UK Anti-Doping begins education for home nation athletes headed to the Commonwealth Games

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has kicked off its Pre-Games Clean Sport Education for around 1,300 home nation athletes heading to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

In collaboration with the four Commonwealth Games Agencies and Home Country Sports Councils, UKAD has begun the work to provide mandatory clean sport education for athletes and athlete support personnel from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

As part of the 2021 Clean Games Policy, all athletes, coaching staff and other athlete support personnel attending a Major Games must receive clean sport education before being able to compete. 

The Pre-Games Clean Sport Education covers topics such as the risks of supplement use, testing procedures and the importance of checking medications. 

Each athlete is presented with Squeaky, UKAD’s clean sport mascot, when they complete their education training ahead of the Games. To celebrate the build-up to the home Commonwealth Games and its vital clean sport education programmes, UKAD has given Squeaky, a makeover. The duck, launched 10 years ago at London 2012, is a symbol of an athlete’s commitment to clean sport education and remaining squeaky clean. UKAD rebrands Squeaky ahead of each Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games to allow athletes to collect unique versions of the duck throughout their careers.

Squeaky Birmingham 2022

Revealed today, the newly rebranded Squeaky, features a canal boat inspired flower pattern design, a cocoa bean representing the Cadbury’s Factory, a heart to demonstrate the youth of Birmingham and the colours blue, red and yellow, which are symbolic to the flag of Birmingham

UKAD’s Chief Executive, Jane Rumble said: “Education ahead of the Commonwealth Games is vital for athletes and their support personnel. It ensures they know their rights, responsibilities and what to expect when it comes to testing during the Games. Our education Team aim to equip the many talented athletes heading to Birmingham 2022 with the knowledge needed to protect the integrity of their sport."

Jude Hamer, Wheelchair Basketball player and member of the Athlete Commission, added: “There is a huge amount of work that goes into preparing for a Commonwealth Games, and it’s not just about training physically, it’s about ensuring we as athletes dedicate time to learning about the clean sport processes and our responsibilities. It’s part of our jobs as athletes to ensure we don’t fall foul of the rules. I very much look forward to completing my pre-games education and to supporting the Squeaky campaign, which helps to open up conversations amongst sportspeople about the importance of clean sport education.”

Athletes and sporting fans can follow Squeaky on their journey to Birmingham 2022 across @theonlysqueaky on Instagram and @ukantidoping on Twitter. For more information on the campaign, visit the Squeaky home page on the UKAD website here.

Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel will be given information regarding their Pre-Games Clean Sport education via their National Governing Body.

Pre-Games Clean Sport education is just one type of anti-doping education that many athletes and Athlete Support Personnel will likely receive during their careers. UKAD encourages sportspeople to stay up to date on their education and to utilise the UKAD Clean Sport Hub and 100% me app to access a range of education resources and further information.