UK announces comprehensive pre-Games anti-doping programme

01 March 2012 / 10:29

UK Anti-Doping has today announced details of its most comprehensive pre-Games anti-doping education and drug testing programme. Over 100 education sessions are planned alongside an intensive testing programme, which will be carried out on British athletes hoping to compete in London at this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.  It is expected every single athlete selected for Team GB and ParalympicsGB will be tested at least once in the run-up to the Games.

The programme is being run in partnership with the National Governing Bodies of Sport, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

The comprehensive testing programme will cover both British athletes and those coming from overseas to the UK prior to the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic villages.

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson said: “As the host nation at this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to lead the way in promoting clean sport, giving the British public the confidence that the performances they see from our athletes are achieved through four years of hard work, determination and dedication.

“Working closely with sports, the BOA and BPA, we are currently delivering a comprehensive education programme for all those athletes and support personnel heading to the Games this summer to ensure that the British teams can be proud of their performances as clean athletes.”

The majority of tests will be attempted through no-advance notice, out-of-competition tests, either at squad training sessions or through Whereabouts information provided by athletes, with additional tests targeted at key 2012 selection events. Both urine and blood testing will be used.

“Tests will be planned using our intelligence-based testing approach which utilises intelligence gathered from a wide range of sources and focuses the allocation of tests around where they will have maximum impact in terms of deterrence and detection” said Parkinson.

“Whilst the overall aim is to test every member of the British teams at least once, obviously those in more high-risk sports or disciplines, or athletes of interest to us will be tested more often. Essentially there is no limit to the number of times we might test any individual athlete.”

Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said: “UK Anti-Doping has led the way in educating athletes and has one of the most robust anti-doping programmes in the world. But we can’t be complacent. We need to ensure that athletes and support staff are fully aware of their responsibilities with regards to anti-doping. Drug cheats have absolutely no place in sport. We want our athletes to be positive role models to the millions who will be watching the Games this summer.”

Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission, said: "We are fully committed to doing our outmost to make sure that all athletes wearing the Team GB vest this summer are clean athletes.

“We are therefore pleased that every British athlete competing at the London 2012 Olympics will have been tested by UK Anti-Doping at least once in the run-up to the Games. Other countries should strive to this standard – we want the Olympics to be as clean as they possibly can be."

British Paralympic Association Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth said: “The BPA fully supports UK Anti-Doping’s anti-doping programme of education and testing, and is totally behind the ambition for a clean British team at the Paralympic Games.”