UK Anti-Doping’s Athlete Committee has met for the first time since its members were announced earlier this year.
Those in attendance at the meeting, which was held at UK Anti-Doping’s London offices, heard from both Chief Executive, Andy Parkinson, and Board member and Chair of the Committee, John Brewer, before discussing their main aims and future targets.
The Committee will have the responsibility of working with other athlete-centred groups and committees to ensure the wider views of the athlete community are represented, as well as engaging with their colleagues and peers to collect feedback on UK Anti-Doping programmes.
Present at the first meeting were 200m runner Emily Freeman, Paralympic swimmer Graham Edmunds, adaptive rower Helene Raynsford and former England rugby union captain Martin Corry, as well as Iain Gowans and Ian Smith of the British Paralympic Association and Professional Cricketers Association respectively. After receiving a more in-depth overview of UK Anti-Doping, they discussed the aspects with which athletes have most day-to-day contact and offered different insights into how these affect them – and how best to address this.
UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Andy Parkinson, said: “This was another good milestone to reach for us. Having this first meeting allowed the scene to be set for future meetings and to better understand the areas of our work where the Committee and its members feel they can contribute the most. It was really encouraging to hear from each individual member about what they hope to achieve with the Committee. We were able to provide an overview of what we are here to deliver and reinforce that we want to support and listen to athletes and sports.”
GB sprinter Emily Freeman said: “I think we were all very enthused by our first meeting. We have all shown a commitment to anti-doping by joining the committee, but it is important that athletes feel they are being listened to as well. By recognising that different athletes require different support, and stressing that the right balance needs to be found, Andy Parkinson proved that UK Anti-Doping is committed to ensuring this happens. I am therefore confident that the Committee will play a significant role in improving understanding between the athletes and the authorities.”