About the Project

The Win-Dop project aims to promote whistleblowing on doping offences in sport. To do this, the project involves the following:

Review of European National Anti-Doping Organisations’ (NADOs) Good Practices on Whistleblowing

We will evaluate the extent to which European NADOs adhere to good practices on whistle-blowing doping offences. This is important, because it will ultimately affect the extent to which whistleblowing occurs and the extent to which whistle-blowers are protected. This review will involve benchmarking European NADOs in terms of the six good practices on whistleblowing identified in the EU report on whistleblowing, which are:

  1. A diverse range of structures to report whistle-blowing;
  2. Mechanisms for anonymous and confidential disclosures;
  3. Solutions to mitigate the effects of reprisals;
  4. Dedicated staff to explore disclosures;
  5. Staff training and the quality of such training;
  6. Clear information for stakeholders (e.g., sports federations, clubs, coaches, athletes) about whistle-blower laws and procedures.

A Systematic Review of the Organisational and Personal Factors that Influence Whistleblowing

Understanding why individuals engage in whistle-blowing behaviours in areas such as financial services, healthcare, sport, government agencies, or education is important for increasing whistleblowing for doping offences. There are currently no published systematic reviews that examine the factors influence the propensity to engage in whistleblowing. The systematic review would address the organisational and personal factors that influence whistleblowing. Such an approach will ensure that all the factors associated with whistleblowing will be considered. This is paramount for the development of policy guidelines and pedagogical material.

Quantitative Analyses of the Organisational and Personal Factors that Predict Intentions to Blow the Whistle on Doping Offences

The quantitative analysis of the antecedents of whistleblowing intentions will be based on the systematic review. The existing literature has demonstrated that whistleblowing intentions in other domains (e.g., government agencies, education, and healthcare) are influenced by both organisational and personal factors. These factors are expected to determine perceptions of costs and benefits from engaging in whistle-blowing behaviour.

Qualitative Analyses of the Psychological Factors that Predict Intentions to Whistle-blow among Athletes

Five athletes from each partner country will be interviewed using a semi-structured interview. Interviews will last around 45 to 60 minutes. The interviews will explore the factors that influence whether or not athletes will engage in whistleblowing.

Development of Pedagogical Material

Materials will be developed that can be used to promote whistleblowing among athletes. As such, we will produce short animations that depict whistle-blowing scenarios, relating to how and why athletes should whistle blow when they suspect other athletes of doping. We will also create posters and handouts that also provide information how and why athletes should whistle blow. We will create different pedagogical material for young and older athletes. It is intended that the information we create can be distributed to schools, sports federations, and sports club to maximise the impact of the campaign across EU member states. 

Policy Guidelines

Given that whistleblowing is a highly effective way of detecting doping offences, but it is very rare, it could be argued that all EU NADOs need to adhere to the EU’s good principles on whistleblowing.

Based on the information generated, the project consortium will provide policy guidelines to promote whistleblowing on doping irregularities. This guideline will be for NADOs, sporting federations, and policy makers.

Overreaching Aims of Win-Dop

To understand more about the organisational and personal factors of whistleblowing, such as:
  1. the extent to which European NADOs engage in good practices on whistleblowing.
  2. the factors that influence whistle-blowing behaviours;
  3. Develop pedagogical material to encourage whistleblowing.
  4. Provide policy guidelines for best practice on whistleblowing in relation to doping.
The proposed project responds to the European Union’s priority area of reducing doping within sport. It also relates to the European Union’s and WADA’s priorities by increasing knowledge on whistleblowing and inform EU policy. The project findings will be diffused to the academic community, sports and health professionals, and public stakeholders involved in the development of anti-doping policy and anti-doping prevention.