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Sports: Drugs

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL9562, tabled on 26 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a claim by athletes at a testing location that someone in their household is self-isolating, quarantining or shielding provides sufficient grounds for UK Anti-Doping not to continue with testing; and how many cases in each of these categories have been noted by UK Anti-Doping since the restrictions arising from COVID-19 were imposed.

Answered on

3 November 2020

If attempting testing at an athlete’s home, Doping Control Personnel or “Testers” will check whether anyone present at the athlete’s residence is self-isolating, quarantining or shielding. If so, then this would provide sufficient grounds for UK Anti-Doping not to continue with testing. If testing outside of an athlete’s home, Doping Control Personnel will check the athlete does not have Covid-19, Covid-19 symptoms, or is in an at risk-group before proceeding. UK Anti-Doping has developed a protocol which its Doping Control Personnel are required to follow to determine whether an athlete can be tested. This procedure is in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s guidance for resuming testing, and is fully outlined on UK Anti-Doping’s website.

Doping Control Personnel also warn the athlete that if they (or anyone else on their behalf) provide any information which is later found to be false, misleading, inaccurate or incomplete they may be committing the Anti-Doping Rule Violation of ‘Tampering or Attempted Tampering’ which could result in sanctions.

So far, there have not been any cases where testing has not proceeded due to self-isolation, quarantining or shielding.