Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by UK Sport


    —  The Government is fully committed to eradicating the use of drugs and doping methods in sport. Government has mandated UK Sport to deliver a national anti-doping programme. A full summary of the rationale for anti-doping can be found in sections 1 and 2 of the submission.

    —  Every country which wishes to compete in an Olympic Games must have in place a National Anti-Doping Organisation, unless such a role is undertaken by the country's National Olympic Committee. This is the role assigned to UK Sport. As defined in the World Anti-Doping Code, this body has "the primary authority and responsibility to adopt and implement anti-doping rules, direct the collection of samples, the management of test results, and the conduct of hearings, all at the national level".

    —  Each national governing body of sport is responsible for overseeing the rules and regulations of in its own sport. UK Sport's key role is to ensure that anti-doping rules are implemented to agreed international standards across all sports.

    —  UK Sport is well positioned to manage the national anti-doping programme due to its funding relationship with the national governing bodies of Olympic and Paralympic sport, its commitment to the highest ethical standards in sport and its public and transparent accountability. This enables UK Sport to swiftly sanction any governing bodies which do not meet the agreed anti-doping standards.


    —  UK Sport conducts approximately 6,000 tests per year across more than 40 sports. Of these, an average of 98.5% are negative which suggests that the vast majority of high performance athletes are not attempting to cheat by using prohibited substances.

    —  In appendix 1, a breakdown of the testing programme for the last five years is provided. The number of tests for each governing body is included, along with a breakdown of the findings in each sport. These show that competitors in football, athletics and cricket are tested most often, whilst the highest number of reported findings are in weight/power-lifting, athletics and rugby league.

    —  UK Sport uses a number of risk criteria to determine the priority of a sport for testing and the size of the testing programme. Full details can be found in paragraph 4.5.

    —  Internationally, the average for positive tests is 2%. This suggests that drugs in high performance sport is not the widespread problem that publicity surrounding cases implies. However, there is no room for complacency. The development and subsequent discovery of THG has shown that there are always those who will try to beat the system and constant vigilance is required.

    —  UK Sport produces a range of drug-free sport materials, including posters, leaflets, factsheets, testing guides, etc, which are distributed to all governing bodies and high performance sport institutes. Over 900 posters have been made available to football, rugby league and rugby union to display in sporting clubs around the UK.

    —  In the UK, very little research has been done into the extent of steroid use outside of elite sport (in gyms, etc). In addition, to our knowledge, there is no research into the impact on young people, particularly up and coming sports performers, of high-profile drug cases. Such studies would produce valuable data and we would welcome the allocation of funds into these and related anti-doping issues.


    —  The World Anti-Doping Code was recognised by the UK Government through the Copenhagen Declaration signed by the Sports Minister in March 2003. Since then UK Sport has had the full support of the Government as it works in partnership with the National Governing Bodies to implement the Code.

    —  In our opinion the World Anti-Doping Code marks a major watershed in the global fight for drug-free sport, particularly the move towards a harmonised approach to anti-doping across all sports and countries. Once the Code is fully implemented we should see more consistency in the way anti-doping matters are managed, with increased clarity and uniformity on the sanctions for a doping offence.

    —  To be included on the Prohibited List, a drug must meet two out of three criteria: the potential to enhance sport performance; the actual or potential health risk to an athlete; and the violation of the "spirit of sport". The "recreational" drugs included on the List meet at least two of the three criteria, as outlined in paragraphs 3.5-3.13. It is therefore appropriate that the response to a finding for any substance on the List should be the same.

    —  The rule of "strict liability", whereby an athlete is fully responsible for any substances found in their system, is fundamental to the success of any anti-doping programme. This has been called into question with the recent nandrolone findings in tennis. However, the WADC incorporates the concept of "exceptional circumstances" (Article 10.5) whereby if an athlete can establish that he/she bears no fault or negligence for the presence of a prohibited substance, then the normal sanction to be applied under the Code (a ban from competing) may be eliminated or reduced.

    —  The issue of supplements continues to provide a great challenge to sport, and, in spite of considerable investment of time and money, we are unable to provide a solution that could provide athletes with a 100% guarantee. The background to this issue and a summary of the current situation can be found in paragraphs 3.17-3.22.


    —  Consistency in the approach to anti-doping across different sports has been difficult to achieve. However, the launch of the UK's Anti-Doping Policy in 2000, along with the ongoing modernisation process currently taking place within major National Governing Bodies, has helped improve this situation. A full explanation of reasons for differences between sports is provided in section 4 of the submission.


    —  In January 2004, UK Sport commissioned PMP consultants to conduct an independent review into options for the future operation of the UK's anti-doping programme. The aim was to provide recommendations on the optimum arrangements for the governance, structure and operation of the national anti-doping programme in the UK. It concluded there is no evidence of conflict of interest or unethical behaviour at UK Sport.

    —  The report from PMP was presented to UK Sport's Council in March 2004. Council unanimously welcomed the findings and supported the recommendations subject to clarification on certain issues, particularly with regards to suggested changes to the management and reporting structure of the drug-free sport team. Council requested further work to look at the possible options with regards to implementing such changes.

    —  The report and Council's recommendations were subsequently presented to the Sports Cabinet in April 2004, which approved the recommendations of the PMP report but concurred with UK Sport's Council that further work be done to flesh out the recommendation concerning governance.


