Record Number of Tests in the Past Year as UK Sport Announces Anti-Doping Plans for 2006/07
Among the highlights for the forthcoming year are to:
· Progress the development of ‘intelligent testing’ as the means through which tests across all sports will be allocated.
· Ensure that at least 55% of tests conducted are no notice, out-of-competition tests, as part of an ongoing commitment to shift towards this type of testing.
· Build up a network of 300 accredited tutor/advisers to deliver anti-doping information and advice to current and future sportsmen and women.
· Embark on a six-year programme of social science research to identify how and when the attitudes and values of talented athletes between the ages of 12 and 21 years alter towards anti-doping as they move through the Performance Pathway.
Details of these, and other key targets for the year are laid out in UK Sport’s revised Manifesto for Drug-Free Sport which has been published today.
John Scott, Director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport said:
“The Manifesto sets outs what we aim to achieve over the next 12 months and we are making the commitment to report publicly on our progress every quarter. Through the Manifesto we are keen to get across the great breadth of work we do in anti-doping, which goes far beyond simply carrying out drug tests. As the sophistication increases of the small minority who look to break the rules, the way in which we are approaching the fight against doping has evolved, for example focusing more on education and research.
“Whilst we have attained a record number of tests in the past year, that is not necessarily an indication of where we are heading. I actually believe that merely increasing the number of tests across the board is not the most effective method of minimising the threat of doping. Instead we need to ensure that each test we do carry out is properly targeted at sportsmen and women considered to be in a ‘high risk’ category, thereby maximising the deterrent effect of the test. That is why we intend to further build on the idea of ‘intelligent testing’ to govern the allocation of tests, and continue to focus on the no-notice out-of-competition tests which formed over 50% of all tests for the first time in the past year.”
As well as looking ahead, UK Sport has also today published the last set of quarterly results for 2005/06, along with a summary of tests for the full year.
For the period from 1 January-31 March, 2,850 tests were carried out, taking the total for the year to 7,968. This is well above the 7,000 that were planned, mainly due to the comprehensive testing programme undertaken before the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Commonwealth Games. The pre-Commonwealth Games programme saw 893 tests carried out on home country competitors before they travelled to Melbourne, accounting for 87% of those taking part. A total of 79% of these tests were conducted out-of-competition, with the role intelligent testing is starting to play highlighted by the fact that 91% of the 241 home country medallists were tested in the run up to the Games.
To date, 62 of the 7,968 tests have produced an adverse finding, including refusals, and have been through the full disciplinary process. A number of other cases are currently going through this process and full details of these will be published on UK Sport’s Drug Results Database when they reach a conclusion. Indications are that the proportion of adverse findings to total tests will be less than 1.5%, a slight fall on the previous year and below the worldwide average.
NOTES TO EDITORS
· UK Sport works in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success by supporting world class performance, worldwide impact and world class standards.
· In running the drug testing programme, UK Sport is responsible for the collection of samples, arranging the analysis of samples at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory and reporting all test results to the appropriate governing body. UK Sport also runs a thorough education and information programme for athletes and their support staff.
· The quarterly figures released are for the period from January-March 2006 and are available to download from UK Sport’s website – http://www.uksport.gov.uk/.
· The UK Sport Manifesto for Drug-Free Sport is available to download via http://www.uksport.gov.uk/
· UK Sport’s Drug Results Database includes details of all findings that have been through the entire disciplinary process since April 2003. Outcome of Cases are added to the database within 20 days after it has been determined in a hearing that an anti-doping rule violation has occurred. The Database is available at www.uksport.gov.uk/drd.
· More information is available by calling Russell Langley at the UK Sport press office: 020 7211 5108 / 07880 740772.