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Lizzy Yarnold: Education ‘key’ to protecting clean sport ahead of Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games

Reigning Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold MBE says education is ‘key’ to protecting clean sport, after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) completed its “Clean Games” education programme with every British Olympic and Paralympic athlete competing in the Winter Games.

UKAD has completed 56 anti-doping education sessions as part of its Olympic and Paralympic Games education programme, reaching more than 150 Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes and their support personnel.

In addition, UKAD has tested each of the 59 Team GB athletes competing at this month’s Winter Olympics, as part of its risk-based, intelligence-led testing programme.

Olympic Gold medallist Yarnold, who will carry the Great Britain flag at the opening ceremony, said: “Education is key in the fight against doping in sport, especially ahead of a major games. We need the programmes to help educate everyone involved why clean sport is so important and how we can protect it.”

To ensure British athletes are fully prepared and aware of their anti-doping responsibilities at the Games, UKAD, in collaboration with the British Olympic Association (BOA), British Paralympic Association (BPA) and National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs), commits to delivering pre-Games education in line with the Clean Games Policy launched in April 2017.

UKAD’s Head of Education and Athlete Support, Amanda Hudson, said: “We are delighted to have met our commitment of providing education for all British athletes competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“Our education programme, “Clean Sport, Clean Games, Clean Conscience”, is a vital part of our prevention work at UKAD. We are committed to delivering a high-quality programme in collaboration with our partners to support both GB teams.

“The introduction of the Clean Games Policy ensures that athletes and their support personnel are educated pre-Games and importantly have access to 24-hour support during the Games.

“We strongly believe our Clean Games education programme provides invaluable support to athletes and athlete support personnel, and is highly regarded both here in the UK and internationally.”

Team GB’s Chef de Mission, Mike Hay, said: “We are delighted all our Team GB athletes and their support personnel heading to the Winter Olympics are meeting their responsibilities outlined in our Clean Games Policy, by taking part in UKAD’s Olympic Games education programme.

“It is imperative athletes and their support personnel are aware of their anti-doping responsibilities in relation to clean sport, as well as how to mitigate the risks of inadvertent doping when competing abroad. UKAD’s Olympic Games education programme is vital to achieving this.”

ParalympicsGB’s Chef de Mission, Penny Briscoe OBE, said: “Everyone at ParalympicsGB is committed to clean sport, and education plays a vital role in this. It’s fantastic news, therefore, that all of the British athletes in contention for Pyeongchang have been through the UKAD anti-doping education programme.”

“Clean Sport” education sessions are the first tier of the programme, which started with the Olympic skating team in June 2017, and includes information on checking medications, supplement risks, and details on the testing procedure.

The subsequent “Clean Games” sessions focus on the Games-time anti-doping rules including the testing procedures, helping athletes to undertake their anti-doping responsibilities with confidence and recognise the inadvertent doping risks at the Games.

The Clean Sport and Clean Games sessions are just one part of UKAD’s extensive “100% Me” education programme for athletes, working with varying ages and abilities, from elite level athletes down to young children engaged in school sport.

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