A new survey conducted on behalf of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has shown the negative impact that doping in sport has on the public and how they engage with sports.
Over half of Brits (55%) surveyed said seeing news about doping in sport makes them think twice about how they engage with sport. The results show that it puts people off watching, supporting sport, buying tickets or merchandise, allowing their children to participate in or watch elite sport, or participating themselves. Doping was also ranked the second most damaging issue to the integrity of sport in the UK (41%) after racism (42%).
The survey results come at the start of UKAD's Clean Sport Week - a national celebration of clean sport and a chance for athletes, fans and teams to show their support for the values of fair play. Clean Sport Week 2022 is themed ‘What you see is 100% Me', a call to all athletes to show their commitment to competing clean ahead of a busy summer of action, including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
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As part of Clean Sport Week and in the build up to Birmingham 2022, UKAD is continuing its work with sporting bodies across the UK to ensure athletes and support personnel are educated on how to protect their sport. Everyone involved in sport has a role in protecting the values of fair play in sport and UKAD's new Introduction to Clean Sport course is an ideal place to start. Search for the Clean Sport Hub to get started on this free course, which provides a foundation for all learners and an overview of anti-doping and clean sport.
UKAD's Chief Executive Jane Rumble, who joined the organisation in March, said: "These research findings are a reminder that doping not only risks the integrity of the competition itself. Doping negatively impacts fans' views of their sport and affects how we behave and, concerningly also impacts parents' enthusiasm for encouraging their children to participate. These findings are a rallying cry for everyone who cares about sport to act.
"During Clean Sport Week we want to get as many people as possible to take up our free education courses via the Clean Sport Hub. It's vital that as clean sport advocates, parents, guardians, support personnel, and of course athletes, we all have the information we need to protect sport. "There are many in sport who are doing a great job in promoting clean sport and throughout the week you'll see sports and teams across the UK come together to share their commitment to keeping sport clean."
UKAD Athlete Commission member and GB sprinter, Bernice Wilson, added: "It is vital that all athletes and the people around them are up to date on their anti-doping education and know their rights and responsibilities. All athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games will be provided with a time via their sporting body to complete their clean sport education. Athletes can also sign up to UKAD's 100% me mobile app for other useful anti-doping information and should encourage those around them to also get educated via the Clean Sport Hub. It's simple and easy to get educated, no matter your role in sport, plus it's integral to fair play and maintaining the integrity of sport."
In addition to a jam-packed week of content being shared across UKAD's social media channels, the organisation has today announced that it is partnering with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to test a new tool which it hopes will contribute towards estimating the extent of doping in the UK, called the Doping Prevalence Survey Tool.
This involves a short anonymous survey for talented, national and international-level athletes across the UK to complete.
This trial of the Doping Prevalence Survey Tool will be rolled out to British athletes throughout the summer. More information will be provided to sporting bodies and athletes in the coming days.
To keep up to date on the latest UKAD news regarding Clean Sport Work, the Doping Prevalence Survey Tool roll out and more, follow @ukantidoping on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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