Bobsleigh athlete John Jackson gives emotional speech at UKAD's Clean Sport Forum
Former Team GB bobsleigh athlete, John Jackson, gave an emotional account of his experience of missing out on a podium moment due to drugs cheats, at UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) Clean Sport Forum.
More than 100 delegates and speakers, including athletes and staff from National Governing Bodies (NGBs), sports organisations, sports teams and universities, attended the event at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.
The day, which was themed around integrity, anti-doping and the athlete experience, and hosted by sports journalist and broadcaster Anne-Marie Batson, gave attendees insight into a research project on integrity in sport compiled by UKAD and Swansea University, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), integrity at a Major Games and, for the first time, a first-hand account of UKAD’s work in Russia.
An athlete panel, featuring John Jackson, former England netball captain and Commonwealth champion, Ama Agbeze MBE, and UKAD Athlete Commission member Andrew Heyes, was among the highlights of the day, with the trio debating powerful and emotional thoughts and experiences of doping and wider integrity issues.
John Jackson will receive his bronze medal from the Sochi Winter Olympics later this year, after two Russian teams were disqualified following the national doping scandal. He spoke about the experience at yesterday’s Forum.
“It was while I was commentating on the luge event at Pyeongchang (2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games) that it really hit home,” he said.
“One of the sliders, who was well out in front, made a mistake and end up finishing fifth. Seeing the reaction of the athletes who then got a medal when they weren’t expecting to, that’s when I realised that’s what I’d missed out on. That’s what was taken away from me.
“The presentation on UKAD’s involvement with Russia was very interesting and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work in protecting clean athletes and clean sport.”
UKAD Chair, Trevor Pearce CBE QPM, said: “This year’s Clean Sport Forum has once again been a huge success, providing delegates with a great opportunity to hear the latest developments in anti-doping, be part of informed discussions and network with likeminded individuals.”