    —  UK Sport recognises that the benefits of sport go beyond personal enjoyment and fulfilment. As such, sportspeople are influential role models for young people. UK Sport works with the home country sports councils and the BOA/BPA to harness the positive impact sporting heroes can have on young people. Full details can be found in paragraphs 6.8-6.15.

    —  UK Sport is currently developing "Start Clean", a programme aimed at helping 13-17 year-olds to learn more about drug-free sport and allowing them to take part in fair and healthy sporting activity. This is the first UK Sport initiative to focus on the younger generation. Start Clean will be officially launched in July and will include "roadshows' at youth sporting events, the development of a range of cross-curricular activities, resources for teachers and students, and the training of "athlete ambassadors' to help deliver the programme in schools.


  1.1  UK Sport is pleased to be invited to submit evidence to the CMS Committee on Drugs and Role Models in Sport. As the national government agency with the responsibility for promoting drug free sport and high ethical standards in sport, UK Sport plays a key role in this issue.

  1.2  Drugs in sport represent a challenge to the very principles sport stands for. In essence it is a form of cheating that undermines a fundamental expectation that athletes will compete in the spirit of fair play, in accordance with established rules and to the extent possible on a "level playing field".

  1.3  UK Sport values the contributions that sport can make to society if developed and nurtured within a strong ethical environment. UK Sport is committed to the following values in all its policies and programmes as being critical to the quality of success in performance sport:

    —  Integrity;

    —  Fairness;

    —  Equity;

    —  Respect.

  The promotion of drug-free sport is an integral part of UK Sport's vision of developing high performance sport in the UK.

  1.4  High profile cases continue to keep the issue of drugs in sport in the media eye. Sport federations and governments have responded to public concern about the damage doping does to the reputation of sport through the implementation of ever more sophisticated anti-doping testing programmes. The reality however, is that the vast majority of high performance athletes compete drug free as evidenced by the average global positive test percentage of 2%. But this is still a level of cheating that undermines sport and we must be constantly vigilant to ensure that we protect the integrity of the sport and the health and rights of all players.

The historical perspective

  1.5  When the IOC Medical Commission was created in 1967 to deal with doping in sport, it devised a prohibited list to encompass three fundamental principles:

    1.  to protect the health of athletes;

    2.  to achieve equality for all competing athletes;

    3.  to show respect for medical and sport ethics and the very legitimate and "good" work being done in these fields to help athletes reach their potential cleanly and fairly.

  1.6  Having established a prohibited list, laboratory tests were required to determine the presence of these substances in the athlete. Through the Medical Commission of the IOC, testing methods were verified and a process established to accredit laboratories with the necessary equipment and skills to undertake sample analysis. Working with the international sport federations and governments the IOC facilitated the establishment of bodies with the powers and capacity to run anti-doping programmes. In the UK this was the Sports Council which in 1997 transferred the responsibility to the new UK Sports Council (UK Sport).

  1.7  In 1989 the UK played a leading role in establishing, through the Council of Europe, the European Anti-doping Convention which came into effect in 1990. The UK was one of the first signatories to this convention which now boasts 37 ratified member states. The Convention lays down binding rules with a view to harmonising anti-doping regulations, in particular:

    —  making it harder to obtain and use banned substances such as anabolic steroids;

    —  assisting the funding of anti-doping tests;

    —  establishing a link between the strict application of anti-doping rules and awarding subsidies to sports organisations or individual sportsmen and sportswomen;

    —  regular doping control procedures during and outside competitions, including in other countries.

  1.8  This convention has historically been the basis for UK policy and programme implementation. UK Sport carries responsibility for membership of the Monitoring Group of the Convention and its specialist committees such as technical, legal and education issues.


  2.1  UK Sport has an obligation and responsibility to promote and support the elimination of doping in sport as a Sports Council founded under the Royal Charter and as the recognised National Anti-Doping Organisation for the UK. In addition it is the responsibility of all Sports Councils in the UK to stand by their statement in the 1987 Ministerial paper on drug misuse in sport: "The Sports Councils condemn the misuse of drugs in sport."

  2.2  Through its Royal Charter, UK Sport has been mandated by government to:

    —  Encourage the adoption of the highest ethical standards amongst persons or teams from the United Kingdom participating in physical recreation;

    —  Support or undertake the provision of programmes or facilities for monitoring drug or substance misuse among persons from the United Kingdom participating in sport and physical recreation;

    —  Promote and support the sporting interests of the United Kingdom by collaborating with overseas and international bodies;

    —  Provide information and services which conform to the specified requirements of our customers and the international sporting community, and continuously improve the standard.

  2.3  Through this mandate UK Sport drove the establishment of a National Anti-doping Policy requiring the co-operation and buy in of all stakeholders (national governing bodies, home country sports councils etc.) This policy was adopted in 2000 and is currently being reviewed to reflect the World Anti-Doping Code.

  2.4  In comparing UK Sport as a NADO to other examples, it is important to understand the differences in responsibility, accountability and authority. UK Sport is not responsible for the selection of athletes but works through NGBs who are responsible for their development, selection and supervision. As mandated by its charter and in accordance with its policies UK Sport insists on the highest ethical standards using as appropriate its funding relationship to ensure compliance and adherence to the standards expected. It differs significantly from other bodies which have seen the establishment of independent anti-doping agencies.

  2.5  To achieve the highest levels of integrity and valued sporting behaviour it is necessary for sports organisations to work together, nationally and internationally. A commitment to common goals and harmonisation is crucial to the development of sport.

