England Rugby are supporting UK Anti-Doping’s third Clean Sport Week, which launches today.
This year’s campaign, which will again have the support of a range of National Governing Bodies sports organisations and UK sports stars, will celebrate clean athletes and their success, and promote the work of the anti-doping community in the fight for clean sport.
UKAD completes athlete testing for substances prohibited in sport and carried out more than 10,000 tests in 2018. Athletes can be tested at any time, without warning, with some having to provide UKAD with information about their location for one hour every day of the year under the whereabouts system.
Education also forms a fundamental part of a successful anti-doping programme. Players receive education at events including at the Wellington Festival where academy players compete.
There are anti-doping seminars for clubs in the Gallagher Premiership, Greene King IPA Championship and Tyrrells Premier 15s and a new online module was launched this season. British athletes who compete in major games, such as the rugby sevens teams who took part at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, receive education before flying out.
“What we all want to know when we run out to compete is that we are on a level playing field when it comes to performance enhancing drugs,” said England men sevens captain Tom Mitchell.
“When you are tested for the first time it’s nerve wracking even if you are confident you have done nothing wrong but you very quickly learn it’s a really important element of the game and of all sports. It’s something we do on a regular basis and forms a massive part of what makes the sport’s reputation.”
The campaign will also have a strong focus on Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs), and particularly the attitudes towards, and motivations for use of, IPEDs in the gym environment.
A number of events will take place between 20-26 May to help raise awareness of clean sport and anti-doping programmes led by UKAD, NGBs and sporting bodies across the UK.
Nicole Sapstead, UKAD’s Chief Executive, added: “This year’s Clean Sport Week focuses on Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs), particularly in the gym environment.
“Following a number of media reports in recent months, concerns are growing around the use of IPEDs in this area, particularly with trends like the ‘Love Island look’, and the possibility of this seeping into the sporting arena.
“Last year’s Clean Sport Week was a huge success and hope this year’s event can drive the debate around IPEDs, as well as celebrate the successes of clean athletes and the excellent work done by National Governing Bodies and sporting partners to keep sport clean.”