Clean Sport

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Parent Clean Sport FAQ's

How can I support my child within clean sport?

  • Research clean sport and anti-doping: The more you know as a parent about clean sport, the better position you will be able to help guide your child to a healthy and clean sporting career. Take a look at the British Triathlon clean sport section of the website and UKAD to find out more.  
  • Know your child’s ambitions and motives; this can help you identify vulnerable moments when they may need your help. Research suggests that extrinsically motivated athletes (e.g. by money and fame) are more likely to take risks to achieve their sporting dream. Intrinsically motivated athletes are shown to have greater resilience to peer pressure and are less likely to make the wrong decisions.
  • Know the coach: athletes often approach their coach for anti-doping advice so work as a team to help support your child.
  • Know the periods of risk: Risk periods occur at various points in an athlete’s development, often during time of significant change e.g. change in performance level, competing level or injury. Being aware of the risk periods puts you in a better place to support your child, and help them to avoid making bad decisions.
  • Recognise pressurised environments: Keeping an eye on stress levels in and outside of sport is really important. Too much pressure can lead to irrational decisions. Helping your child develop coping skills in stressful times can help them stay clean.
  • Reinforce clean values: The biggest influence you can have is on your child’s values and behaviour. This can determine the choices they make and how they cope with frustrating and challenging situations. Sport is full of intrinsic values that should be reinforced such as determination, hard work and commitment. Take a look at UKAD’s 100% me programme for further information.
  • Ensure they are aware of the strict liability policy (see below): encourage them to take responsibility for what goes into their body by getting them to check their own medication and supplements.

I want to learn more about clean sport, where do I start?

A good place to start is by getting to know our clean sport pages on the British Triathlon website as well as researching the topic via the Athlete Zone on the UKAD website.

UKAD has a page dedicated to help parents/carers navigate the word of clean sport to ensure they can support their children competing in sport. Please click here for the dedicated webapge. 

How can I stay up to date with clean sport information? 

Things in anti-doping can change quickly. Prohibited substances can be added to the Prohibited List at any time throughout the year. To stay up-to-date, register with UKAD and you can receive free updates and be part of their clean sport network

At what age could my child be tested?

All members of British Triathlon can be tested, thus meaning athletes could theoretically be tested from the age of 8.

During the testing process those athletes between the ages of 8-18 will have a second observer whom observes the Doping Control Officer (DCO). This is to ensure that safeguarding and child protection policies are followed and this is in accordance with the ISTI Annex C (modifications for athletes who are minors). This further individual can be either a member of doping control personnel or the athletes’ nominated representative (coach, parent, carer).

Please click here for more information about Safeguarding.

What does strict liability mean for my child?

Under World Anti-Doping rules, your child will be held  responsible for any prohibited substance they use, attempt to use or is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether they intended to cheat or not. You need to understand what this means and how it impacts on you and your child.

Should my child take supplements?

British Triathlon encourage athletes to optimise diet, lifestyle and training before athletes consider supplements. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.

Supplements may contain banned substances, or contamination can occur during the manufacturing process. It is also common that ingredients on the label may be listed differently to how they are shown on the Prohibited list or not listed at all. Supplements may also be sold as counterfeit products or have a label saying ‘safe for sports people’ or ‘approved by WADA or UKAD’ but this is meaningless. WADA and UKAD do not approve any supplement products.

If your child is considering using supplements it is important that they assess the following BEFORE making a decision to use supplements:

  • Assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products 
  • Assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • Assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban

Whilst you can never guarantee that a supplement is safe to use, find out ways to limit the risk involved here.

My child has been prescribed a substance which is prohibited. What should I do?

If your child is prescribed a prohibited substance for a genuine medical reason and there are no permitted alternative medications available then they may need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). However, their level of performance would depend on when they need to apply for this.

If your child is on a Great Britain Performance squad, competing at an elite World Triathlon or Europe Triathlon level or is part of the National Registered Testing Pool then they would need a TUE in advance. This application form can be found HERE and should be submitted to World Triathlon. 

In all other cases, you would apply for a Retroactive TUE after your child had been tested and received a positive finding. They would have 5 days in which to submit this application directly to UKAD. Please ensure your Doctor would be able to provide the evidence should it be needed. If this situation occurs then please contact [email protected] for guidance and support.

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