New UKAD campaign aims to persuade athletes to report doping concerns
UK Anti-Doping is launching a new campaign to encourage athletes to report their suspicions of doping.
The ‘Protect Your Sport’ initiative comes as UKAD predicts a 30 per cent drop in the number of reports from athletes by the end of the year, with 638 reports having been received up to the end of September.
On average there are 1,200 reports a year and UKAD said 35 per cent of bans issued in 2019 came as a result of information shared with it.
UKAD director of operations Pat Myhill said: “There’s an understanding that it takes a team to be successful in sport, and it’s the same in keeping sport clean.
“We’re here to protect the values of sport which everyone holds dear, but we can’t do it on our own.
“People coming to us with their concerns about doping is absolutely vital for clean sport, and our message in this campaign is clear- if you feel like something’s not right, report it.
“When competitive sport stopped in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, we saw a small decline in intelligence reports. But we know, and the Leeds Beckett research shows us that there are longer-term issues around people in sport not knowing how to report, and what to report, so that’s why we’re launching this campaign.”
Research by Leeds Beckett University and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) looked at some of the obstacles to reporting, such as a lack of awareness about how to report, uncertainty over what they have 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 from UKAD 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.”
Concerns can be reported via WhatsApp, online or by phone.
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