Preparing for your first BUCS fixture

Congratulations on being selected to represent your university in your chosen sport. Whether you’ve just started uni or are returning after the summer break, it’s important to know that even within BUCS sport, anti-doping rules are taken very seriously.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) within the UK, and has a remit to test any British athlete anywhere in the world, and also foreign athletes competing or training on British soil.

But testing is just a small part of UKAD’s work, with education also playing a crucial role in keeping your sport clean. With this in mind, here are a few helpful top tips from UKAD to ensure you continue to compete clean.

Prohibited List

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes its list of prohibited substances and methods every January. This will tell you what is banned both in and out of competition. While WADA can update the Prohibited List during the year, the main changes will come about on 1 January, so be sure to familiarise yourself now and then refresh your knowledge after Christmas.

Global DRO

If you’re feeling the effects of “Freshers’ Flu” and need to hit the pharmacy to perk yourself up, be sure to check any medication on the Global DRO website, to ensure it doesn’t contain any prohibited substances.

Informed Sport

Some universities may have a link with a supplement company, and sell products such as protein powders or bars in the Student Union shop. UKAD would always advise taking a food-first approach to nutrition, rather than spending money on expensive supplements. However, if you do purchase these products, you should always check that they have been batch-tested on the Informed Sport website. It is important to note that this is simply risk minimisation and not a guarantee that they are free from prohibited substances.

Recreational drugs

We all know university students like to let their hair down from time to time and relax following a tough assignment or lengthy project. But if you are competing for your university in a sport, it’s important to remember that recreational drugs, including cannabis, hashish and marijuana, are banned via the WADA Prohibited List.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not banned, although athletes should be aware that some CBD oils contain THC, which is prohibited. You can read UKAD’s guidance on CBD oil here.