Doping: Nicole Sapstead says sport is ‘at critical point’ – BBC Sport – BBC Sport

UK anti-doping (UKAD) chief Nicole Sapstead

Nicole Sapstead says new research on the impact of doping stories is “worrying”

Sport in the UK is “at a critical point in the fight against doping”, according to UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) chief executive Nicole Sapstead.

In March Sapstead gave evidence in parliament over doping in sport.

And earlier this year Ukad said drug use at every level of sport is “fast becoming a crisis”.

“Unless action is stepped up to help us fight the cheats, we may find that both sports audiences and participation decrease in the future,” Sapstead said.

Speaking to MPs on the Culture Media and Sport select committee in March, Sapstead questioned British Cycling, Team Sky and their doctor Richard Freeman over record-keeping of drugs given to riders.

To mark the start of Ukad’s National Clean Sport Week Sapstead said 48% of Britons think doping is widespread.

A survey of 2,000 people carried out by Ukad also found 66% of respondents think that stories about an elite athlete or athletes doping in sport have had a negative impact on their trust in the integrity of sport, the organisation said.

She added: “This isn’t the true picture in Britain. The public don’t know about the reality.

“It’s worrying that so many people are losing their trust in the integrity of sport because of stories they see in the media, which are making them believe doping is more widespread than it actually is.”

National Clean Sport Week is a campaign to highlight the work being done by Ukad to ensure sport in the UK is clean.

Since its inception in 2009, Ukad said it has conducted more than 58,000 tests across 50 sports and has prosecuted 194 anti-doping rule violations.

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