Child playing with a toy football player

Role of the coach in clean sport

Coaches play a crucial role in the development of athletes as sportsmen and sportswomen as well as people. How you coach, and your coaching philosophy can have a direct impact on whether athletes choose to train and compete clean.

We need your support to instil strong clean sport values and ethical behaviours in the athletes that you coach as well as your wider sporting community. The World Anti-Doping (WAD) Code acknowledges that athlete support personnel have a responsibility to positively influence the athletes they work with.

The facts - what coaches need to know

  • Coaches are mandated by the WAD Code to council and advise athletes on anti-doping matters

  • The Anti-Doping Rules apply to you

  • In the UK, if you are supporting athletes attending a Major Games you must be educated on clean sport in compliance with the UK’s Clean Games Policy

What that means for you

Clean sport education is not something that can be ignored or delegated.

As a coach you need to understand how the anti-doping system impacts you and your athletes, and what you need to do to keep your clean sport education up to date.

This will help prevent you, your athletes and wider coaching team from being at risk of inadvertent doping.

Should you be found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, you too can face a ban from sport.

What you should do

  • Develop a coaching environment that nurtures a culture of personal excellence rather than win at all costs

  • Develop positive values and beliefs in all athletes you coach and any other athlete support personnel you work with

  • Remember to protect both yourself and the athletes you work with: the Anti-Doping Rules apply to you both! Help your athletes apply the principle of strict liability

  • Support athletes in managing inadvertent doping by helping them check their medications on Global DRO and managing the risks associated with supplement use

  • Keep yourself informed and find the time to engage in clean sport education. Speak to your club or National Governing Body for more information on clean sport education that may be taking place for coaches in your area

  • Our e-learning resource Coach Clean is a fantastic resource to both increase your knowledge and ensure that you remain at the cutting edge of clean sport education and is relevant for coaches at all levels

  • Join us at our Clean Sport at the Front Line conference, which takes place annually and is specifically for coaches, practitioners and wider athlete support personnel

  • Protect your sport and report anything suspicious, either directly to UK Anti-Doping or via the 24-hour confidential phone line 

Where to go for further advice

  • Click here to access our Coach Clean e-learning course

  • Take a look at the education events that may be of use to you - check out our Events page to keep updated