UK Anti-Doping reveal rise in doping claims in 2023

UK Anti-Doping chiefs have hailed the success of the Protect Your Sport system following a significant increase in doping reports over the past year.

New figures reveal the organisation received 184 reports of suspected doping in 2023 through its confidential reporting channel.

This is a drastic jump compared to previous years, with just 10 reports received in 2020, 75 in 2021, and 110 in 2022.

Mario Theophanous, UKAD’s Head of Intelligence and Investigations, said: “We are delighted that year on year more reports are coming in to UKAD.

“By releasing our Protect Your Sport reporting numbers, we hope to encourage others to come forward.

“We want people to know that they are not alone when it comes to voicing their concerns around doping in sport, and that reporting to UKAD is both safe, easy and the right thing to do. 

“The ongoing Protect Your Sport campaign has been hugely successful, and I would like to thank all the individuals who have come forward to date to share information in their sport.”

UKAD received reports from 25 different sports in 2023, 68 of which concerned national-level participants, and of the 24 Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) sanctions that UKAD published, 46% arose following receipt of intelligence reports from the sport community and wider public.

Under the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, it is an offence to either discourage the reporting of information or to retaliate against an individual for sharing information.

Protect Your Sport was launched in November 2020 with the aim of boosting the number and quality of intelligence reports coming through to UKAD from the elite sport community and to further their work, the organisation recently commissioned academic research into the behavioural science of whistleblowing.

“My team has been trusted by individuals to act on their information, and to protect their identities, which is of the upmost importance to us,” Theophanous added.

“However small you may feel the information is, we want to hear it, so that we can act, fight for fairness and ensure there is a level playing field for athletes. It takes a team to protect clean sport.” 

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