  2.6  In recognition of the above the National Anti-Doping Policy is based on the following general principles:

    —  The welfare of athletes and other sports participants is the primary concern;

    —  Sporting conduct and the spirit of sport are fundamental to the provision of sport;

    —  All sports participants whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to participate and be protected from abuse in sport;

    —  Cheating and abuse in sport are unacceptable and are to be condemned;

    —  Fairness in procedure and a commitment to accountability is critical to the effective governance of sport;

    —  Anti-doping is an international issue that requires a co-ordinated commitment by all sport organisations;

    —  All personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirement of the Data Protection Act 1998;

    —  Reference to "athletes" is inclusive of participants categorised as able bodied and with a disability from all sports[1].

Policy aims and objectives

  2.7  The aim of the Policy in accordance with the general principles is:

    "to protect the athletes' fundamental right to participate in drug-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for athletes in the UK".

  2.8  This aim is supported by the following Policy objectives:

    —  To protect athletes and other participants in sport in all doping matters;

    —  To promote drug-free sport in the UK;

    —  To establish consistent standards of anti-doping policy, testing and education;

    —  To encourage national and international harmonisation.

  2.9  The Policy sets out the statement of UK Sport's commitment to anti-doping; the definition of roles and responsibilities nationally and internationally; the establishment of policy compliance requirements and penalties for non-compliance; and the definition of policy parameters.

The UK Sport Testing Programme: What we do and why

  2.10  UK Sport is the UK National Anti-Doping Organisation and as such:

    —  Conducts approximately 6,000 tests in more than 40 sports of which 4,000 are public interest tests funded by exchequer resources and targeted at high risk sports and disciplines;

    —  Plans and delivers an effective testing programme that acts to:

      —  detect those individuals who may use banned substances;

      —  deter those individuals who may be tempted to use banned substances;

      —  protect the integrity and reputation of athletes who wish to compete in a drug-free environment.

    —  Plans and delivers an effective education programme for governing bodies, individual athletes and potential athletes providing:

      —  independent and up to date information for athletes;

      —  an authoritative and cost effective education programme.

    —  Represents Government in international meetings regarding doping in sport issues, ensuring that the UK contributes to and learns from worldwide developments towards drug-free sport.

How we do this

  2.11  UK Sport's Drug-Free Sport Directorate comprises 13 staff to facilitate the appropriate scope and content of an individual sport's anti-doping programme and to implement the education, testing and results management systems. The samples are collected by 91 subcontracted Doping Control Officers and 25 subcontracted Chaperones spread across the UK.

  2.12  UK Sport's Anti-Doping Programme is responsible for:

    —  Designing effective programmes of education and information resources;

    —  Collection of urine and blood samples using quality assured procedures (ISO 9001:2000);

    —  Arranging the analysis of samples at a WADA/IOC accredited laboratory—currently King's College under a tendered contract;

    —  Reporting test outcomes to the relevant governing body;

    —  Monitoring the actions taken by governing bodies in relation to reported outcomes.

  2.13  UK Sport has the responsibility to manage the receipt and processing of the drug testing programme outcomes and analytical results. This includes developing successful working relationships with Governing Bodies regarding the effective management of disciplinary processes, working proactively with them to ensure adequate anti-doping regulations and monitoring disciplinary processes in accordance with the national policy. During the last five year period negative results accounted for 98.5% (approx.), of the results processed by UK Sport.

  2.14  As part of UK Sport's commitment to transparency, we introduced the quarterly reporting of results in October 2002. Following a review, we have established that cases are being dealt with quicker.

  2.15  Effective partnerships between UK Sport and governing bodies are central to the success of the anti-doping testing programme. Whilst UK Sport has no direct involvement at hearings and appeals, we offer support to governing bodies in their preparation of doping cases. We also adhere to our role as a public body and will attempt to answer any questions an athlete may have regarding their negative or positive test result (depending on the legal position). However, we always encourage athletes to work via their governing bodies wherever practicable.

  2.16  Results over the last five years are shown at appendix 1. This shows that a total of 29,114 tests were taken during the five year period 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2004. These figures are for UK Governing Bodies only. In addition, UK Sport initiates testing for the international federations.


  3.1  Little empirical data exists on the true extent of the problem and it is necessary to distinguish between doping in competitive sport and doping in society where sport may be an associated vehicle. With the latter, doping is less associated with performance but more with social standing and peer group positioning. A study by Bahrke, Yesalis and Brower in the USA in 1998[2] revealed adolescents use a wide variety of drugs and supplements, including anabolic steroids, to improve their physical appearance and at times sports performance. Prevalence rates for steroid use generally range between 4% and 12% for male adolescents and between 0.5% and 2% for female adolescents. Steroid users are more likely to be male, participate in strength-related sports, and use other drugs.

  3.2  The publicity associated with potential or actual occurrences of doping in elite sport can exaggerate the extent of the problem. In fact, 98.5% of results of the UK testing programme are negative which suggests that the vast majority of athletes are not attempting to cheat by using prohibited substances. The global average for positive tests is 2% indicating that the UK is doing better than many nations.

  3.3  This figure implies that the testing programme is acting as an effective deterrent and also that the education programme is effectively discouraging athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs and teaching them about the risks of taking supplements which could lead to them inadvertently testing positive. However, there is no room for complacency. The THG (Tetrahydrogestrinone) issue has shown that there are always those who will try to beat the system and constant vigilance is needed. Testing and education programmes need to be revised regularly and updated to deal with potential new threats.

