- Nearly 800 more tests compared to same quarter last year
- Notable increases in tests for pro-sports ahead of the new season and winter sports ahead of Beijing Winter Games in February 2022
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has released its quarterly testing report for July to September 2021. As the impact of COVID-19 restrictions continued to ease, and ahead of the new pro-sports season and the Beijing Winter Olympics, UKAD has been able to deliver an extensive testing programme, returning to, and often exceeding, pre-pandemic numbers. In this second financial quarter of 2021, 2,233 tests were carried out (compared with 2,200 last quarter and 1,324 the quarter before that).
The most tested sports were football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, swimming and cycling.
View the full report here.
The figures show a significant increase of 800 more tests undertaken than the same quarter last year and a continuing upwards trend in numbers overall as UKAD ramped testing back up following easing of government restrictions on sport during COVID. During the same period last year UKAD, adhering to Government guidelines, delivered a COVID-safe and significantly reduced testing programme.
UKAD Deputy Director of Operations (Testing) Hamish Coffey said:
“After such a prolonged and challenging period as we all grappled with the pandemic, it is so good to see our testing programme back on track, and all whilst still protecting the safety of athletes and UKAD testers. Compared to the same quarter last year, we completed 2,233 tests, this is 800 more than the equivalent period in 2020. That we have continued to significantly boost testing numbers is credit to our hard-working teams, both internal and out in the field, who show dedication and professionalism in redoubling their efforts.
“UKAD will however continue to monitor the situation in respect of COVID-19 and Government guidance, and we will evolve and adapt as needed to ensure we keep the health and safety of athletes and UKAD testers at the core of our processes.
“Following Quarter One’s focus on pre-Games testing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, our attention shifted this quarter to other sporting priorities. Our focus also shifted to our winter sports programme ahead of the Beijing Winter Games in February 2022, with our pre-Games testing programme underway.
“The build-up to any major event is a high-risk period for doping, and through the delivery of a comprehensive, risk-based and intelligence-led testing programme, UKAD, along with all other anti-doping organisations, endeavours to keep all major sporting activities and events clean.
“Our education and outreach programmes, which aim to boost knowledge and awareness of the risks of doping, continue to be an especially important component of our work, focused on prevention, sporting integrity, and the value of fair play.”
In addition to UKAD collecting samples from British athletes in the UK, international tests of UK athletes based overseas while training or competing are conducted on behalf of UKAD by the local National Anti-Doping Organisation or private Sample Collection Agency. UK athletes may also have been tested by their respective International Federation.
Athletes are reminded that testing can happen anytime, anyplace.