UKAD releases testing figures for lockdown period

  • UKAD’s regular quarterly report shows impact of COVID-19 on testing numbers
  • UKAD maintains testing capability and ongoing testing programme

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today released its quarterly testing report for April to June 2020. Much of this quarter covers the period during which the UK was in nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, which halted all competitive sport in the country. 

You can view the report here.

The report, published quarterly to confirm UKAD’s testing activity across sport, shows an expected low number of tests conducted during lockdown as training facilities were closed, and competitive events and tournaments were cancelled. 

The quarterly report also includes tests conducted on behalf of UKAD on UK athletes based overseas. In addition to these figures, international UK athletes could also have been tested by their respective International Federation.

UKAD’s Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: “In line with the Government lockdown implemented in March 2020, we made the decision to significantly reduce testing operations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This resulted in fewer tests across all sports which is shown in our report released today. 

“As sport and competitive training returned, we announced changes to our testing process which put enhanced measures in place to reduce the risks of virus transmission between athletes and our testers.” 

“During the lockdown we stepped up activities elsewhere to keep sport clean and support athletes and those around them. Since March 2020, over 1,000 people have completed UKAD’s online education courses; three anti-doping hearings have been held virtually; and we have processed and analysed intelligence from a variety of sources. During the entire lockdown period athletes have still been required to give us their whereabouts information.”

Since sport has started to return to the UK, UKAD has worked closely with medical experts in the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Sport Working Group, and organisations such as the Football Association (FA), to ensure new testing processes comply with the highest standards of safety and sport-specific considerations in light of the ongoing risks around COVID-19. 

More information on UKAD’s activity during lockdown is available here.

UKAD will increase its testing operations as sport continues to return to the UK. However, UKAD will always follow the latest government advice and adjust its operations accordingly.