The use of performance-enhancing drugs, commonly referred to as doping, has long been a controversial topic in the world of professional sports.

But where do these drugs come from?

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University will host Katinka van de Ven, a doctorate candidate of the Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology, on Oct. 17, at 11:30 a.m., in the Laurel Room of the WVU Mountainlair on the downtown campus.

Van de Ven will present “The Formation and Development of PIEDs [performance and image enhancing drugs] Trafficking Networks in the Netherlands and Belgium: A Typology of Dealers, and the Implications of PIED policies.”

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, will dive into the Dutch and Belgian performance and image enhancing drug black market to examine how trafficking networks develop.

These countries provide the ideal types for exploring the drugs’ markets in relation to policy, as Belgium is advancing a zero-tolerance approach, and the Netherlands do not have a policy on the drugs.

In the mid 2000s, sport officials and authorities began to blame the high use of performance and image enhancing drugs on organized crime. According to the officials, these alleged groups are well-financed and prey on the success of athletes and lure young athletes into using the drugs.

“It is no secret that performance enhancing drugs plague athletics. Katinka van de Ven’s lecture offers students, college athletic departments, and faculty new insight into an ongoing problem that warrants much critical insight,” said Walter Dekeseredy, Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences and professor of sociology at WVU.

Doping, van de Ven posits, is more than a threat to athletics. It’s a social problem in need of a criminal justice response.

Van de Ven holds a master’s of science in psychology and a master’s of arts in criminology from Utrecht University, and specializes in documenting how differences in anti-doping legislation affect the criminal market for performance and image enhancing drugs.

For more information, contact Walter Dekeseredy at (304) 293-8846 or



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