UKAD publishes new UK Anti-Doping Rules for 2021 following new World Anti-Doping Code

The new rules will come into effect on 1 January 2021, in line with the new World Anti-Doping Code

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today published the 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules which will come into effect on 1 January 2021. These Rules govern anti-doping in the UK and set out the requirements for athletes and sports in line with the changes that will be introduced by the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code. The 2021 Code will also come into effect on 1 January 2021.

The Code and the Rules affect everyone in sport, including athletes and athlete support personnel (ASP), such as coaches or physios, and sport’s National Governing Bodies (NGBs). 

More information on what this means for NGBs is set out below.

The 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules are now available on our website here and are attached below.

Speaking on the announcement, UKAD Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said, “The UK Anti-Doping Rules are the backbone of our mission to keep sport clean. They reflect the standards set out by WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) in the Code, to make sure that athletes across the world are held to the same high standards.

“We have developed the new Rules to ensure that we are able to meet the latest challenges threatening clean sport, and that athletes and the public can have confidence in clean competition.

“In the five months until the new Rules come into effect, our job will be working with athletes and sports, so they are aware of how the changes impact them and what they need to do to make sure they are working to the Rules by the new year.”

Some of the changes introduced in the 2021 Code and the 2021 Rules are:

  • A new Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) has been added to protect those sharing information on doping in sport (whistleblowing). It will become an offence to either discourage the reporting of information or to retaliate against an individual for doing so

  • Bans can be increased by an additional two years where “aggravating circumstances” occur (e.g. the use of multiple prohibited substances)

  • Engaging in fraudulent conduct (e.g. submitting falsified documents) following an alleged ADRV will be treated as a separate offence and a further consecutive ban can be applied

  • Substances of Abuse: Shorter bans can be given for a certain group of substances when their use is out-of-competition and unrelated to sports performance. There is also an emphasis on athlete welfare. A further reduction in the length of ban may be available if a treatment programme is completed

What this means for sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs)

It is the responsibility of all NGBs to have 2021 Code-compliant rules in force with effect from 1 January 2021. The 2021 UK Anti-Doping Rules can be adopted by any NGB for that purpose. Most NGBs using the current UK Anti-Doping Rules will adopt the 2021 Rules automatically.

However, an NGB may choose to adopt their respective International Federation’s rules, or draft their own bespoke rules, either of which must be approved by UKAD before they come into effect. UKAD will be working alongside these NGBs to provide support, where required.  

All NGBs should ensure that their members are able to access the revised Rules. UKAD will provide an online toolkit to assist with this in due course.

Where do I go if I have any questions?

Sports that have questions on this process should contact Sam Pool, 2021 Code Implementation Project Manager at

Over the coming months, UKAD will be releasing further information and resources on the significant changes introduced by the new Code, and the support that will be available to athletes, athlete support personnel and NGBs. This information will be available on our website here