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Monday 26, Jan 2015

  UK Anti-Doping And EIS To Work Together

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UK Anti-Doping And EIS To Work Together

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is working in partnership with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) for delivering mandatory anti-doping education to staff.

All front-line technical and operational staff are expected to undertake the Online Advisor Course of UK Anti-Doping to become an Accredited UKAD Advisor. In addition to this, all staff across the organization, whether employed or contracted, are asked to sign-up to an EIS Anti-Doping Code of Conduct. This collaboration will represent a positive step forward to ensure that Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) understand their enhanced role and responsibilities under the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code that came into force on 1 January 2015.

EIS National Director Nigel Walker said EIS has always been fully committed to clean sport and this new online training for our staff and contractors is of the utmost importance to ensure that everyone knows what their duties are so we can deliver the very best support to our elite athletes.

UK Anti-Doping Interim Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead added we are delighted that EIS has decided to introduce this training for their staff and contractors. Nicole added it demonstrates a robust commitment towards clean sport and a realization that everyone has an important role to play in protecting themselves and the athletes they support.

Under the 2015 Code, Athlete Support Personnel are required to be knowledgeable and comply fully with all anti-doping policies and use their influence in a positive way. They are expected to provide assistance for developing ethical standards, strong values, and foster anti-doping attitudes.

The English Institute of Sport works to improve sporting performance by delivery of science, medicine, technology, and engineering. The EIS delivers over 4,000 hours of support a week to over 1,700 athletes from over 30 sports and represents a significant percentage of the ASP across the high performance system.

Last month, UK Anti-Doping signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Crime Agency (NCA). This was done to set out clear guidelines for sharing information in the fight against the supply and trafficking of doping-related substances and activities in sport.

This development improved ability of UK Anti-Doping to prevent, deter, detect, and enforce any anti-doping rule violation in all sports under the World Anti-Doping Code. Information is to be shared with UK Anti-Doping by the NCA when it relates to the detection, deterrence, enforcement or prevention of an anti-doping rule violation while UK Anti-Doping will share information with the NCA when it relates to the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of serious organized crime, or the reduction of crime.

UK Anti-Doping Interim Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead had remarked we are delighted to formalize our already strong partnership with the NCA, strengthening our ability to tackle the supply chain of doping-related substances and intensify our activities in the global fight against doping in sport. Nicole added intelligence and investigations is an integral component of the revised 2015 World Anti-Doping Code and clean athletes should rest assured that UKAD is doing all it can to prevent doping activities and protect sport in the United Kingdom.

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Saturday 10, Jan 2015

  Global DRO Seminar Held In Tokyo For Sports Pharmacists

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Global DRO Seminar Held In Tokyo For Sports Pharmacists

The Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) hosted the first formal Global Drug Reference Online (DRO) Seminar for more than 250 sports pharmacists on 16 December 2014.

This seminar included presentations from the representatives of the founding Global DRO partners that included the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). In 2013, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency joined the Global DRO family and the December Global DRO Seminar was the first opportunity for sports pharmacists from Japan to find out how Global DRO has been implemented and developed by each international partner country as part of their anti-doping programs.

Global Drug Reference Online is an online and mobile tools that allow athletes to check the prohibited or permitted status of licensed medication according to the latest World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List. There were more than 486,216 searches in 2014 between the four partner countries that spoke about the effectiveness and popularity of the source.

USADA’s Science Director Dr. Matt Fedoruk, highlighted the practical importance of Global DRO in his keynote speech. Fedoruk also illustrated the value of offering resources and education in the context of anti-doping rules to health professionals, including pharmacists and physicians, since they play a vital role in protecting clean athletes. Fedoruk remarked we are seeing a stronger need for close cooperation between the medical community and the anti-doping community in order to best protect clean athletes and sport. He went on to add that implementing clear and consistent processes and providing easy access to accurate information are important parts of any effective anti-doping program.

UKAD Medical Education Officer Anne Sargent said JADA should be applauded for engaging with sports pharmacists and recognizing the crucial role they play in protecting clean sport through the influence they have on athletes. Sargent added this inaugural conference provided an important platform to share best practice and for delegates to gain an increased understanding of Global DRO and its value in assisting athletes and athlete support personnel and further remarked that UKAD is committed to continue working together with international partners to enhance anti-doping programs globally for the benefit of clean athletes.

