Karate Issues - Anti Doping in Sport

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Government are fully committed to stopping doping in sport.

The government is signed up to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, and supports the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its World Anti-Doping Code (the Code), which provides international guidelines to stop doping in sport.

The World Anti-Doping Code
The Code is an international set of rules and guidelines, developed to protect sport from doping. The Code aims to standardise rules across all sports and countries, including:

  • Strict liability – an athlete is held responsible if a banned substance is found in their body, no matter how it got there
  • Standardisation of anti-doping offences
  • A list of substances that are prohibited in-competition and out-of-competition and in different sports
  • An athlete's right to a fair hearing

The Code first came into force in 2004 and a revised code was introduced on 1 January 2009.

International Standards
The Code works in conjunction with five International Standards aimed at bringing standardisation among anti-doping organisations:

  • The list of prohibited substances and methods (updated annually)
  • International Standard for Testing
  • International Standard for Laboratories
  • International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions
  • International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information

Find out which drugs are prohibited by WADA, plus more about the WADA Code and International Standards, on the WADA website.

UK Anti-Doping
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is responsible for the UK’s anti-doping programme. This includes:

  • educating athletes and their support personnel
  • ensuring sports comply with anti-doping rules
  • testing athletes for substances on WADA’s Prohibited List
  • sharing information with law enforcement agencies in order to tackle those that traffic and supply doping substances
  • deciding whether athletes and support personnel have a case to answer for a potential anti-doping rule violation and presenting the evidence to an independent tribunal for adjudication.

Anti Doping Education
UKAD’s education programme, 100%ME, provides information and support to athletes and their support personnel, so that they can perform to the best of their ability without the use of drugs.
The programme promotes drug free sport through direct interaction with athletes, developing accredited anti-doping tutors and enlisting sports people as ambassadors for their sport. Visit the 100%ME website.
Access the Global Drug Reference Online to check the prohibited status of specific substances.

Sports Compliance
Sports in the UK must comply with the UK National Anti-Doping Policy and the WADA Code in order to be eligible for public funding and services, and to take part in sporting events. UKAD monitors National Governing Bodies’ compliance with the policy and instances of non-compliance are dealt with by an independent arbitrator.

Testing for Drugs
UK Anti-Doping is responsible for the implementation of an effective drugs testing programme in the UK, across more than 40 sports. It:

  • holds a register of Doping Control Officers (DCOs) who are appointed to collect samples from specific events, training sessions or individual athletes
  • trains, checks and registers all DCOs to ensure that a strict and high standard of sample collection is maintained

The 2008/09 testing programme saw more than 7500 tests carried out across more than 40 sports. At least sixty per cent of tests are conducted out-of-competition and with no advance notice. Details of the results can be found on UKAD’s website.

Working with Law Enforcement
UKAD is developing partnerships with law enforcement agencies to tackle those who traffic and supply doping substances to athletes. UKAD already shares information with the UK Border Agency and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and is working on a similar arrangement with the Serious Organised Crime Agency who would then act as a central gateway for sharing information with other law enforcement bodies.

Case Management
UKAD will decide whether an athlete or athlete support person has a ‘case to answer’ for an anti-doping rule violation, based on the available evidence. This decision will be independently reviewed. UKAD will then present the case to an independent tribunal set up by the National Anti-Doping Panel who provide arbitration and decide on the level of sanction (unless it has agreed to delegate this responsibility back to individual sports where they can provide assurances about their ability to conduct these cases properly).

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