Clean sport research can be incredibly rewarding, but you don’t have to take the Partnership for Clean Competition’s word for it. Researchers in the anti-doping space bring a lot of passion to their work. We decided to let them explain what makes the field so compelling in their own words.
Dr. Laura Lewis is a UK-born Australian and now the US Anti-Doping Agency’s new Director of Science.
How would you describe your work to someone unfamiliar with the field?
My new role is so diverse it’s hard to know where to start! On any given day I can be an analyst, researcher, teacher, detective, project manager, or scientist. My specialty is the Athletes Biological Passport, which is an individual athlete’s biological blueprint that is created over the course of their career. Each new sample is modeled based on the athlete’s prior history, and any large deviations are followed up on by an independent expert. Often there is an obvious explanation, such as recent altitude exposure or racing, but at times, this can be the sign of something more suspicious.
Why are you drawn to anti-doping?
I trained as a sports physiologist and worked with aspiring Australian athletes during a number of Olympic cycles. Whilst the work was extremely rewarding, working in elite sport can be quite insular, and it’s easy to get burnt out. The global nature of the anti-doping movement was attractive, particularly the notion that I could have a wide-reaching influence on all athletes and their dreams by strengthening and protecting clean sport.
Why should scientists in related fields take a look at contributing to anti-doping?
It’s challenging, fun, and extremely rewarding. If you’ve been yearning to produce research that can be translated into practice, with often a direct and far-reaching impact on people’s lives, then anti-doping is for you!
Interested in Dr. Lewis’s work? Check out her episode of The Anti-Doping Podcast right here.
Would you like to help spread the word about anti-doping research by answering these questions for our next post? Know someone you’d like to hear these answers from? Tweet at @PCCAntiDoping or email Communications Director David Kumbroch at email@example.com to nominate someone.