JADA Chief Executive Officer Shin Asakawa said it is a delight to host this first Global DRO Seminar, opened to JADA’s certified sports pharmacists. Asakawa added we have benefited as part of this international collaboration Global DRO team and also said we along with the JADA Sports Pharmacists System can strengthen a ‘Clean Sport Triad’ and ensure the athletes receiving the appropriate information at anywhere and anytime.

CCES Manager of Education and Technology Cori McPhail said Global DRO allows each of our agencies to support the training and competition schedules of our respective athlete populations with credible information they can access from anywhere. McPhail added JADA is the most recent member of the Global DRO family, but like those of us already involved, they have demonstrated a clear commitment to providing their athletes comprehensive and reliable information about the medication they may need to take.

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Thursday 02, Oct 2014

  Clean Sport Forum 2014 Emphasizes On 2015 Code Implementation

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Over 100 attendees from across the sporting landscape met at Lord’s Cricket Ground on September 25 in London. This meeting was made to discuss preparations for the implementation of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

The fourth annual forum provided the opportunity for UK Anti-Doping to update important stakeholders on the recent developments within anti-doping. It also facilitated UK Anti-Doping to communicate best practice advice across a wide range of areas. This one-day event allowed delegates to share their experiences with network, colleagues, and know more about how UK Anti-Doping can help protect their sport.

European and Commonwealth silver medalist Lynsey Sharp spoke about her experiences of the anti-doping system. Lynsey remarked doping has had a massive effect on her career so far, but she looks forward to the positive impact the 2015 Code will have in the years to come.

UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson emphasized on the importance of collective responsibility to make sure successful implementation of the WADA 2015 Code. Delegates, including Commonwealth Games England Deputy Chef de Mission Graeme Dell and England Boxing Chief Executive Mark Abberley, also heard from other speakers about the possible impact of the WADA 2015 Code on their organizations.

UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson also remarked this is a busy time for anti-doping with the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code coming into effect in three months, along with a revised set of UK Anti-Doping Rules. He remarked to implement these changes effectively will require a collective effort from all our partners in the UK, across every sport. The UKAD Chief Executive added this year’s Forum was about ensuring sports have a clear understanding about their responsibility in this process, and take away best practice examples of how to manage the impact of changes. Parkinson also said the enthusiasm of attendees was really positive, particularly during the closed CEO Forum and added it is imperative that this level of interest is maintained so that every sport has an effective anti-doping strategy that will help minimize the risk of doping in the UK.

In another development, sport medical personnel working with some of the leading athletes of the UK met on September 15, 2014 for the inaugural UK Anti-Doping Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) Forum. This forum promotes and encourages transfer of knowledge within the athlete support community. It also ensures that Anti-Doping Athlete Support Personnel recognize and understand their important role in keeping sport clean. UKAD Director of Communications and Education Nicola Newman said UKAD appreciates the vital role athlete support personnel play in promoting the values of clean sport and the trust athletes place in them to provide accurate and clear anti-doping advice. Newman added this Forum was an important opportunity to engage with this group and ensure they appreciate their expanded role and responsibilities ahead of the 2015 Code. British Olympic Association (BOA) Intensive Rehabilitation Unit Manager James Moore said the event has attracted such a wide variety of sports and some of the best people in their disciplines. Moore added he thinks it is great UKAD has initiated this and engaged with this group.

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Sunday 06, Jul 2014

  Sporting Community Must Maintain Its Support For Substantial Assistance

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UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson recently emphasized on the importance of substantial assistance and why sporting community must maintain its support for it in a serious fight against doping.

Parkinson remarked the world will have a new anti-doping Code from January 1, 2015 and the purpose of these rules is to bind sports, anti-doping organizations, athletes and athlete support personnel to an agreed approach to tackling the global problem of doping in sport. The UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive added this New Code reinforces accepted principles and practices from the past decade and introduces new ways in which all those involved in sport can protect athletes at risk of making the wrong decision.

The UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive went on to add that the first thing to recognize is that a doping athlete does not always, or indeed normally, work in isolation and added that all too often we see that the athlete is just the tip of an iceberg of highly profitable and illegal activities. He further remarked this is why we work with law enforcement agencies, to shape our understanding of the trafficking, importation and manufacture of performance-enhancing substances and this information influences how, when and who we might pursue, and where our focus needs to lie and added that sufficient evidence can lead, and has done in many jurisdictions including in the UK, to the successful prosecution of both athletes and their entourage.