  3.4  More research is needed in order to look at patterns of potential drug misuse in sport in order to target tests more effectively and to determine an appropriate level of testing for specific athlete pools. UK Sport is seeking additional funding from Government for research and will collaborate with WADA and other National Anti-Doping Organisations on projects to maximize the benefits across the international sporting community.

Sport and "recreational" drugs

  3.5  The WADA prohibited list follows the principles established by the IOC Medical Commission in 1967 and all substances are assessed on the basis of three criteria:

    —  The potential health risk for the athlete or the risk to the safety of other athletes;

    —  The ability or potential to enhance sporting performance;

    —  The potential for a substance to fundamentally challenge the spirit of sport.

  3.6  Those prohibited recreational substances on the list meet at least two of the three criteria and therefore constitute a doping violation if detected through an "in competition" test. Many of these substances pose a danger to the health of athletes and have the potential to bring a sport into disrepute and/or influence the behaviour of young athletes.

  3.7  The majority of substances that could be considered "recreational" are not tested for out-of-competition. More specifically, marijuana, stimulants such as cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines and narcotics, such as morphine, are not included in the out-of-competition section of the prohibited list.

  3.8  Certain "recreational" substances may inhibit concentration and reaction speed; may increase aggression, feelings of euphoria and invincibility and so on. These effects could put the athlete and those around the athlete at risk. Additionally, in some sports the use of certain "recreational" substances could be performance enhancing, in particular, stimulants that could act as a diuretic to mask other substances or help athletes to meet a weight requirement.

  3.9  The WADC Prohibited List has identified specific substances that are particularly susceptible to unintentional anti-doping rule violations because of their general availability in medicinal products or those which are less likely to be abused as doping agents.

  3.10  The anti-doping rules are very clear and have been developed through worldwide consultation with experts in medicine, science and ethics. Athletes are fully aware of these straightforward rules and if they are broken through negligence or disregard, a full sanction should apply. The Prohibited List has been developed in the best interests of the whole athlete population. We must ensure that we protect the rights of those athletes who work hard to play within the rules.

  3.11  An anti-doping rule violation occurs when a prohibited substance is found to be present in an athlete's bodily specimen. The violation is not based on whether the substance enhanced or had the potential to enhance performance, or whether the substance was taken merely for the normal effects of a recreational drug. This is the excuse and not the justification for breaking the rules. Unless the athlete can demonstrate through the disciplinary process that they were at no fault or negligent in taking the substance, eg proving passive smoking of cannabis or a spiked drink, a sanction would have to apply.

Athlete Liability and the WADC

  3.12  Recent cases, for example amongst tennis players, have tested the WADC regarding an athlete's liability and responsibility for what goes into their bodies.

  3.13  The WADC incorporates the concept of "exceptional circumstances" (Article 10.5) whereby if an athlete can establish that he/she bears no fault or negligence for the presence of a prohibited substance, then the normal sanction to be applied under the Code (a ban from competing) may be eliminated or reduced. However, that athlete would still technically have committed an anti-doping violation. For the sanction to be eliminated altogether, the athlete would need to show how the substance entered his/her body.

  3.14  UK Sport's understanding is that the ruling in the tennis cases was that players had unwittingly taken contaminated supplements handed out by ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) staff and therefore they were not at fault. However, the ATP found the players not guilty of an anti-doping violation, which is not in accordance with the Code as explained above.

The potential for contaminated supplements: The current situation

  3.15  The risk of contamination in supplements is a complex issue. The risks posed by supplements are included as part of our ongoing education programme for athletes, athlete support staff and Governing Bodies.

  3.16  In partnership with the BOA, BPA, and home country sports councils, UK Sport has developed a UK-wide position statement on supplements in sport (see appendix 2). UK Sport is exploring improved education programmes for athletes about the realities of supplements, including permitted alternative ways to achieve the same benefits through food.

  3.17  Organisations including the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the Netherlands Centre for Doping Affairs (NeCeDo) are currently working towards systems that provide a short-term risk management solution for athletes. These systems of testing supplements for specific prohibited substances (not all substances) may help athletes to minimise the risk of inadvertent doping through supplementation but this will not provide them with a guarantee nor protect them under the rule of strict liability.

  3.18  The most reliable and effective way of providing athletes with a full guarantee would be through industry reform and the implementation of an accredited manufacturing standard. It is unlikely that this will be achieved. Such a system would be too costly for manufacturers, particularly when the professional sporting market represents a small portion of their sales.


  4.1  Consistency is always difficult to achieve in a country where sports' governing bodies have evolved differently over the years. However, the UK National Anti-Doping Policy has helped to harmonise the approach of governing bodies to a considerable extent and the modernization process currently taking place within major UK governing bodies will help facilitate this process. Most sports have welcomed the provision of a consistent policy and procedures framework to support them in the fight against drugs in sport and they recognize that UK Sport's aim is very much to support and empower sports to govern themselves.

  4.2  Whilst differences in resources have led to some differences in what a governing body can achieve, they do not appear to have been a restriction to a sport's willingness and positive approach to drug-free sport. A major factor impacting on a national governing body's ability to respond to the requirements of drug-free sport is the restriction imposed by the actions of their International Federation. A sport with a strong, organised International Federation will always find it easier to implement its own national processes.

  4.3  It is a condition of all Sports Council funding that Governing Bodies and athletes have to follow the anti-doping policy and procedures set out by UK Sport. Failure to do so carries the risk of funding being suspended, reduced or withdrawn.

