Professor David Cowan presented with prestigious award

Former Director of the UK Drug Control Centre (DCC), Professor David Cowan, was recently recognised in the fight for clean sport, as the recipient of the fourth annual Larry D. Bowers Award for Excellence in Anti-Doping Science.

The award was presented by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), at their 18th Annual Symposium on Anti-Doping Science in Tokyo, Japan. The award was in recognition and honour of Professor Cowan’s professional achievements in anti-doping research, technological innovation and laboratory administration.

“I am delighted David has received this award. He is a leader in his field and his contribution to substance detection and anti-doping has been invaluable. David co-founded the DCC and directed it for nearly 30 years, providing critical support and expertise to UKAD,” says UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead.

“This award is a true testament to his dedication to keeping sport clean. He has made an outstanding contribution to the anti-doping community at both a national and global level and is very deserving of this award.”

Professor Cowan’s work has been instrumental for clean sport in the UK and worldwide. Under his leadership, the forensic techniques developed and used by the DCC were cited in the McClaren Report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to investigate allegations and evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia. Professor Cowan led the anti-doping laboratory in support of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, and most recently, he assisted with the preparation of the laboratories for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The DCC also oversaw the first successful test for Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which led to the prosecution and ban of an athlete.

Larry D. Bowers was USADA’s former Chief Science Officer, the former director of an IOC-accredited anti-doping laboratory and the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

We recently sat down and had a cuppa with Dr Cowan - click the below video to hear his thoughts on receiving the award.