Parkinson also said it follows that those that we catch can also provide us with invaluable information and evidence, such as how they sourced doping substances, or who else was involved and this can help us prevent other athletes going down a similar path in the future and can assist all anti-doping organizations in refining their strategies to prevent doping. He also said the Code states that, if the information provided does not result in such an outcome, the suspension can be lifted with the original ban returned and this provision exists in the current rules and will remain largely unchanged from 1 January 2015, except for one significant modification where, in truly exceptional circumstances, the World Anti-Doping Agency may agree the suspension of bans greater than those permitted to be agreed by other anti-doping organizations.

While explaining the role of substantial assistance, Parkinson added we understand that this is sometimes a difficult concept to support, the idea of lessening a doper’s ban in return for information but remarked if we really want to prevent doping, we must recognize that as the end user, the doping athlete may not be exclusively culpable for their activities. He also said athletes regularly tell us that the entourage involved in doping need to be held to account and substantial assistance offers one means to receive the evidence to achieve this aim.

UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson added that recent media coverage shows varying degrees of understanding and acceptance of the World Anti-Doping Code provision for substantial assistance, a tool that allows for credit to be given to athletes and support personnel who assist anti-doping organizations pursue others involved in doping. He said in any such situation, part of a ban imposed on an individual can be suspended on the basis that information provided results in discovering or establishing an anti-doping rule violation or criminal conviction of another person.

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Thursday 27, Jun 2013

  BOA Lifetime Ban On Drugs Cheats Is Impending UKAD Work

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BOA Lifetime Ban On Drugs Cheats Is Impending UKAD Work

The chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), Andy Parkinson, has warned that the lifetime ban on drug cheats by the British Olympic Association (BOA) is impeding the battle to stamp out the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport.

The new rule of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on banning an athlete from competing in the next Games after they have tested positive was also criticized by Parkinson who said it would be easier if everyone followed the standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which have established a suspension of two years as the fairest penalty for an athlete testing positive for banned drugs for the first time. Parkinson added that we seen in the United States and also in the United Kingdom how going beyond the anti-doping rules established by WADA creates confusion and impedes our role and also said the World Anti-Doping Code, agreed at an international level, encourages athletes to provide substantial assistance which can be grounds for a reduction in the sanction period.

Any athlete who tests positive for banned drugs is automatically prevented from representing Britain in the Olympics, under the rules of the BOA but the Britain’s anti-doping chief believes that athletes would be more willing to cooperate with them if there was an incentive for them to be allowed to compete in the Olympics.

Parkinson said if, as is the case with the eligibility rules of the International Olympic Committee and here in the UK the British Olympic Association, we remove all incentives for athletes to share their stories and information with us, then we will continue to struggle to catch those who are supplying performance enhancing drugs and often operate on the edges of sport with relative impunity and it is clear that this is a hard message to get across and to agree on, largely because these eligibility rules are easy to defend, but if we cannot be seen to be working with all athletes, then what hope do we have in really getting to the heart of the doping problem and to those that traffic and supply. He also added that the fight against doping now more than ever requires a mature and coordinated effort to work together and UK Anti-Doping has firmly established itself in its first year and offers the chance to continue to play a lead role at home and overseas to better protect the rights of athletes to compete in doping-free sport.

The views of Parkinson echoed that of Dick Pound who claimed in 2008 that he did not believe that the BOA rule would survive, if it was challenged legally.

Since 1992, by-law 25 has been on the BOA’s statute book when it was decided by the then chairman Sir Arthur Gold that Britain must take the moral high ground in the fight against doping. The British Olympic Association is now the only national Olympic committee to maintain this hard-line stance but have always maintained that it will “vigorously” defend any attempt to remove the anti-doping by-law.

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Sunday 26, May 2013

  Harsher Global Doping Code Planned By WADA

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Harsher Global Doping Code Planned By WADA/strong>

Top officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency are honing a new global code that includes doubling suspensions for some drug cheats. The executive committee and foundation board of the anti-doping agency recently met in Montreal for reviewing the third draft of the proposed 2015 World Anti-Doping code that will come up for approval at the November 12-15 World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.