The differences in the testing programmes between sports

  4.4  UK Sport uses a number of risk criteria to determine the priority of a sport for testing and the size of the testing programme. The criteria include;

    —  International status of the UK in the sport in Olympic and/or World/Commonwealth competitions;

    —  Potential for drug misuse (using prohibited drug classes);

    —  Financial rewards available to participants in the sport, including funding from the Sports Councils;

    —  Previous history of doping offences;

    —  Public impact of a doping offence/positive impact of clean sport.

  4.5  The criteria are kept under review and adapted where necessary. The sports are prioritised according to these risks and the number of tests to be allocated is decided. The total number of athletes eligible for testing is difficult to quantify and varies from year to year. Each testing programme is devised according to the spread of testing deemed appropriate in the sport (according to the sport's makeup and risk priority).

  4.6  The programme includes three types of testing: In Competition Testing; Squad Testing; and Out of Competition—Individuals Testing. The type of testing carried out depends on the nature of the sport. Currently the split of testing based on actual 2003-04 figures is:

    —  In-Competition—57.6%.

    —  Out of Competition squads—24.1%.

    —  Out of Competition—individuals 18.3%.

  However, the emphasis will shift much more towards no notice out of competition testing of individuals as a result of the WADC and the planned split for 2005-09 onwards is:

    —  In competition 35%.

    —  Out of competition squads 25%.

    —  Out of competition—individuals 40%

  4.7  Tests abroad on UK athletes may also be arranged through testing agreements established with other national anti-doping agencies.

  4.8  Athletes can be selected for testing in the following ways:

    —  randomly through a numbered selection draw;

    —  randomly through their event placing, weight category or lane draw;

    —  target tested due to previous doping suspension, tip off/information received, anomalies in previous samples collected (eg T/E ratio), lead up to a major games/event;

    —  as a result of breaking a national, area or world record.

  4.9  If sports are not allocated public interest tests or wish to increase their testing programme they can contract tests from UK Sport. Those currently doing this include: Snooker, Football, Motor Sports, Professional Boxing, Karate and Cricket.

Why some sports are treated differently in regards to testing procedures

  4.10  Drug testing at all events in the UK adheres to the same stringent, quality assured testing procedures certified by ISO 9001:2000 regardless of the sport concerned. UK Sport Doping Control Officers (DCOs) are all trained to follow the World Anti-Doping Code International Standards for Testing and are issued with a DCO handbook.

  4.11  Whilst actual testing procedures from the point of athlete notification will always follow the same international standard, other processes may vary according to the:

    1.  Nature of the sport;

    2.  Facilities;

    3.  Event;

    4.  Requirements of sport regulations.

Nature of the sport

  4.12  It is clear that setting up testing will vary considerably from sport to sport due to their diverse nature. Arrangements have to be adapted accordingly and the following factors may have an impact:

    —  Events taking place over a considerable geographical distance or that have athletes starting and finishing the events at different locations eg Rowing, Canoeing, Orienteering, Cross-country running;

    —  The doping control station may be located some distance away from the competing area due to the nature of the sport eg competing in a forest for cross-country running;

    —  DCOs may also need assistance from NGB/event staff in identifying which athletes are required for testing eg Judo players all wear the same kit to compete in and are not identified with numbers, and cricket players may need to be identified as they leave the field. If athletes are selected by placing, they can only be notified once final scores have been calculated which may be some time after the end of the event eg modern pentathlon.


  4.13  Facilities will always play a part in how testing procedures take place at an event as they differ at each venue. Different facilities encountered by DCOs include:

    —  Purpose built venues with Doping Control facilities allowing DCOs and athletes to work in an ideal environment;

    —  Older venues with difficult facilities[R3];

    —  Venues with no facilities requiring a Mobile Sampling Unit (which can cause a problem to small NGBs due to the cost);

    —  In many cases practical changes may have to be made, although actual testing procedures will always stay the same.

The event

  4.14  Arrangements for major events will be different from lower level events. Examples of differences in events include:

    —  A world athletics event may require accreditation for DCOs who will be restricted in the areas they can occupy to notify or chaperone athletes;

    —  In some sports testing must take place after the medal ceremonies;

    —  Squad testing of a national team may require a DCO to pass through security checks before gaining access to a squad and even then, athletes may be spread out over a number of venues and may have to attend media commitments at agreed times if the test is close to a major match.

Requirements of sport regulations

  4.15  Until the WADC standardises anti-doping procedures, testing will continue to be affected by the individual requirements of certain sports. Different sports regulations may however still include different selection procedures including:

    —  In-competition, two players from each team must be selected at random prior to the match by a closed card-draw system witnessed by team representatives (Rugby);

    —  The draw takes place between the second and third periods (Ice Hockey);

    —  International federation approved doctors must witness sample collection (Cycling);

    —  International federations specifying stringent criteria as to which athletes should be selected for testing at an event (Sailing and Judo);

    —  A certain percentage of entrants to a competition must be selected for testing (Gymnastics);

    —  Exclusion of athletes under a certain age from testing (eg U16s in-competition testing for Gymnastics).


  5.1  The aims of the WADC are to:

    —  Protect the athlete's fundamental right to participate in drug-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for athletes worldwide;

    —  To ensure harmonised, co-ordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at the international and national level with regard to detection, deterrence and prevention of doping.

  5.2  The UK government signed up to the WADC in March 2003 with a deadline of being compliant with the Code by the first day of the Athens Olympics. However, WADA has now acknowledged that this timetable is optimistic. It has stated that provided signatories can demonstrate that they are actively working towards full compliance, then there is flexibility in terms of the deadlines. Some parts of the Code are mandatory but others are not to allow more flexibility in implementation. However, the principles must be adhered to.

