Clean Sport Week: UKAD launches Strategic Refresh with a renewed Athlete First focus

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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today published a refreshed Strategic Plan. Its Strategic Refresh recalibrates the existing strategy (running from 2021-2025), revitalising and extending its plans until 2026.

The Strategic Refresh has been introduced due to new developments in the anti-doping landscape globally, as well as organisational changes in the last few years, including the arrival of UKAD’s new Chief Executive, Jane Rumble, and other new additions at its Board and Directors team level.

Key new additions to the strategy include a clear focus on putting the athlete voice first, strengthening the organisation’s powers and capabilities to identify and act on wrongdoing, and to actively support and advise on wider sport integrity issues.

UKAD also refers in the Strategic Refresh to its growing partnerships and work with National Governing Bodies under the Assurance Framework. Launched in 2021, the Framework sets out the requirements for National Governing Bodies to meet to fulfil their anti-doping role. 163 National Governing Bodies have now fulfilled their requirements as part of this.

In delivering its new Strategic Refresh, UKAD sought views from it’s a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. The Refresh features four main objectives to:

  • Build a clean sport environment in the UK and for UK athletes worldwide
  • Develop and deploy detection and deterrence methods to uphold a level playing field
  • Improve the way we regulate
  • Leverage research and analytics to enhance our insight on the threats to clean sport

UKAD announced the Strategic Refresh to launch Clean Sport Week, its national annual awareness campaign, which runs from 13-17 May. The theme this year is ‘Journey to the Podium’, emphasising clean sport as an essential part of every athlete's journey to the podium.

Chair of UKAD’s Board, Trevor Pearce, said: “The Board is delighted to be sharing UKAD’s Strategic Refresh with the sporting community at the start of Clean Sport Week. Since the launch of UKAD’s Strategic Plan 2021-25, the organisation has made significant progress towards its goals. However, the threats to clean sport have evolved since it produced its original Strategic Plan and this refresh will help strengthen UKAD’s efforts to keep sport clean.

“This new document sets out a pathway to 2026, putting athletes at the forefront of all work. With huge sporting events covered by the span of this refresh, including the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, UKAD’s work has never been more important.

“This Strategic Refresh is ambitious, but with UKAD’s knowledgeable and passionate workforce, Athlete Commission, Innovation Commission, and with ongoing collaborations and partnerships, UKAD will continue to make great strides in creating a culture of clean sport in the UK.”

The Strategic Refresh 2024-2026 can be viewed here.

Across the next two years, in addition to delivering to its revised plans, UKAD will also be pulling together another multi-year strategy.

Ama Agbeze MBE, former England netball captain and Chair of the UKAD Athlete Commission, added: “The Athlete Commission is delighted to see the thought and rigour that UKAD has put into this Strategic Refresh to ensure that athletes are at the heart of all that they do. The organisation continues to protect clean sport, but there is more work to be done and we look forward to supporting UKAD throughout.”

Off the back of the launch of its Strategic Refresh, throughout Clean Sport Week UKAD will be sharing a range of news stories and advice pieces, plus case studies featuring sporting stars as they detail the hard work, dedication, passion and determination it has taken to achieve their goals, all whilst ensuring clean sport is at the heart of that journey. There will also be features on those affected by doping, a unique article with a whistleblower, and more shared across its social channels.

In addition, UKAD is hosting a panel event on 14 May with members of the sporting community coming together to look at the journey of para-athletes in getting to the podium. 

With Mental Health Awareness Week running alongside Clean Sports Week this year, there will also be a range of advice published for athletes on how to look after both their physical and mental wellbeing.

To keep up to date with all the Clean Sport Week news, follow @ukantidoping on social media.