18th March 2020
UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead said: “We are acutely aware of the effect that the COVID-19 virus is having on society, sport and the wider sporting community, both here in the UK and globally.
“With the cancellation of sporting events and recent UK Government advice concerning the control of the virus, we have reviewed our operational activity and are announcing a significant reduction in our testing programme.
“This is a difficult decision and one that has not been taken lightly. Our priority is the health and welfare of athletes, and our own staff and doping control officers (DCO).
As an organisation our ongoing responsibility remains to protect clean sport, but we must give precedence to health and welfare and act responsibly in line with government advice during this unprecedented time.
“We will continue to process intelligence and will act on that information. If anyone has information that could be of interest to UKAD and its investigations on any matter, please do contact us as usual.”
Additional important information:
- Athletes who are required to submit whereabouts must continue to do so and we encourage them to record on ADAMS if they are self-isolating,
- UKAD’s athlete (and support personnel) education programme will continue. This will be conducted through online webinar sessions,
- If British athletes are overseas and testing is taking place in that country, our advice is that athletes continue with the doping control process and record any concerns on the doping control form.
- If an athlete has any concerns over the testing programme then please contact UKAD as they would normally do so.
Where testing will take place, maximum precautions will be implemented to protect the athlete and the Doping Control Officer, including:
- DCO wearing personal protective equipment (where available).
- Maintaining a 6ft distance between the athlete and the DCO.
- DCO selection will be in line with government advice and consider recent travel history and high-risk criteria (such as age or underlying health conditions).
UKAD retains the right to undertake testing at any time.