UKAD representative leads WADA Independent Observer team at European Games

UK Anti-Doping’s (UKAD) Deputy Director of Operations, Hamish Coffey, will lead the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Observer (IO) team at the European Games taking place in Minsk, Belarus, from 21-30 June 2019.

The team on the ground at the Games will provide real-time feedback to the European Olympic Committee (EOC) and Minsk 2019 Organising Committee on the entirety of the Games’ anti-doping programme. This will include processes such as: selection of competitors for testing; sample collection procedures; results management and Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) procedures.

The WADA IO team, chaired by Hamish, comprises of international anti-doping experts and has been formed to instil confidence in athletes and other stakeholders on the quality of anti-doping processes taking place at major sporting events across the world.

UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead, said: “Having WADA’s Independent Observer team at major sporting events across the world ensures anti-doping practices and procedures are of a consistent quality to the benefit of those athletes competing at the competitions.

“We’re proud to have Hamish at the Games in this capacity. He has a vast amount of anti-doping experience, including as our former Head of Testing, and will undoubtably be of value to the European Olympic Committee and Organising Committee in Minsk. His selection to lead this group is a great example of strength of expertise at UKAD and the importance of our international work to inspire confidence in clean sport.”

WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie, said: “The European Games is a very important event on the sporting calendar with 4,000 athletes from 50 European nations competing in no fewer than 23 disciplines within 15 sports.

From WADA’s perspective, it is especially important for our experienced team of observers to be present as 10 of these sports will offer qualification opportunities for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

After the event, the IO team will publish a report which includes observations and recommendations that will be used to enhance future anti-doping activities at European Games.