A summary of findings and recommendations made by an Independent Review into UKAD’s handling of intelligence in relation to a doctor on Harley Street, Dr Mark Bonar, has been released by the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) Board.

The Independent Review, led by former Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward, as commissioned by the UK Anti-Doping Board after it was claimed by media reports that Bonar had provided performance enhancing substances to a number of British athletes. The Review’s principal aim was to evaluate how the UK Anti-Doping managed information passed to it by an athlete and whether proper procedures were followed in regards to the handling of that intelligence. The UKAD Board also asked the Review to make recommendations on how to improve processes in the future and nine suggestions were outlined for UKAD by the Report, produced by the Review team. All of those recommendations have been accepted by the Board.

Chair of the Independent Review, Andy Ward, remarked this case has been particularly difficult and complex but first and foremost he has no doubt as to the commitment of all UKAD staff to tackle doping in sport. Andy added we received total support from UKAD and the staff we engaged with, who were completely open and honest in providing their explanations and in discussing every aspect of their involvement in the case. The Independent Review Chair remarked we however found that there was some confusion and lack of clarity in the process of managing a source who wanted to reduce his doping ban by providing substantial assistance and also went on to add that it would appear that the source’s intention in making the approach to the media was to expose the concerns he holds in relation to UKAD’s handling of the case.

It was also suggested by Ward that this case highlights that the process by which an athlete might elect to provide substantial assistance, as defined in the World Anti-Doping Code and the UK Anti-Doping Rules is unclear and confusing, both in what it is seeking to achieve and in how an athlete should be treated. The former Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable said we therefore recommend that UKAD, in agreement with WADA, reviews and clarifies article 10.6.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code in relation to the status of athletes who decide to provide substantial assistance.

UKAD Chair, David Kenworthy, remarked this case has been challenging and complex but as a publicly funded body it is absolutely correct that UKAD be held to account for its actions. Kenworthy added the team has been fully cooperative throughout the process and fully accepts that mistakes were made and lessons must be learnt. The UKAD Chair also added we continue to be firmly committed to our fight to protect clean sport and clean athletes and remarked that UKAD has enjoyed considerable success in using intelligence and information to catch cheats but this case was not up to the usual high standards of our work and also said all the recommendations made by the Independent Review have been accepted; some have already been implemented and there is a timeline for implementing the others.

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