As part of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s (ASADA) ongoing commitment to deliver anti-doping education in engaging, innovative ways, the agency has launched a new Augmented Reality app that shows what happens to an athlete’s body when they take prohibited substances.
ASADA’s main purpose is to protect the health of athletes and its new Augmented Reality Health Effects app, developed in partnership with Drug Free Sport New Zealand, will help to do just that.
So how does it work? Through the app, users create their own avatar who (unfortunately) experiences all the health effects of certain substances.
By using the phone’s camera, users can peer inside their avatar to see how performance enhancing drugs change their organs and nervous system.
Specifically, the app looks at the effects of steroids, stimulants, EPO, HGH, SARMs and opioids. Stroke, liver damage, tumours and anxiety are just a few of the side effects of prohibited substance that are covered in the app.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the avatar. After looking at all the negative effects, users literally get to take some ‘good’ performance enhancers and hear about the benefits of being a Clean Freak. The app concludes with a quiz on everything users have learned.
Looking into the future, the app is another tool to be incorporated into face-to-face education sessions and outreach events to engage athletes on the risk of performance enhancing drugs.
ASADA has also developed a student worksheet for high school teachers to use in class, which complements the National, State and Territory Health and Physical Education Curriculums for Stages 5 and 6.
ASADA CEO David Sharpe believes sometimes athletes are not seeing the full picture when it comes to performance enhancing substances.
“Some of the substances that we are seeing athletes use in sport are incredibly dangerous, including some that are schedule 10 poisons, and others that have not even been approved for human use.”
“Ensuring athletes are aware of the health risks, especially at a young age, is critical if we want to protect their health and wellbeing.”
The ASADA Augmented Reality Health Effects app shows ASADA’s continued commitment to developing new technologies in anti-doping education, which allows us to spread the message of integrity in sport to all levels and all ages.