UK Sport, the national anti-doping organisation for the UK, has today announced that Canada has become the first country to follow its lead in providing online drug information to its athletes. Following on from UK Sport’s hugely successful Drug Information Database™ (DID), the two countries have joined forces the expand DID now found at (http://www.didglobal.com/) to start what is hoped will be a service adopted by other National Anti-Doping Organisations. The announcement came on the day that UK Sport released the latest set of results from the national testing programme.

“Our own Drug Information Database pioneered the way in which athletes and support staff could access accurate, up-to-date information on licensed medications and substances,” said John Scott, Director of Drug-Free Sport at UK Sport. “Its popularity far exceeded our expectations and we have been working hard to show our colleagues across the world what impact it has had.

“I am delighted that the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has come on board and now British and Canadian athletes, along with others who train in these countries, will benefit from having information at their fingertips to help them compete drug-free.”

UK Sport launched its Drug Information Database in January 2002. It contains information on around 4,000 substances and 6,000 products, covering most UK-licensed pharmaceutical products and many universally generic substances. This allows athletes and support personnel to check whether or not off-the-shelf medications they purchase from a chemist contain prohibited substances; the aim being to minimise the risk of inadvertent doping from poorly informed decisions. Since its launch, the Database has received an average of around 100 enquiries per day – peaking at over 150 a day in the run up to the Athens Olympics.

DID, which was developed by Elite Sport Ltd, has undergone a major facelift with information on products available for purchase in Canada added to the ever growing database of substances. This has virtually doubled the number of substances and products athletes can seek advice about. The site also contains information, in English and French, about the classes of prohibited substances and methods, Therapeutic Use Exemptions, and travelling tips for athletes who train and compete abroad. The travelling athlete can also benefit by searching for multiple generic ingredients at one time, in effect, making up their own ingredients label for products they have purchased outside the UK or Canada.

Moving forward, UK Sport and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (the national anti-doping organisation in Canada) will continue to work together to actively promote DID to other anti-doping agencies around the world, as the two agencies continue to make their mark at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport.

Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES, said: “A long-term goal of this collaborative effort with UK Sport is to create a single online resource where athletes can obtain information on the sport status of medications and substances no matter where the product was purchased.”

The testing figures released today, covering the quarter running from July-September 2005, show that 1,396 tests were undertaken across 35 sports. Governing bodies receiving most tests during this period have been the Football Association (311), the International Association of Athletics Federations (138) and the Rugby Football League (102).

For the year to date (April-September 2005), 2,672 tests have been carried out and Andy van Neutegam, Head of National Anti-Doping Programme at UK Sport, is pleased with how the testing programme is progressing.

“We are currently going through a transition period as all sports move towards compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the new national policy,” he said. “This could have had a negative impact on the level of testing we were able to conduct, but thanks to the commitment to anti-doping that exists among the British sporting community this has not been the case.

“What is particularly pleasing from our point of view is that with more sports being inducted on to our new system for collecting athlete whereabouts information, we are able to increase the level of out-of-competition testing, be it at home or a training venue, which we know acts as the strongest deterrent to athletes.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

·         UK Sport works in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success by supporting world class performance, worldwide impact and world class standards.

·         In running the drug testing programme, UK Sport is responsible for the collection of samples, arranging the analysis of samples at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory and reporting all test results to the appropriate governing body. UK Sport also runs a thorough education and information programme for athletes and their support staff.

·         The quarterly figures released are for the period from July-September 2005 and are available to download from UK Sport’s website – http://www.uksport.gov.uk/. The data may include competitors tested on more than one occasion.

·         UK Sport’s Drug Results Database includes details of all findings that have been through the entire disciplinary process since April 2003. Over time, this will build up into a full historical record of the testing programme. The database is searchable by date of test, sport, governing body, and class and substance of drug, and provides details of the sanctions handed out for doping offences. Outcome of Cases are added to the database within 20 days after it has been determined in a hearing that an anti-doping rule violation has occurred. This ensures compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. The Database is available at www.uksport.gov.uk/drd.

·         The CCES is an independent, national, non-profit organisation. Its mission is to promote ethical conduct in all aspects of sport in Canada, is carried out through research, promotion, education, detection and deterrence, as well as through programmes and partnerships with other organisations.

·         Elite Sport Ltd supplies niche software solutions to national and international sports organisations and their member associations. More @ http://www.elite-sport.com/.

·         More information is available by calling Russell Langley at the UK Sport press office: 020 7211 5108 / 07880 740772.

Russell Langley
Communications Manager / Head of Press (Drug-Free Sport)
UK Sport
40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1ST
Tel: +44 (0)20 7211 5108
Fax: +44 (0)20 7211 5246
Mob: +44 (0)7880 740772
http://www.uksport.gov.uk/

Working in Partnership to Lead Sport in the UK to World Class Success