Last November, the anti-doping agency revealed that it has plans to increase bans for serious violations from two years to four years and its president, John Fahey, said the final revision was intended to make the code shorter and sharper. Fahey remarked the World Anti-Doping Agency had received almost 4,000 individual comments about the code since starting the review in November 2011. The updates follow a two-year consultation process, which ended in March. WADA received a total of 174 submissions, which were revised to create a new version of the international code.

In a WADA statement, Fahey remarked WADA values the input of these stakeholders and is pleased with the level of their engagement throughout the review process and added that WADA continually seeks to enhance the framework that supports the anti-doping system, and revisions depend on these contributions.

Presently, athletes found guilty of a first major doping offense are handed a ban of two years with any subsequent positive test incurring a life-ban. The longer ban would be introduced for offenses that include the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents and trafficking, according to a second draft of the 2015 WADA code that was reviewed. Fahey said there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community to strengthen the sanction articles in the code and this second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.

The proposed new code also defines punishments in cases involving coaches and other athletic support staff among other amendments with an emphasis on testing and investigations along with the longer sanctions for athletes caught using prohibited performance-enhancing substances. Fahey remarked quality WADA-approved testing programs are needed to ensure that testing is effective and that sophisticated cheaters are found, which will ultimately advance the fight against doping in sport. He also remarked the agency heard a strong demand from athletes to strengthen the consequences for those who intentionally set out to get an advantage by doping and added we are in the business to protect the overwhelming majority of clean athletes around the world and the way you protect clean athletes and support them is to deal properly and effectively with the cheats.

The new code is expected to come into effect in 2015.

The agency also decided to immediately implement a modification to increase the threshold level for marijuana to ensure that athletes using the substance in competition will be detected. The Kenyan government was also urged by the Athlete Committee to put in place an independent inquiry to investigate the doping allegations involving some Kenyan athletes.

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Tuesday 12, Mar 2013

  Five 2005 World Medalists Caught

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Five 2005 World Medalists Caught

Five medal-winning athletes have been caught doping after samples from the 2005 World Championships were recently tested again.

One of the five was Belarusian shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who won gold in Helsinki and was stripped of her London Olympic gold medal for doping while the other two champions from 2005 were the hammer throwers Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus and Olga Kuzenkova of Russia. Long-jumper Tatyana Kotova, who won silver in 2005 and 2003 and Kotova also won gold at the 2002 European Championships, when GB’s Jade Johnson was fourth, is another caught. Vadim Devyatovskiy of Belarus who claimed silver in the men’s hammer, and countryman Andrei Mikhnevich, who did not win a medal in Helsinki but was world champion in 2003, were also caught.

Vladislav Piskunov of Ukraine who had finished 12th in the men’s Hammer Throw, and Neelam Jaswant Singh of India who was 9th in Group A of the women’s Discus Throw qualification, had already been sanctioned and disqualified for doping violations at the 2005 IAAF World Championships, Helsinki, Finland.

It is obvious that the substances involved in the doping cases will all merit sanctions in the serious doping category that includes anabolic steroids. This means that there would generally be an automatic ban of two years for first offenders and others with past doping history could face longer bans. Last year, the International Association of Athletics Federations retested samples taken in Helsinki and Nick Davies, deputy general secretary of the governing body, said the retesting had been carried out eight years after the event to capitalize on the latest equipment and technology. These samples had been transferred to the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland following the World Championships for long-term storage in accordance with the IAAF retesting policy. Davies said we have an eight-year statute of limitations on anti-doping, so seven years past the event is really when you want to test, using the most up-to-date equipments. Athletes can be sanctioned for a violation up to eight years after they provide their urine or blood samples for a drug test under the World Anti-Doping Code.

About 100 samples were tested, from a range of events and nationalities, remarked Davies and explained that Russians were more likely to be tested than most nationalities due to the fact there were more of them in the IAAF testing pool. The deputy general secretary of the governing body remarked Russia is the second-most successful nation behind the United States and as a result we are testing more Russian athletes more often.

IAAF President Lamine Diack said the message of the International Association of Athletics Federations to cheaters is increasingly clear that, with constant advancements being made in doping detection, there is no place to hide and this re-testing is just the latest example of the IAAF’s firm resolve to expose cheating in our sport. The IAAF will continue to do everything in its power to ensure the credibility of competition, and where the rules have been broken, will systematically uncover the cheats. Diack says the findings confirm the sport’s commitment to rooting out those suspected of foul play.

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