Key Compliance Issues: National Policy

  5.3  A National Anti-Doping Policy must be in place which UK sports organisations (the home country sports councils, British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association, UK governing bodies) and athletes have formally accepted. UK Sport has had a National Anti-Doping Policy in place since March 2000. All the above bodies and athletes have signed up to this.

  5.4  Formal acceptance of the policy is a condition of Sports Council funding for National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and athletes, and a requirement for those sports that do not receive funding but wish to take part in the UK Anti-Doping Programme. The current policy meets international standards on which parts of the WADC are based, so the UK is therefore at a more advanced stage of compliance than many countries. However, the policy is being updated to reflect the changes required by the Code.

  5.5  The original timetable set by UK Sport for this has shifted from April to June 2004. There are two key reasons for this:

    —  The delay in International Federations publishing their amended rules and regulations to comply with the WADC and the need for the revision of the UK National Policy to be dovetailed with this to minimise any conflicts between the two (otherwise UK NGBs could find themselves signing up to conflicting requirements);

    —  Resolution to a number of complex legal and other issues around the interpretation of the WADC, and the need for appropriate consultation with key stakeholders before the National Policy can be finalised.

Key Compliance Issues: Definition of International and National Level Athlete Pools

  5.6  International Federations have a critical impact on the timetable for UK Sport's compliance with the WADC due to their responsibility for the definition of the international level athlete pools. This determines which athletes competing on an international basis it will have jurisdiction over in terms of monitoring:

    —  Whereabouts information;

    —  Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE);

    —  Testing

    —  Results management (hearings and appeals)

  5.7  The definition is critical because there will be an overlap between the international athlete pool and the national level athlete pools for which NADOs such as UK Sport are responsible for defining. UK Sport therefore needs to define the UK national level athlete pool that should, as a minimum, include "athletes who are part of national teams in Olympic, Paralympic and recognised national federations" (according to WADA's definition).

  5.8  Minimising the burden on athletes is vital, particularly in the lead up to the Olympic/Paralympic Games. UK Sport has already begun work with UK Governing Bodies to develop systems whereby international pool athletes do not have to duplicate their whereabouts information and TUE forms. Work will also continue with international federations to ensure the most appropriate arrangements are put in place for our athletes.

  5.9  The definition involves a number of challenges, not least that the UK is in a unique position because of the relationship between its four constituent countries and the fact that the term "national" could refer to either GB teams or teams from either England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. On this basis we have decided to consider national level athletes to be those who represent GB or the UK in sports where athletes compete as GB athletes (those funded at the UK level) and those who represent their home country in sports where athletes compete for England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland (those funded by the HCSCs).

  5.10  UK Sport has drafted the national level athlete pool selection criteria. The result is a tiered athlete pool system with different requirements in terms of providing "Whereabouts Information" for each tier. We are currently in the process of agreeing which athletes form the pool for each individual sport.

Key Compliance Issues: Collecting Whereabouts Information

  5.11  Any athlete identified as part of the athlete pool will be subject to testing in and out of competition (either in squads or individually). However, it is recognised that the success of any programme is heavily dependent on no notice out of competition testing and the WADC therefore places much more emphasis on this. Under the WADC athletes who are part of the registered testing pool are required to provide up to date "whereabouts information".

  5.12  In order to meet this requirement, UK Sport has developed an on-line system where athletes can input and update their details on a regular basis. A number of other countries have expressed interest in adopting the UK system.

  5.13  A number of athletes and Governing Bodies have been consulted and their feedback used to revise the system. The system is being piloted with a small number of sports before going live.

  5.14  Specific issues are being reviewed relating to a number of Paralympic Sports. Once resolved, we will endeavour to induct as many of these sports as possible, prior to Athens.

Key Compliance Issues: Therapeutic Use Exemptions

  5.15  Under the WADC, UK Sport is required to devise a system for managing TUEs for athletes in the national pool, which complies with the international standard set by WADA. This is complicated by the fact that International Federations will be responsible for dealing with TUEs for International Level athletes and so there is an overlap because UK International Level athletes will also be part of the national pool.

  5.16  In order to keep the system as simple as possible and easy for athletes and NGBs to understand, UK Sport has decided to opt for a one-stop shop approach for dealing with both athlete "Whereabouts Information" and "Therapeutic Use Exemptions". We will undertake to collect this information for all UK athletes in the registered national pool (where required) and will share the details on athletes in the International Pool with the relevant International Federation.

  5.17  The TUE system has been developed following extensive consultation with sports, governing body medical officers and medical experts. Athletes will be able to access application forms on-line as well as guidance on how to apply which is included as part of the on-line education programme. A committee of suitably qualified medical experts has been established to review applications before any certificates are granted. TUEs will be reviewed for each sport as they register on-line through the process described above.

Key Compliance Issues: International Standards

  5.18  In addition to the Code itself, which sets out the high level objectives and principles, there are four International Standards which contain much of the technical detail necessary for practical implementation for key areas of the Code. All four standards were published on 1 January 2004 by WADA and compliance with these is mandatory. The four standards are:

    —  Testing (standards for sample collection procedures);

    —  Laboratories (all laboratories which analyse samples have to be WADA accredited);

    —  Prohibited List (this will be published annually by WADA and updated as necessary);

    —  Therapeutic Use Exemptions (system of approval for athletes using substances/methods on the Prohibited List for documented medical conditions).

