UK Anti-Doping responds to Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report on doping

Following the publication of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s report on Combatting doping in sport, UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said;

“We welcome the report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and thank them for their thorough investigation into doping. This inquiry provided UK Anti-Doping with a useful opportunity to explain in more detail the nature of our work, the parameters in which we work in and the complexity of the doping environment.

“This report is a very helpful step forward in the fight for clean sport and we applaud the Committee for bringing a number of issues to light and we hope it will further encourage sports to do all they can to ensure anti-doping remains a top priority in order to protect the integrity of sport.

“We were delighted when in January 2018 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that UKAD would receive further funding of £6.1m over two years to help us undertake our role. We agree with the Committee that this funding does not preclude wealthy sports from providing more funding for anti-doping and we are keen to work with sports to examine ways that could be achieved, including a sponsorship levy as suggested by the Committee.

“We welcome the recognition that anti-doping activities require more powers and we are currently working with DCMS on a number of recommendations following the Criminalisation Review in October 2017. This includes allowing UKAD Doping Control Officers unfettered access to all sports venues and sports governing bodies routinely providing their membership details to us. We will continue to work with our partners to explore what further powers could be provided to the UKAD intelligence and investigations team without the need for legislation. 

“We believe that the importation of steroids, even for personal use, should be made illegal and that was the focus of a submission that we made to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in September 2017. The ACMD enquiry is ongoing and we look forward to hearing their conclusions and recommendations to Ministers.

“Triamcinolone is currently only banned in-competition. UKAD has in the past made representations that it and other glucocorticoids should be banned at all times (including out of competition). We understand that a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appointed Glucocorticoid Expert Working Group has met to consider this but that it concluded that the status of glucocorticoids on the Prohibited List should not change. UKAD will continue to push for this change.

“We have called for Tramadol to be included in WADA’s Prohibited List and will continue to push for this change.

The package or “jiffy bag”
“In November 2017 we announced that our investigation into the package, sometimes referred to as the “Jiffy Bag”, had concluded with no anti-doping rule violations issued as a result. As with all investigations, UKAD may revisit matters if new material and information were to come to light but we are no longer actively following any lines of enquiry in relation to this matter. UKAD will not comment further in relation to this.

British Cycling
“Following our enquiries into the package, we wrote to British Cycling to remind them of their obligations. We have been pleased by the openness shown by British Cycling’s new Chief Executive and Chair to put in place new measures and we welcome the fact that they have indicated they would like to be an early adopter of our forthcoming sports assurance framework. We look forward to working with them to achieve this.

Role of the National Anti-Doping Panel
“It is not correct to say that “UKAD are running the courts that they are trying athletes in”. The National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP), a separate, independent body, funded by DCMS and run by Sport Resolutions, appoints the tribunals and oversees the hearings that determine whether an anti-doping rule violation has been committed. Each tribunal appointed by the NADP determines its cases independently. UKAD does not run these hearings.”