May 18, 2021

Ukad launches campaign to encourage athletes to report doping suspicions

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Athlete in starting blocks
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a drop in the numbers of reports of suspected doping from athletes

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) is launching a new campaign to encourage athletes to report suspicions of doping.

It comes after Ukad predicted a 30% drop in the number of reports by athletes this year.

To the end of September there had been 638 reports, a long way short of the annual average of 1,200.

The ‘Protect Your Sport’ initiative will allow and encourage athletes to report concerns via WhatsApp, online or by phone.

“People coming to us with their concerns about doping is absolutely vital for clean sport,” said Ukad director of operations Pat Myhill.

“We’re here to protect the values of sport which everyone holds dear, but we can’t do it on our own.

“Our message is clear- if you feel like something’s not right, report it.”

The campaign examined research by Leeds Beckett University and the World Anti-Doping Agency which looked at some of the obstacles to reporting, such as a lack of awareness about how to report, uncertainty whether something witnessed is sufficient to report, confidentiality concerns, and worries over being taken seriously.

Ukad athletes’ commission member Callum Skinner said: “Athletes need to know how to report any concerns they might have about another athlete.

“We all work so hard for our successes and the thought of someone cheating me out of that is what drives me to help protect sport.

“This campaign is an excellent initiative to ensure that athletes and coaches know there is a place where they can go to talk to someone if they think something isn’t right. We all have a responsibility and I’m sure this will help athletes who have that nagging doubt to come forward.”

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