport in Europe’, with presentations from Dr Monika Frenger and PD Dr Werner Pitsch (Saarland University), Professor Ask Vest Christiansen (Aarhus University) and Professor Andrea Chirico (Sapienza Università di Roma). 
 
Dr April Henning (University of Stirling) delivered the 1st keynote on ‘Recreational athletes and doping: Surprises, challenges and next steps’. The morning programme came to an end with Dr Liene Kozlovska’s (Council of Europe) presentation on the role of public authorities in tackling recreational doping and a call for collaboration on the topic. 
 
The 2nd  part of the day opened with TEG2 expanding on the research and steps that led to the development of the guidelines for anti-doping education for coaches, instructors and trainers who are actively engaged in recreational sport, presented by Erik Duiven (Anti-doping Authority Netherlands) and Fredrik Lauritzen (Antidoping Norge).  
 
The WADA’s Tony Cunningham gave the day’s 2nd keynote on ‘the alignment of research, policy and practice- towards a common purpose’, offering great imagery around the complexity and challenges of anti-doping. 
 
Finally, the European Commission’s Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport (DG EAC), Georg Haeusler, shared which competencies and limitations the institution has with regards to anti-doping. 
 
Despite national strikes, the 6th and final Forum enjoyed fantastic presentations, debates and networking among relevant stakeholders. All presentations and the recording of the 2nd day will soon be published online on the FAIR+ project’s webpage
 
A massive thank you to all of our speakers, project partners and to all participants! 
 
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Nov 10, 2022 By Pauline Joskin