Raising the standard of anti-doping practices: UKAD releases progress report on the Assurance Framework

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today released a progress report on the Assurance Framework, highlighting that 158 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport have now evidenced all of the Assurance Framework requirements.

The Assurance Framework was launched in 2021 alongside the updated publication of the UK National Anti-Doping Policy by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Meeting the 24 Assurance Framework requirements acts as the first step an NGB must take towards meeting its obligations set out in the UK National Anti-Doping Policy. Since the Assurance Framework’s launch, UKAD has been supporting NGBs from across the UK to meet the new requirements, with assistance provided by the UK Sports Councils.

The Assurance Framework reinforces UKAD’s and each NGB’s role in taking decisive action against potential dopers in sport; and holds sports to account on the compliance of their anti-doping practices.

One focus is the NGBs’ education strategies. UKAD has created a network of qualified anti-doping leads who work within the NGBs and act across both organisational and Board level decisions to raise the standard of anti-doping practices in the sport. The NGBs’ education strategies include an ‘Education First’ principle that ensures education and information is given early to athletes at the beginning of their career to better inform and educate on the risks and consequences of doping in sport.

The next stage in the development of the Assurance Framework is to continue the support programme that UKAD has been providing via a dedicated Assurance team, and to regularly assess the compliance of sports against the UK National Anti-Doping Policy to ensure standards continue to be met.

Paul Ouseley, UKAD’s Head of Assurance, said:

“For all of the NGBs that have met the 24 requirements of the Assurance Framework, we believe their actions will start to become embedded in their day-to-day activities. For example, by discussing anti-doping at Board level and reviewing the effectiveness of anti-doping activities across the sport, we hope that each NGB will embed these practices alongside the other risks they consider the norm as part of the management of the sport.

Going forward, we would like to see more anti-doping education and information being implemented in sports from a young age and early in the pathway of an athlete’s career.”

Jane Rumble, UKAD’s Chief Executive, added:

“The report outlines the extensive progress made across the UK since the launch of DCMS’ latest UK National Anti-Doping Policy. Some of the requirements in the Assurance Framework take a considerable effort to action, especially for sports with less public funding, and we value the commitment from all 158 NGBs that have met the requirements of the Assurance Framework. In the interest of clean sport, all NGBs have a responsibility to meet the mandatory requirements. I am looking forward to the continued partnership with NGBs to drive a culture of clean sport in the UK.”

Stuart Andrew, DCMS Sports Minister, said:

"The UK is a world-leader in anti-doping and the Assurance Framework is already making a difference to protect athletes at all levels of sport.

"I am encouraged that National Governing Bodies are making strong progress on adhering to these requirements and making significant steps to promote and protect clean sport."