Key Compliance Issues: Reporting of Results

  5.19  It is a requirement under the WADC for UK Sport to put in place a process for the pre-hearing administration of potential anti-doping rule violations. This will include:

    —  A Review by UK Sport to determine if:

      (a)  an applicable "Therapeutic Use Exemption" has been granted, or

      (b)  there is any apparent departure from the International Standards for Testing or laboratory analysis that undermines the validity of the Adverse Analytical Finding.

    —  Results process will be mapped out in the revised National Policy. We are also adhering to the 30 days allowed for B sample analysis as part of the International Standards for Laboratories.

    —  Public Disclosure—It is a requirement of the NADO to report the result of an athlete whose sample has resulted in an Adverse Analytical Finding or an Athlete or other person who may have violated an anti-doping rule to WADA. Positive results will be publicly disclosed on the UK Sport website no later than 20 days after the end of a disciplinary hearing.

  The Results Process is non-mandatory and therefore UK Sport has more time to meet the requirements in this area.

Other Non-Mandatory Issues: Hearings and Appeals

  5.20  The WADC requires there to be provision for an independent and impartial appeals process. UK Sport has commissioned SDRP to undertake an options appraisal to identify and cost potential options for this National Tribunal service. Sports will be able to opt to use this service but it is likely that some sports will choose to operate their own appeals system. This is acceptable provided that the process satisfies the principles set out in the Code, including being fair, impartial and independent.

Paralympic Issues

  5.21  The position with Paralympic sports is potentially both more complex and less well advanced. In the UK, Paralympic athletes can be divided into two categories:

    1.  Those whose membership (and therefore jurisdiction) is with the "main" able-bodied British national governing body (ie swimming, athletics, tennis). Here the NGB will need to ensure that its anti-doping regulations comply with both the able bodied and the Paralympic international federation regulations.

    2.  Those where there is a separate Paralympic national governing body. This might be because there is no able-bodied sport equivalent (Goalball, Boccia), or the two are independent (ie basketball, shooting). As a whole these sports tend to have weaker and less well advanced national and international structures, policies and systems, including those for anti-doping.

  5.22  At an international level the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is also the International Federation for 13 sports. The IPC has already published its revised anti-doping code. While the IPC consulted WADA regarding the new code's development, WADA will not state whether the IPC Code is fully compliant until June 2004.

  5.23  The IPC Code now suggests a very much more proactive role for National Paralympic Committees in the management of anti-doping programmes than currently undertaken by the BPA. UK Sport is working pro-actively and openly with the IPC and the BPA to ensure agreement regarding this role and how, potentially, it can be factored into a wider Modernisation Review of the needs of Paralympic sports being funded by UK Sport.

  5.24  UK Sport has discussed with WADA and the IPC the option of tying in British Paralympic NGB's WADC compliance with the planned wider modernisation project. WADA and the IPC have confirmed that they would be supportive of this approach (recently endorsed by UK Sport's Council) even if it meant that not all British Paralympic NGBs, or potentially the BPA, were fully compliant by the start of the Games.


  6.1  UK Sport has a responsibility to plan, implement and monitor education and information programmes for drug-free sport. Together with the Home Country Sports Councils, UK Sport helps to coordinate and assess the design and implementation of education programmes for governing bodies of sport across the UK, and provides expertise and information resources to ensure that the drug-free sport messages are consistent.

  6.2  Currently, UK Sport is regarded by WADA as a world leader in education and information provision for drug-free sport. The services and resources available to athletes mean that there should be no excuse for "not knowing" or for not having access to advice about substances and testing. We operate the most comprehensive and effective online drug information service in the world and we work closely with partner organisations in the UK and abroad to improve our education programme for the benefit of athletes and support personnel.

  6.3  In 2002, UK Sport led the development of an Education Framework for Drug-Free Sport. In partnership with the Home Country Sports Councils, National Sports Institutes, the BOA, the BPA and Commonwealth Games Associations. This is designed to ensure that the drug-free messages delivered in the UK are done so fairly and consistently.

UK Sport's Vision for Drug-Free Sport Education

  6.4  UK Sport aims to influence the values, attitudes and behaviour of athletes and athlete support personnel in the UK by coordinating and supporting the development of education and information programmes for drug-free sport throughout the UK. [R4]

Strategic Aims

  6.5  The Education Framework is intended to provide organisations in the UK with a planned approach to education in which athletes, coaches, medical professionals, athlete support personnel, parents, and the wider community can develop a greater knowledge and understanding of the importance of drug-free sport.

  6.6  The Education Framework for Drug-Free Sport has three key aims:

    —  To establish a set of education standards for the UK to ensure consistency of message and high quality education and information programmes.

    —  To clearly define the roles and responsibilities of key partners and participants and establish lead ownership of the delivery of drug-free education.

    —  To create a comprehensive plan to monitor, evaluate and continuously improve education and information systems across the UK.

  6.7  Full details of the education programme are attached at appendix 3. (not printed)

Start Clean—first UK Sport initiative to focus on younger generation

  6.8  Start Clean 2004 forms part of the European Year of Education through Sport (, an EC initiative designed to create a new partnership between the world of education and the world of sport. Start Clean 2004 aims to help the UK's potential athletes enjoy taking part in fair and healthy sporting activity.

