Fans Have Right To Doping-Free Rugby League World Cup, Says Wilkin

Jon Wilkin, Athlete Committee member and England International, has emphasized on the importance of clean sport.

The English professional rugby league footballer who plays for St Helens RLFC of Super League remarked that he was appointed a member of the newly-formed Athlete Committee of UK Anti-Doping in May 2010. Wilkin remarked that this appointment offered an opportunity for athletes and players such as him to feed into anti-doping policy and decision making for, like it or not, anti-doping is part and parcel of life in elite sport.

Jon Wilkin was named as the first chairman of the newly founded Super League Players’ Association in January 2012. He was recognized for his good season in 2006 by being named in the 2006 Super League Dream Team and was selected for the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament.

Wilkin, who won The Observer’s first Community Champion Award and previously played for Hull Kingston Rovers before moving to Saints, said the hours of training on the pitch and in the gym and the responsibility to compete clean is constant and essential amidst all the preparations for this month’s Rugby League World Cup. The rugby league footballer added that our sport has been under public scrutiny since the Australian Crime Commission report was published back in January, and fans have a right to watch, support, and believe in a doping-free World Cup. Wilkin remarked that one of the key developments in anti-doping that has been seen by us over the last few years is the use of intelligence to inform programs through a risk-based approach.

He went on to remark that every player coming to compete in the United Kingdom should be prepared for a stringent anti-doping program. Jon Wilkin added he had learnt firsthand of how such an approach works and how important this approach is to anti-doping through the Athlete Committee. Wilkin also remarked that the Intelligence Team of UK Anti-Doping gathers all kinds of information and use this to inform their testing and education programs and added that the Education team has been working on a bespoke ‘Win Clean’ campaign to ensure that all players are made aware of their anti-doping rights and responsibilities. Wilkin also remarked that he hope we can inspire a few more to take up the sport, and importantly, be encouraged to do so without the temptation of performance enhancing drugs.

The Great Britain and England international representative forward said players cannot escape punishment by saying they are unaware of how a drug gets into their body. He added that principle of strict liability requires every player or athlete, whatever your sport, to take responsibility for what goes into their body. Jon Wilkin added that the Athlete Committee has discussed the issue of supplements on a number of occasions, the high number of positives these products cause, and the possible risks to health and added that there are education programs in place to raise awareness and provide assistance to prevent inadvertent doping.

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