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“Anti-doping practices should be as regular as brushing your teeth”: New survey shows only half of athletes incorporate anti-doping steps into their daily routine

  • UKAD launch ‘Clean in Quarantine’ campaign as part of Clean Sport Week 2020 with FREE online education resources for coaches  
  • Only half of elite UK athletes make anti-doping measures part of their daily routine 
  • 1 in 10 athletes say their coach has never spoken to them about anti-doping  

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.

The UKAD Coach Clean online course will be free as of Clean Sport Week 2020. For more information and to sign up see here. 

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. 

Coaches to play their part 

The research found that one in 10 athletes say their coaches has never had a conversation with them about anti-doping.  

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.” 

Jonathon Riall, Paratriathlon Head Coach at British Triathlon said: “We know coaches are vital to the performance of their athletes, but the same is true when it comes to supporting them on anti-doping. 

“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.” 

Clean in Quarantine  

This year’s Clean Sport Week is titled Clean in Quarantine and is showcasing the various way’s athletes, coaches, teachers, and the general public can improve their own anti-doping understanding. 

From promoting UKAD’s Coach Clean course and other free online education programmes, to sharing videos featuring elite athletes and coaches, and hosting an anti-doping webinar, the ‘Clean in Quarantine’ campaign is focusing on online events and activities amidst the Covid-19 lockdown.  

Click here to register for the free anti-doping education programmes and for more details on the campaign. Join in the conversation on social media using #CleanInQuarantine. 

To watch all the videos from Clean Sport Week, visit UKAD's Video Hub here.