New UK National Anti-Doping Policy launches

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has today published the newly updated 2021 UK National Anti-Doping Policy (Policy). The new Policy aims to meet the requirements of the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport while ensuring that the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is implemented in the UK. This is the first update of the Policy since 2009.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), as the UK’s National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), is responsible for ensuring that sports bodies comply with the Code through its implementation and management of the Policy. UKAD welcomes the 2021 update and also introduces an anti-doping Assurance Framework to accompany the Policy.

Minister for Sport and Tourism Nigel Huddleston said: “We are committed to the UK leading the way in protecting the integrity of sport.

"This new anti-doping framework means that our National Governing Bodies (NGBs) will have a renewed benchmark against which to measure themselves in the fight against doping in sport."

The introduction of the Assurance Framework is the most significant change in the 2021 Policy. It is the platform through which NGBs formally demonstrate their compliance with the Policy and their commitment to clean sport. The framework outlines a series of mandatory requirements which the NGBs must fulfil with evidence to certify that they are meeting their anti-doping responsibilities. UKAD has assigned a dedicated Assurance team to support NGBs and other sports organisations.

One of UKAD’s core responsibilities, highlighted in the new Policy, is to lead on anti-doping education with its ‘Education First’ principle. To ensure there is greater understanding and accountability in relation to anti-doping within sport, UKAD has developed its new Clean Sport Hub, a portal providing free anti-doping eLearning courses, as well as housing resources for the Assurance Framework.

Two new eLearning courses - NGB Anti-Doping Lead and Board Anti-Doping Lead - are now available exclusively on the Clean Sport Hub for those working in anti-doping roles or are Board members within sport. The courses have been designed to educate on the importance of anti-doping. 

UKAD Director of Strategy and Education, Emily Robinson, said: “The launch of the new Policy reminds everyone in sport of their commitment to clean sport and of the roles and responsibilities that comes with it, of which education plays a large part.

“It is crucial that everyone in sport receives anti-doping education from athletes up to and including members of the Board. It is for this reason that all NGBs will need to produce specific anti-doping education strategies for their organisations, demonstrating how they will embed clean sport values across their sport. UKAD will be working extensively with sports to assist them in the development of their education programmes with a range of resources and support.” 

The first Policy was published in 2009 to coincide with UKAD being established. The new Policy, updated to acknowledge the significant developments in anti-doping, education, and the latest Code, continues to set out the roles and responsibilities for UKAD in its capacity as the UK’s NADO, that include:

  • Complying with all of its Code obligations

  • Influencing national and international anti-doping policy

  • Creating the UK Anti-Doping Rules

  • Leading on anti-doping education and research

  • Conducting testing and subsequent results and case management

  • Conducting investigations and intelligence gathering

Joining the Policy are the British Olympic and British Paralympic Associations, Sport Institutes, and the UK Commonwealth Games Agencies. All have pledged to adhere to the roles and responsibilities outlined in the 2021 Policy. Sports Councils, NGBs and the independent National Anti-Doping Panel also continue to show their commitment to clean sport, with updated roles and responsibilities.

Following a six-week public consultation by the UK Government in October 2019, UKAD has been advising DCMS, together with its counterparts in the Devolved Administrations, to create the new Policy and Assurance Framework.

For more information on the 2021 National Anti-Doping Policy and Assurance Framework, visit our dedicated web page.