In January 2009 UK Athletics (UKA) published the conclusions of Dame Tanni Grey Thompson’s anti-doping review. A period of international quarantine following a doping ban, financial penalties for missed tests and a clear rehabilitation programme are just three of the 22 recommendations made by Dame Tanni.
The review, commissioned by UKA Chief Executive Niels de Vos, investigated three key areas
1. The policies of UK Athletics regards anti-doping
2. The penalties that UK Athletics might impose under WADA & IAAF rules.
3. The education of athletes and coaches.
Dame Tanni was joined on the review panel by four leading authorities from athletics and world sport; Ed Moses, Colin Jackson, Mike Lee and John Scott. In addition to a general call for submissions from the public, over 400 stakeholders were contacted by email which included athletes, coaches, other NGBs, Government and journalists.
Dame Tanni, who has conducted the review over six months, said:
“What was very clear from the review was that internationally we are all operating at very different standards and UKA needs to continue to lobby to achieve harmonisation of tough standards. There was also widespread support, especially from current athletes, for a longer four year ban, and this is something we need to collectively push for. What the sport wants to do and what it is able to do legally are often at conflict. Athletics has to operate within international laws however insufficient it may view them as.
“We have a collective responsibility as athletes, administrators, coaches and parents to ensure a greater cultural understanding of what it takes to be involved in doping and to use this in a positive way, in order to better educate a younger generation.”
A number of the recommendations are focused around the education process and the need to begin delivery at an earlier age. UK Athletics have also committed additional resources to enhancing this area and widening the reach of the UKA anti-doping team.
Niels de Vos, UKA Chief Executive added:
“I and the UKA Board would like to place on record our thanks to Tanni and the panel for giving their valuable time to this review. We will adopt all 22 of the recommendations which fulfill my original objectives of tightening up our rules and procedures to ensure absolute clarity amongst all athletes as to the consequences of taking performance enhancing drugs.
“The recommendations made by this review mean that any athlete stupid enough to do so will not only destroy their career as an athlete, but also any future career in the sport as an administrator or coach – the deterrent just got much stronger.
“Since I commissioned the review, the anti-doping landscape has changed drastically, supporting our initial observations. Euromeets will no longer allow athletes with two year bans to compete in their events, the major shoe companies will not endorse these athletes and recently the big agents have taken a decision not to represent athletes who have a serious doping conviction.”
”Additionally I think it is important to note the extent to which British athletes are demonstrating their commitment to our rigorous anti-doping programme. There are now no GB athletes on two missed tests and ten athletes on one missed test. Our ambition now is to get that down to zero, but we have come a long way over the last twelve months.”
The recommendations have been adopted by the board with immediate effect.