What our people say
For an insight into what it’s like to work at UKAD and develop your career, take a look at what some of our team have to say.
After flitting between various temporary jobs after university, in June 2010 I saw an Administrator role advertised at UKAD. Although I had always loved sport from an early age, I knew next to nothing about anti-doping at the time. Without having a clear career path in mind, I decided to put my name in the hat and see what happened.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m still here, firmly entrenched in the world of anti-doping. Although we are a relatively small organisation, I have been able to develop my career internally, progressing through roles within the Results Team before starting my current job as Head of Assurance in 2018, with responsibility for the anti-doping compliance of organisations in the UK. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with the drugs testing conducted at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games, a rare opportunity and honour to see what happens behind the scenes at a Major Games. I would never have anticipated reaching a decade at UKAD, however being able to work in an area I am passionate about, with like-minded colleagues, has unexpectedly kept me and others here for the long-term.
I have worked at UKAD since it was formed in November 2009 and have been fortunate to have held several interesting positions. My first role at UKAD was in the Legal Team as Results Manager. My main responsibilities included liaison with sports on test outcomes, managing Doping Control Personnel compliance and the contractual relationship between UKAD and Kings College London Laboratory. This was followed by a secondment position to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a Doping Control Station Manager. This was an amazing opportunity to work directly in sport whilst having so much fun watching it!
I then moved on to a maternity cover role as Acting Director of Operations for one year. Here, I led on the Operations Directorate strategic overview and objectives for the Testing, Science and Medicine and Intelligence and Investigations teams. I worked closely with the Chief Executive and regularly attended UKAD Board meetings. A great way to further develop my management skills.
In 2014 I undertook a Project Management role which saw me prepare the organisation to implement the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code. I was grateful to be given this opportunity as it cemented my knowledge on the World Anti-Doping Code which has supported me so well in my career path at UKAD.
Following my Project Management role, I was appointed as Head of Major Events and Business Development. I was responsible for developing, planning and implementing activities related to major events in the UK. This included the 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2018 European Championships, very exciting. I also identified new revenue opportunities for the organisation through commercial ventures.
More recently as Head of International and Stakeholder Relations, I developed UKAD’s International Strategy and led on international work programmes and consultancy, attending international fora and maintaining high level relationships with key international partners which involved international travel on occasions. I also oversee stakeholder engagement and management.
I am currently interim Director of Strategy and Education, responsible for the organisation's communications, education programmes, international activities and stakeholder relations.
I have worked at UKAD for almost three years now and can easily say it has been a great experience. Every day is different, whether that’s a project, cross team working or a new challenge. UKAD allows employees to be creative and take responsibility for supporting their overall mission of protecting sport.
As a sports fan and having spent eight years developing a career in sport, protecting its integrity was something that attracted me to work at UKAD. UKAD has supported me to push myself in both my work responsibilities and self-confidence. They have provided me with numerous exciting projects to work on and challenge myself with, as well as ongoing career progression.
UKAD is an organisation where every employee is known and plays a key role in the day-to-day work. The staff have always been so welcoming, and I have developed some life-long friendships.
I have always wanted a career in sport and am grateful to be involved with an organisation that plays an important role in the sport we see today. UKAD continues to develop and grow but ensures that its staff are appreciated and respected for the expertise and capabilities they bring.
Ever since I was a young girl, I was always interested in natural sciences and the human body. I was fascinated by how complex and sophisticated the human body is, how our organs and biological systems work and what happens when they don’t. So, a career in biological science or medicine was envisaged very early on in my education.
I chose to study biochemistry and immunology, and university developed my interest in laboratory research. I then commenced a PhD in biochemistry before then turning my hand to applied clinical biochemistry in the NHS. I have over 15 years of experience working in the clinical laboratories of NHS hospitals, providing laboratory investigations for the diagnosis and management of patients, with my specialism in paediatric biochemistry and the diagnosis of rare inherited metabolic disorders.
As a keen marathon runner and cyclist, I often applied my scientific knowledge of metabolism, physiology, and nutrition to my training efforts and at the time in my career when I had applied for the role at UKAD, I was keen to take a step into the sports science world, where I could combine my love of science, health, and fitness. The role excited me as it would entail delving into the anti-doping and sports science research field, provide me with new and interesting learning prospects and the opportunity to make a difference to the developments of the field of anti-doping science.
Typically, my time is split managing the multitude of research projects that UKAD are involved in, that is, meeting with the research teams to discuss progress, actions and planning next steps. I also spend a significant amount of time planning new projects, engaging with many different internal and external partners in the development of innovative ways to improve UKAD’s operations.
Sport has the power to unify the world through its promotion of tolerance and respect of others, as well as health, education, social inclusion and empowerment of minorities. It’s therefore imperative that sport is clean and free from doping, so that everyone can enjoy sport in confidence knowing that athletes participate in fair competition. UKAD’s work is part of that global fight against doping in sport and I’m proud to be part of this worthy cause.