UK Anti-Doping Annual Clean Sport Forum

6th November 2017

As we are trying to sort out our service level agreement with UKAD I thought it sensible to attend the UK Anti-Doping Annual Clean Sport Forum to get a better insight into the problem of doping in sport but more importantly to speak to them directly about getting the agreement sorted out.

The days agenda was interesting with an address by Tracey Crouch the Minister for Sport about what the UK Government is doing in the field of Anti-Doping particularly that they do not believe that a doping offence should be made a criminal offence but that it should continue to remain a regulatory breach within the rules governing sport. Further that they wanted Doping Control Officers in other words those who actually ask the athlete to provide a sample to have automatic access to all sporting venues and activities without having to make prior arrangements with the sports managers/organizers.

There then followed a panel session with representatives from NGB’s which although interesting did not add much in the scheme of things.

After that there were presentations from Katherine Grainger (the ex-Olympic rower) and Goldie Sayers (the ex-Olympic javelin thrower) about the effect on them when they lost out at the World Rowing Championships and the Olympics to athletes who were subsequently found to have taken performance enhancing drugs. Although both have since been awarded the medals they should have won they both told of the same experience of self-doubt loss of motivation loss of confidence in their coaching and loss of sponsorship.

The afternoon stated off with a mock anti-doping offence hearing which was quite fun but having actually been involved in these directly when in practice as a lawyer again it didn’t add much to my knowledge (apologies if that sounds a bit big headed)
Then followed a talk by Alison Hogg who is the Compliance and Ethics manager for English Hockey. A lot of this involved anti-doping education for athletes and sports personnel. This was good and has helped me in putting together a Clean Sport seminar for the 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes and it will also be helpful in the wider context of Guernsey Sport and athlete support personnel.

BUT the best bit and the real reason for going was the fact that Nicole Sapstead the CEO of UKAD found herself sitting next to me at lunch time (poor girl) so I had a good half an hour of her time discussing Guernsey (and for that matter the wider issues for the other Crown Dependencies) and the need to put in place drug testing on the Island. At the moment this has now gone to the DCMS to consider. She is very supportive of what is being proposed her view is that as the British Government had effectively forced the Crown Dependencies to sign up to the Anti-Doping Convention that they have to accept that the Crown Dependencies need support to comply with their obligations. She thought that the DCMS had not fully thought out the consequences of what they were asking the Crown Dependencies to undertake when they were asked to sign on the dotted line.

The matter however is actually closer to home as a problem for UKAD because every two years they have to certify that the UK has complied with their Anti-Doping obligations UKAD however has been given the task of ensuring that the Crown Dependencies have also complied and if we haven’t then the UK will as a whole will be seen as non-compliant. Therefore it is vital from the UKAD point of view that matter is resolved. I explained that we are well on the way of putting in place Clean Sport education sessions for our Commonwealth Games athletes and getting the support personnel to take the UKAD on line Accredited Advisor course but that that was really the extent of what we can do at present without their support to bring testing to the Island.

We concluded on the basis that she would let me know once they had heard back from DCMS in return that I would supply the names of the selected Commonwealth Games athletes to UKAD and hold the Clean Sport seminar (which is now fixed for the 25th November)