UKAD launch public consultation to seek views on athlete anonymity

  • Proposed changes could see athletes named at ‘point of charge’
  • UKAD ‘keen to hear the views of sport stakeholders’ through public consultation open for six weeks

UKAD is today launching a six-week public consultation regarding proposed changes to the public disclosure of the identity of athletes (or others) who are being investigated for potential anti-doping rule violations (ADRV). 

The current process is that someone charged with an ADRV would only be named following the conclusion of the process and successful prosecution. UKAD is seeking views on whether the individual should be named at the time of the ADRV charge, ahead of any hearing or outcome. The changes would not affect the confidentiality of the process after the charge became public. There would not be any further comment on a case until the process was completed. 

The public are invited to provide their views on the proposal via an online form here.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the consultation UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said, “We are making this consultation open to the public because we want to hear the views of the public as well at those directly affected; the athletes and their entourage, on these potential changes. 

“It is important that we review our processes periodically to ensure that they meet the demands of the current fight for clean sport. We have looked at what other anti-doping organisations do, and some announce athlete names at the time of charge, including international athletics (Athletics Integrity Unit) and cycling (CADF), and we are asking whether we should bring our processes in line with theirs. 

“As it stands because of these differences in some sports, British athletes in the sport of athletics are currently named at the point of charge, while in other sports that is not the case. 

“We have an opportunity to make this change to our procedures and want to take the views from athletes, coaches and sports fans, as to whether this would help support our mission for clean sport.

“This is a genuinely open consultation and opportunity for the public to give their views before we put a proposal to the UKAD Board before the end of the year.”

The consultation process, which is open to all, is available until Thursday 22 October 2020 and we will share the outcome of the consultation. We are very keen to hear from athletes and coaches as well as sports fans. 

The proposed change is possible following the release of the new UK Anti-Doping Rules, ahead of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.