  6.9  A range of cross-curricular activities will be designed to teach 13 to 17 year olds about drug-free sport. Activities will help to improve their self-confidence, respect for health and well-being, commitment to personal achievement and problem-solving, and analytical and communication skills. The Start Clean programme will take place in the classroom and in a sporting context, and resources for teachers and students will include online, CD-ROM and published material, as well as face-to-face interaction with Champions of drug-free sport.

  6.10  Start Clean will promote partnerships between sporting organisations and educational institutions by increasing the opportunities for bodies to work together. UK Sport and the British Sports Trust are working in partnership with the University of Hull and Humberside Community Health NHS Trust to trial Start Clean in schools and sporting clubs throughout Yorkshire and Humberside. In 2005, the project will be developed throughout the UK with the help of the Sports Councils of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

National Outreach Programme—Outreach UK

  6.11  As part of the overall Start Clean programme, Outreach UK aims to build awareness and understanding of drug-free sport amongst 13-17 year olds across the UK. It will be launched in partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency at a major junior sporting event and will be a world first to be delivered on a national scale. The programme will mirror the valuable work of WADA in raising awareness and understanding of anti-doping issues amongst the athlete population.

  6.12  Outreach UK will see world class athletes and support personnel helping to promote drug-free sport to young athletes. By joining in, young athletes will have the chance to play an anti-doping quiz (sponsored by WADA), win prizes and sign a banner as a pledge to drug-free sport.

Athletes as Ambassadors for Drug-Free Sport

  6.13  Another element of Start Clean is the Athletes as Ambassadors programme which will involve training world class athletes to deliver introductory workshops to young people between 13-17 years on the subject of sport.

  6.14  A more extensive Ambassador programme is the vision for the future where we encourage sportsmen and women to promote drug-free sport as part of their overall commitment to being tested in and out of competition regularly.

  6.15  Links between Sporting Champions programmes throughout the home countries are being explored and it is an overall goal of UK Sport to make drug-free sport a fundamental part of what Sporting Champions represent and promote.


  7.1  UK Sport's "Sporting Conduct Initiative" is part of the organisation's drive to promote ethically fair and drug-free sport. The original aims were to:

    —  Help sports devise practical and achievable strategies for tackling fair play issues

    —  Showcase the many effective measures they are already taking in this respect;

    —  Do the above not to or for sports the sports in question, but to support them in ways which will be of maximum benefit and relevance to the sports themselves.

  7.2  Increasingly, we are interested in exploring not only the behaviour that players present on the field of play, but about the values that underlie that behaviour. By the same token, we are not concerned only with the things that players shouldn't do, but rather to go beyond this and look at the way that players ought to be.

  7.3  What this all requires, we believe, is to have discussions with sports—with players, coaches, referees etc—on their own terms.

  7.4  There is no fixed template for our study because every sport is different; because different sports have different issues; because the opportunities for getting started on the Sporting Conduct debate vary from sport to sport; and because the projects naturally tend to spin off in different directions accordingly.

Progress to Date

  7.5  In 2001/2 UK Sport carried out a series of spectator surveys on fair play issues at high profile events in football, cricket, golf, rugby union, rugby league and tennis. This was supplemented by a similar survey of a representative sample of the UK public

  7.6  The second phase of the Initiative begun last year involves in-depth discussions with players, coaches and officials about the values and norms of their sports.

  7.7  Cricket

  Following a survey of county cricketers, discussions with a group of first-class umpires and discussions with the ECB Discipline Standing Committee, UK Sport and the University of Gloucestershire have held discussions about current conduct issues in domestic cricket and strategies for tackling them.

Meanwhile, the Professional Cricketers Association has undertaken to negotiate access for the UK Sport/University of Gloucestershire team at four county cricket clubs where we aim to run a series of focus groups with players to examine the fair play culture of professional cricket.

  7.8  Tennis

  During 2003, we held a series of focus groups for tennis coaches operating at different levels of the game across the UK. A presentation was made to the Annual Conference of the British Tennis Coaches Association at Bisham Abbey in February 2004.

The coaches raised a number of recurring themes. In particular they suggested that it may be timely for the tennis governing bodies to review their "corporate values' and develop a fair play policy that is consistent with those values. We are currently exploring how to progress the project by opening up a dialogue with tennis umpires.

  7.9  Football

  In conjunction with the FA, we are supporting a University of Gloucestershire PhD student in tracking the development of young footballers (16-19) attached to the academies of three professional football league clubs. A key focus is understanding how young players on the verge of the professional game acquire their footballing values—and how those values may be challenged or reinforced as their careers develop.

  7.10  Golf

  The latest project involves golf, where we have gained access to the Lottery-funded elite amateur golfers of the English Golf Union and the English Ladies Golf Association. Again, the intention is to meet with the golfers in question, and to monitor and evaluate their experiences and perceptions as (mostly young) players on the verge of the professional game.

  7.11  International perspectives

  Finally, Prof. Wray Vamplew from Stirling University has been commissioned to carry out a review of initiatives that are taking place outside the United Kingdom. The idea is that, amongst other things, this should help inform our thoughts about the development of a wider "Sporting Conduct" agenda—including the possible development and delivery of a school-based fair play programme.

Prof. Vamplew will be considering the extent to which countries make the link between fair play and anti-doping initiatives, not least in terms of organisational responsibilities. He will also, as far as possible, provide a comparative analysis of the aims, objectives and effectiveness of different initiatives, and the values that underpin them.

1   As defined under the Council of Europe's "European Sports Charter" definition of sport (Compass, 1999). Back

2   Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America (Philadelphia); Oct 1998: 7 (4). p. 821-838. Back

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