Sporting Champions Commit To Being “100% ME”
British sportsmen and women are being given the opportunity to pledge their commitment to drug-free sport through a new campaign launched today by UK Sport. “100% ME”, which already has the backing of some of the biggest names in British sport, seeks to “create a generation of sportsmen and women who know they don’t need to use prohibited substances or methods to be successful”.
As John Scott, Director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport, the National Anti-Doping Organisation for the UK, explained, the campaign aims not only to ensure that sportspeople are fully aware of their responsibilities with regards to anti-doping by making timely and accurate information widely available, but also to create a positive identity for them as drug-free competitors.
“The focus traditionally is on the small minority of sportsmen and women who don’t abide by the rules,” he said. “Through 100% ME we want to switch the attention to those who choose to compete drug-free, and celebrate the success they achieve as drug-free athletes through sheer hard work, dedication and belief.”
The campaign already has the backing of some of the biggest names in British sport. The list of ambassadors committed to 100% ME includes the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Paula Radcliffe, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paul Sculthorpe, Ledley King and Chris Hoy. In total, 30 ambassadors have been signed up who, through their performances both in and out of the sporting arena, will serve as an inspiration to their peers and the next generation of sporting champions.
Scott said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the campaign from British sport. The number, and quality, of ambassadors already signed up is testimony to the commitment there is to make sport clean and fair for all.”
The 100% ME campaign will be delivered through three routes:
· Outreach – the promotion of drug-free sport to athletes, support staff, juniors, parents and teachers through attendance at sports events, workshops, training sessions and schools across the UK.
· Accreditation – the development of a network of trained and accredited tutors and advisers who can provide relevant and up-to-date anti-doping information and advice to current and future sportspeople.
· Ambassadors – the use of drug-free competitors from all sports to highlight the skills and attributes needed to be successful.
“Through 100% ME there will be an unprecedented network of support for sportsmen and women – both in terms of face-to-face contact with anti-doping experts, and through our range of information resources,” said Scott. “This will enable athletes in all sports to make sensible, informed decisions about what they should and shouldn’t be taking. This should also help minimise the incidents of ‘inadvertent’ doping, so there really will be no excuse as to why a prohibited substance is in your system.”
Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “I am proud that it is the UK taking the lead in drug-free sport education by developing a campaign which sets the standards for other National Anti-Doping Organisations to follow. 100% ME will not only benefit current sportsmen and women, but will also act as an inspiration to young people to get involved in, and enjoy, sport.”
UK Sport’s 100% ME campaign is the first national drug-free sport education campaign to be backed by the World Anti-Doping Agency. David Howman, Director General of WADA, said: “This campaign is of particular significance as education is one of the important long term solutions to the problem of doping in sport. We are encouraged by this initiative and look forward to its development and hearing of its use.”
The campaign is not simply focused on top level sport, and UK Sport is encouraging everyone who plays sport, professionally or just for fun, to be “100% ME”. “Anyone who participates in sport, and believes that it should be clean and fair, can get involved,” said Scott. “Whatever your sport, whatever level you play at, you can pledge to be 100% ME and show the world that Britain is serious when it comes to tackling doping in sport.”
A pledge to be 100% ME can be made by visiting the new website – http://www.100percentme.co.uk/ – and clicking on ‘Support 100% ME”. UK Sport hopes to have 5,000 people backing the campaign by the end of 2006. The website acts as a first port of call for anti-doping information. Structured around the needs of sportspeople, their support staff, and young people, it features all the resources and information sources available to competitors, details of forthcoming 100% ME Outreach events, and the latest developments in drug-free sport.
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 its role as the UK’s National Anti-Doping Organisation, UK Sport is responsible for the implementation and management of the UK's anti-doping policy. As part of this, UK Sport co-ordinates the UK's testing programme, which in the past year saw over 6,500 tests carried out across 49 sports. In addition, UK Sport provides British athletes and their support personnel with a number of services and resources to help them make the right decisions about what substances they can and cannot use.
· For more information visit http://www.100percentme.co.uk/ or call Russell Langley in the UK Sport press office on 07880 740772.