Scottish Rugby backs second UK Anti-Doping Clean Sport Week

Scottish Rugby and its respective representative and professional teams are throwing their full support behind UK Anti-Doping’s second Clean Sport Week, which launches today (21 May).

This year’s campaign, which will again have the support of a range of National Governing Bodies (NGBs), sports organisations and UK sports stars, will celebrate clean athletes and their success, and promote the work of the anti-doping community in the fight for clean sport.

The campaign will also have a strong focus on supplement use and image enhancing culture in the UK, with new research set to be revealed during the week to encourage a wider public debate on the issue. 

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer Dr James Robson said: “Here at Scottish Rugby we’re delighted to support Clean Sport Week. We truly believe that the athlete is 100% responsible for what they put into their bodies and we just want a level playing field.

“Education around what to take is absolutely paramount. There is no substitute for being given the correct information. We have to give the players the tools and the right knowledge, and then it’s all about them making the right decisions.”

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “We take our responsibilities around anti-doping extremely seriously as it is vital to ensure the integrity of the game is protected.

“We are supporting Clean Sport Week as part of our excellent relationship with UKAD and the partnership we have to ensure every player in Scotland is adhering to the WADA Code and competing cleanly.

“As part of our commitment to anti-doping we have increased our investment with UKAD to upweight the volume of testing that can be carried out in Scotland, at all levels of the game, to act as both a deterrent and to help target those players we suspect of using banned substances.”

Scotland U2O vice-captain and Glasgow Warriors player Stafford McDowall said: “The main information and knowledge we get from our coaches and nutritionists with the U20’s is always food first.

“All the player in the squad will try and get their nutrition from food first, but in terms of supplements, we get given a lot of information on what to take – so it makes it really easy for us.

“Before the U20 Six Nations began, we all sat down and there was a great amount of education on what, or what not, to take. It’s great that when you’re on the field at U20 level, you know everyone is on a level playing field.”

A number of events will take place between 21-27 May to help raise awareness of clean sport and anti-doping programmes led by UKAD, NGBs and sporting bodies across the UK. The campaign will also feature social media videos from a number of UK athletes showing their support for clean sport, through a series called ‘Feat of Strength’.

Nicole Sapstead, UKAD’s Chief Executive, said: “Our education programme is a vital part of our prevention work at UKAD. We are committed to delivering a high-quality programme in collaboration with our partners.

Clean Sport Week provides the perfect platform for sports in the UK to come together and showcase the fantastic work going on from grassroots to elite level.

“At the same time, we believe there is also a vital public debate that needs to take place around the growing supplement culture in the UK and this year’s campaign will aim to do this. This has the potential to be a serious public health issue impacting on wider society and we want this debate to look at where people are obtaining their products, how aware they are of what is in them and the potential long-term effects of using them.” 

UKAD and its partners are supporting athletes from grassroots to elite level through one of the world’s most extensive education and intelligence-led testing programmes. It has 30 National Trainers who deliver clean sport education, over 200 Doping Control Personnel, who work as part of the sample collection process and more than 2,300 Accredited Advisors around the UK.

The organisation provides and supports a range of educational, anti-doping and clean sport resources to help athletes at all levels including its ‘100% Me’ programme.

UK Anti-Doping is responsible for ensuring sports bodies in the UK are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code through implementation and management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy.

UK Anti-Doping’s functions include an education and information programme, athlete testing across more than 40 Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports, intelligence management and exclusive results management authority for the determination of anti-doping rule violations.

Clean Sport Week is a partnership campaign between UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), National Governing Bodies and the wider British sporting family, which provides a platform to celebrate clean athletes and their success, and promote the work of the anti-doping community in the fight for clean sport.

Click here to find out more about Clean Sport Week or join in the conversation using #CleanSportWeeK.