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Laurie B. Patterson, Susan H. Backhouse and Sergio Lara-Bercial

Although global policy states that coaches are a key stakeholder group for anti-doping education, very little is known about how performance and participation coaches develop their understanding of anti-doping policy and practice. Therefore, 292 UK-based coaches completed an online survey exploring their experiences of anti-doping education (i.e., topics covered, how and by whom the programmes were delivered and how knowledgeable and well-equipped coaches felt to deal with doping-related matters). The results showed that almost a quarter of the surveyed coaches reported never learning about anti-doping. Only a third had engaged with a formal anti-doping education programme and coaches typically received information on detection-deterrence related topics (e.g., banned substances, testing procedures). Many coaches perceived themselves as only having ‘a little’ knowledge about anti-doping and declared themselves as ‘a little’ equipped to work with their sportspeople on doping-related matters. Nonetheless, 96% of coaches were inclined to learn more about anti-doping in the future. Given the World Anti-Doping Code states that anti-doping education for coaches should be compulsory, it is crucial that insights from coaches are made public to inform the development of evidence-informed anti-doping programmes that are tailored and targeted.