cover art for Sean Ingle on anti-doping, the state of T&F and a look ahead to the Rugby World Cup

The Real Science of Sport Podcast

Sean Ingle on anti-doping, the state of T&F and a look ahead to the Rugby World Cup

Season 5, Ep. 24

Ross is joined in Paris by Guardian Chief Sports Reporter, Sean Ingle, to look back on the recent World Athletics Championships, but with a focus more on the off-track news stories, including the state of anti-doping in sport, conflicts in the media zone, and the marketability of the sport and its athletes. They also look ahead to the upcoming Rugby World Cup, with Sean visiting France to set the scene for Paris' upcoming eleven-month festival of sports, and Ross attending meetings ahead of this weekend's opening fixtures. That discussion explores some of Sean's family history in boxing, the value of contact sport, and the challenge faced by all sports to prevent and manage head impacts more effectively.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Sleep And Adolescence: Understanding Teenage Sleep Health

    Join Dr Dale Rae, Director: Sleep Science, Cape Town and Senior Lecturer at the Division of Physiological Sciences, University of Cape Town, and co-hosts Dr Jill Warner and Mike Finch as they talk about the special challenges adolescents have when it comes to sleep time, regularity and requirements. Understand why teenagers sleep at odd hours, how stress affects their sleep and the best sleep strategies for the younger set.
  • 32. Does Cold Water Therapy Have Any Benefits? Latest research / Worm Blood: Doping's Newest 'Frontier' / Transgender Controversies In Snooker and Cricket

    SHOW NOTESLug worm hemoglobin doping: Interesting perspectives on sport as entertainmentTransgender Injury in footballSnooker transgender controversyICC bans trans womenMAIN TOPICIs the Wim Hof method effective?
  • Sleep And Athletic Performance (feat. Olympic gold medallist Ryk Neethling)

    The team are joined by Dr Dale Rae, Director at Sleep Science and a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Physiological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, to break down the special sleep needs of sports, and active, people. The team talk about how to earn a 'nap' licence, how much to sleep if you're an active person, how to cope with jet lag and why early risers are more likely to succeed in sport. Co-host Dr Jill Warner also interviews former Olympic gold medallist swimmer Ryk Neethling about his sleep experiences and the lessons he has learnt along the way.
  • 1. Why We All Need To Sleep More / The True Benefits of Sleep / The Most Common Sleep Mistake

    From the producers of The Science of Sport podcast, comes a limited 6-part series Unlocking Your Sleep Potential. In the first episode hosts Dr Jill Warner and Mike Finch speak to Dr Allie Hare, a consultant physician in respiratory and sleep medicine and president of the British Sleep Society. The team break down the basics of why sleep is so important, the factors that affect sleep, why you probably aren't sleeping enough and the biggest sleep mistake most people are making.
  • 31. NEWS WRAP: Caster's Book Controversy / Biological Passport Defeat / Does the Sub-2 Marathon beckon?

    Former world steeplechase champion, Norah Jeruto, was recently cleared of doping charges despite adverse findings in her biological passport. Does this put the credibility of the passport at risk or is the unusual case a once-off? PLUS Caster Semenya's controversial 'tell-all' book and reactions, can you ingest carbs through your mouth and does the latest world marathon record puts the sub-2 hour within reach?Show notes and linksSummary of one of the interview’s Semenya gave in promotion of the book, including some quotes discussed on the showOne of the very few reviews of Caster Semenya’s book that includes any mention of the biological basis for the controversy, rather than portraying it as a challenge of women with high testosteroneThe appeal decision in the AIU case of Norah JerutoThe WADA code that mentions prohibited methods including blood manipulation
  • 30. Why Endurance Athletes Are Super-Fuelling On Carbs / Rugby World Cup Final Wrap

    In a recent story on top cyclists are reported to be ingesting huge quantities of carbohydrates in recent years which could explain some of their amazing performances. We ask whether this trend is new, how super 'carbing' is done and how it may work for anyone undertaking an endurance event PLUS we wrap up the 2023 Rugby World Cup and explain why the Springbok victory meant so much for South Africa.SCROLL TO 34:32 FOR THE DISCUSSION ON CARBSSHOW NOTESA discussion on Reddit about the articleA short explanation article from Asker Jeukendrup’s blog on carb mixes and increasing carb oxidationThe 2004 study that found an increase in carb oxidation when carbs were combinedThe 2008 study that found superior performance when carb oxidation was increased thanks to carb mixturesThe study on marathon runners ingesting 120g of carbs per hour, with less muscle damage one outcomeA blog on that study A final post from Asker’s blog with advice on carb intake, including a useful graphic explainer
  • 29. Rugby's New High-Tech Mouthguards: How They Work And Why?

    This week World Rugby announced that they will be including head accelerations measured by smart mouthguards into the sport's head injury assessment protocols used at the top level of the game to help identify potential head injuries during a game. This is how they work, why the tech could be a game changer and the challenges facing their adoption.Credits: Opening clip Rugby World Cup Youtube channel SHOW NOTESSean Ingle’s piece on the instrumented mouthguard technologyTwo articles that explore the elusive (and likely impossible) concussion threshold And Petty tweet on playing time of the semi-finalistsMy article on the iMGs from the Patron page, now public
  • 28. The Most Fascinating Explanation of Rugby Laws You'll Hear This Year / Berlin Marathon Record: Human Excellence or Shoe Tech Mastery

    Keith Lewis is the Laws Co-ordinator at World Rugby and Founder of and is at the fulcrum of many of the law changes in the world of rugby union. The team scrum down to discuss how the laws have changed the game over the years, how to manage the balance between player safety and spectator entertainment and how new laws are introduced into the game. PLUS Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa established a new women's world marathon record at the Berlin Marathon. But how much of a factor is the shoe tech and how do we measure the athletic performance?SHOW NOTES:The article we discussed in the context of how running shoes have undermined all trust in the human contribution to running records, by Knopp The comparison between different shoes, showing large differences within the same runner in different shoes, and between shoesThe paper that Jordan Santos-Concejero commented on, showing that reducing shoe mass makes a difference to running economyThe link between running economy and performanceGuest Keith Lewis’ details:Email: Laws@worldrugby.orgX: @keithlewisrugbyLinkedin:
  • 27. From Cauliflower Ears To Subterfurge: Inside the World of a Pro Rugby Coach

    John Dobson is one of South Africa's most celebrated rugby coaches. As head coach of the Stormers franchise, who won the 2021-22 United Rugby Championship, Dobson is renowned as one of the most passionate and knowledgeable coaches in the game. The team talk candidly to Dobson about tactics, what coaches say to players at halftime, what makes a good coach, the clever way coaches communicate with players during a game and why coaching boxes have to be swept before games to ensure they aren't bugged. For the rugby novice and connoisseur alike.