Andy Parkinson, chief executive of UK Anti-Doping, explains how the UK is taking a tough stance on doping in the run up to London 2012.
This week some of sport’s leading figures gathered in Trafalgar Square to unveil Win Clean, the international anti-doping campaign, ahead of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Win Clean’s strap line: “Say No to Doping”, is the same as that used by the World Anti-Doping Agency and targets all athletes hoping to compete in London next summer. The campaign’s primary audience is the athletes and teams who are coming to the UK from abroad, as we aim to inform and educate them on their rights and responsibilities regarding anti-doping.
As a nation we are counting down the days to the start of the Games with great anticipation and it was no coincidence that the campaign launch took place in the shadow of the official Omega countdown clock on Trafalgar Square. When the Olympic Village opens next July, we will welcome clean athletes and all those who support clean sport. However, anyone who might be looking to unfairly enhance their performance should be warned that the UK is taking tough measures to make London 2012 the cleanest Games ever.
In this country we have a robust and stringent anti-doping programme, aiming to lead the way in the global fight against doping. This is reflected by the strength of the collaboration we have in the Win Clean campaign, which brought together strong domestic partners in Government, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and UK Anti-Doping, with international backing from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
It was great to see leading figures from each of these organisations, including Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, Debbie Jevans, Director of Sport at LOCOG, and Frédéric Donzé of WADA, coming together to sign up to the campaign in front of the media on Tuesday. We were joined by Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls Rachel Morris, Samson Oni and Stephanie Twell and it was an honour to have their presence and support at the launch.
The mission behind the campaign is to make London 2012 the cleanest Games ever and it is clear that our athletes expect nothing less. To underline this, a number have already backed the campaign by adding their names to the sign up board on the Win Clean website and I’d urge you all to do the same.
Win Clean will be rolled out at the Olympic and Paralympic test events taking place between now and the start of the Games, where education materials, provided by GlaxoSmithKline, the official lab services provider for London 2012, will be available to those competing. Further and more specific support will be made available online as we get closer to the Games.
Although Win Clean has been launched with London 2012 specifically in mind, this campaign is here to stay and the aim is that we will use it at major events hosted in the UK in the future. It has been developed very specifically, with events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow also on the horizon, as we aim to reinforce the message that it’s everyone’s responsibility to help make and keep sport clean.
As our Sport and Olympics Minister stressed at the launch, in this country we’ve adopted an intelligence-led approach to tackling doping and no-one should underestimate the techniques and partnerships we have in place.
Above all, the Win Clean campaign reiterates the important fact that doping in this country will not be tolerated.
Photos ©Crown copyright