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UK Athletics Outlines POC Recommendations

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11 January 2016

On the day that UK Athletics (UKA) has published ‘A Manifesto for Clean Athletics’, it has also outlined the key recommendations stemming from the findings of the independent audit into its engagement with the Oregon Project carried out by the Performance Oversight Committee (POC) with additional external expertise.

With specific regard to objective 3 of the Oregon Project Group’s Terms of Reference (to consider any lessons learned as a result of this specific review for UKA’s overall Performance Programme), the review has made a number of recommendations regarding UK Athletics’ performance governance processes.

During the Review the POC and its external experts analysed the recording and reporting systems and processes that UKA had in place underpinning the support provided to all World Class Performance Programme athletes.  As previously reported, the review did not find any evidence of inappropriate behaviour or actions on behalf of UKA staff or consultants. It did conclude there were a number of processes that could be further strengthened so UKA could have the confidence that everything possible was being done to ensure all British athletes compete clean and that long term athlete health and well-being will always be given the highest priority.

Therefore the Board of UKA has decided to extend the terms of reference of the Performance Oversight Committee, including its use of independent and external expertise, to continue a specific focus on ensuring the maintenance of best practice by UKA in the delivery and recording of support provided to athletes.  This will ensure that UKA remains at the forefront of Clean Athletics both in terms of anti-doping and athlete health.

UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner said:

“A central theme to our Manifesto for Clean Athletics is the need for transparency, and as a result we have chosen to publish the relevant POC recommendations earlier than anticipated to demonstrate our commitment to this cause.

“Now more than ever athletics needs to demonstrate it is prepared to make further changes and go that extra mile to remain at the forefront of clean sport.

“Current best practice does not guarantee future best practice and while the POC have been reassured by the processes we currently have in place, we are all committed to ensuring that we are able to maintain these standards into the future.”

Core Recommendations:

Recommendation A)      UK Athletics to extend the remit of the POC, including appropriate external representation, to ensure UK Athletics continue to operate with best practise when implementing all athlete performance programmes.

This extended remit to include:

·         To ensure there are full and proper recording of all medical, legal and ethical considerations given prior to the implementation of all athlete performance programmes. And that the processes underpinning these decisions constitute best practice.

·         A continuing audit of the organisation’s medical record keeping is maintained including exploration of the legal and ethical challenges of storing performance and medical data while enabling expert analysis when required.

Recommendation B)      UK Athletics to undertake and record the process of due diligence whenever a WCPP supported athlete wishes to move to a foreign coach, or when UK Athletics as an organisation considers having a working relationship with a coach/consultant.

Recommendation C)      As part of its standard recruitment process UK Athletics to undertake and record the process of due diligence for all performance staff and consultants.

Recommendation D)      UK Athletics to explore the principle that all athletes in receipt of support from UK Athletics should be required to sign a performance athlete agreement that outlines their moral and ethical obligations.

Recommendation E)      All performance staff and consultants, whether paid or unpaid, employed or contractor, to sign as a minimum, a short form contract stating UK Athletics’ requirements of them.