A new survey of elite athletes released by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) today shows only half (56%) take daily steps to reduce their risk of breaking anti-doping rules. The research also shows a concerning lack of communication between athletes and their coaches about anti-doping, as one in 10 (12%) admit never having any discussions with their coaches on the topic.
Daily steps athletes should take include: checking medicines for prohibited ingredients, reducing their risk of doping from supplements through assessing the need and risk, updating their ‘Whereabouts’, using the 100%me app, and taking regular education refresher courses.
Speaking on the findings, UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: “Our Clean in Quarantine campaign for Clean Sport Week is highlighting how easy it is for all those in sport to keep their anti-doping knowledge up to date.
“The Covid-19 crisis has impacted sport on many levels, but UKAD’s free education resources are a vital tool in maintaining integrity and public confidence in sport when it returns. We’re calling on athletes and coaches to access the information they need even in lockdown.
“For athletes that means making anti-doping part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth in the morning. Making a few changes to adopt small, easy to follow actions into their everyday lives will help them to adhere to the rules and develop good practices.”
The coach-athlete relationship can be very close and is a vital pillar in supporting clean sport. UKAD’s survey shows that most coaches are doing the right thing in speaking to their athletes, but Sapstead is clear that getting that number up is important: “We know some coaches feel uncertain about what to say to their athletes, or how to broach the subject which some might feel is taboo. UKAD’s Coach Clean education programme is online, accessible to all and now free!
“We want coaches to know we are on their side when it comes to supporting them and this course is an excellent way to ensure their knowledge is up to speed. Even if they’ve been coaching a long time, we want all coaches to take this course at least once a year.”
“British Triathlon is committed to the clean sport mission, and our aim is to deliver education to all who participate in the sport. The Coach Clean online education programme is brilliant, and we’re delighted UKAD is making it free to all, especially during what could be a difficult time for some coaches during the lockdown."
For more information about Clean Sport Week, please visit https://www.ukad.org.uk/eventscampaigns/clean-sport-week-2020