Anti-Doping

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All athletes have the right to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean. The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) believe in clean Canoeing and work in partnership with Sport NI, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), British Canoeing and Canoeing Ireland to ensure that the integrity of canoeing is protected.

The use of performance-enhancing drugs and other doping behaviour severely damages the legitimacy of sport and undermines the integrity of clean athletes.

Anti-Doping Rules

In the area of Anti-Doping, the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland defers to the jurisdiction of British Canoeing. The Anti-Doping rules of British Canoeing apply to the sport of Canoeing in Northern Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland shall recognize and take all the necessary steps to give full force and effect within its jurisdiction to the Anti-Doping rules; and to any sanction(s) imposed under the Anti-Doping Rules.

If you are a member of CANI then the anti-doping rules apply to you, regardless of what level you participate at

 Click here for the UK Anti-Doping Rules

Click here for the Irish Sport Council Anti-Doping Rules

There are many organisations that work hard to protect sport. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for leading the collaborative world-wide campaign for clean sport. Established in 1999 as an independent agency and funded by both sport and governments, it manages the development of the World Anti-Doping Code. The Code aims to harmonise all anti-doping policies ensuring that athletes and athlete support personnel are treated fairly and consistently.

The aims of the 2015 Code and WADA are to:

  • protect the Athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for Athletes worldwide, and
  • ensure harmonised, coordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at the international and national level with regard to detection, deterrence and prevention of doping

CANI as part of British Canoeing works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to prevent doping.  If athletes represent Ireland they must comply with the Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Programme.

UKAD is the national anti-doping agency for the UK, dedicated to protecting a culture of clean sport – it achieves this through implementing education and testing programmes, gathering and developing intelligence, and prosecuting those found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

UKAD is responsible for ensuring sports bodies in the UK are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code through the implementation and management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy.

100% me

100% me is UK Anti-Doping’s education programme for athletes – designed to provide information resources, education sessions and general advice to athletes throughout their sporting careers. Find out about 100% me in the dedicated athlete zone of the UKAD website.

Strict Liability

All CANI athletes need to be aware of the principle of strict liability. This means that all athletes are solely responsible for any banned substance they use, attempt to use, or that is found in their system, regardless of how it got there and whether or not they had an intention to cheat. It is crucial that athletes check all medications are safe to take prior to use. Medications can be checked online via Global DRO. Athletes must undertake thorough internet research of any supplement products before use – including the name of the product and the ingredients/substances listed. Information revealed as a result should be further investigated and we advise athletes to keep evidence of their search.

AntiDoping Rule Violations (ADRV’s)

The 2015 Code outlines ten Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs).  Athletes, and Athlete Support Personnel (ASP), may receive a ban from sport if any of the following ADRVs are committed:

  • Returning a positive test
  • Using, or attempting to use, a banned substance or method
  • Refusal or failure to provide a sample when requested
  • Tampering, or attempting to tamper, with any part of the testing process
  • Possession of a banned substance or method
  • Trafficking, or attempted trafficking, of any banned substance or method
  • Administering, or attempted administering, of a banned substance or method to an athlete; or encouragement, aiding and/or covering up of any involvement in an ADRV
  • Receiving any combination of three filing failures and/or missed tests in a time period of 18 months (for athletes who are part of the National Registered Testing Pool)
  • Complicity(new from 1 Jan 2015)
  • Prohibited Association(new from 1 Jan 2015)

Under the 2015 Code, a minimum four-year ban from sport will apply to those who are found to be deliberately cheating and breaking the rules. The 2015 Code has little sympathy for carelessness – for inadvertent doping, athletes are more likely to face a two-year ban from sport. All athletes, coaches and athlete support personnel need to make sure they have sufficient anti-doping knowledge to avoid committing an ADRV and receiving a ban from sport.

Managing risks

All banned substances and methods in Code-compliant sports are outlined in the Prohibited List, which is updated at the beginning of every calendar year, but may also be updated throughout the year. The latest Prohibited List can be found on the WADA website 

Before taking any medication (whether from a doctor or bought over the counter) athletes must check to make sure it does not contain any banned substances. For medications bought in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom or Japan these can be checked online at Global DRO [www.globaldro.co.uk]. For medications bought in the Republic of Ireland they can be checked online at Eirpharm It is important to note that medications bought in one country may contain different ingredients to the same branded medication in another country.

Athletes are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.

All athletes are advised to:

  • assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products
  • assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban

However, supplement risks can be reduced by:

  • undertaking thorough internet research
  • only using batch-tested products
  • checking on Informed-Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been batch tested

Visit the UKAD website for further information including information on the Informed Sport  programme, which provides a batch-testing service for supplement products.

Athletes who need to use a banned substance or method to treat a genuine medical condition, and there are no reasonable alternatives, may have to apply for a TUE.

  • International-level athletes (as defined by their International Federation) need to apply to their International Federation for a TUE
  • Athletes competing at National level need to apply to UKAD for a TUE

Athletes who have an existing TUE issued by UKAD do not need to reapply for a new TUE when becoming an International-Level Athlete. They should provide their International Federation with a copy of their TUE to ensure it is recognised.

Athletes listed under the ‘National’ category for their sport must apply for their TUE in advance of competing. The ‘National’ category for TUEs is defined by UKAD by sport and can be found on UKAD’s website. Only in an emergency situation or where there will be a severe impact on health should treatment begin without the necessary approval.

You can find out more about whether you need a TUE and how to apply for one (including emergency TUEs) on the UKAD website

Athletes should feel prepared and know their rights and responsibilities when they are notified to be tested by a Chaperone or Doping Control Officer. When selected for testing, athletes should take a representative with them to the Doping Control Station.

A urine test will follow these main steps:

  • Notification
  • Reporting to Doping Control Station
  • Providing a sample
  • Recording and certifying sample information

UK Anti-Doping recommends that athletes follow their normal hydration routines if selected for testing.

Athletes need to be prepared to provide details of any substances they have taken – this needs to be written on the Doping Control form. Athletes should report any concerns they have about the process or the equipment on the Doping Control form.

Athletes can find out more about testing, including their rights and responsibilities, in the Athlete Zone or by downloading the Clean Sport App from their app store.

Know Where to Look for Support and Advice

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about the anti-doping rules. As well as asking CANI, coaches and athlete support personnel, you may also contact UKAD directly, who will be able to answer any questions and provide guidance.

We all have a responsibility to report doping in sport and help keep it clean. A 24-hour dedicated phone line, hosted by Crime stoppers, is ready to take your call if you have any suspicions or concerns about incidences of doping in sport. You can provide information in complete confidence by calling 08000 32 23 32 or via a secure website. All information is passed securely to UKAD’s intelligence unit for investigation.

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For More Information from UKAD:

Keep up to date with the latest news on www.facebook.com/100percentme.uk or www.facebook.com/ukantidoping

Have your say on Twitter @UKAntiDoping or Twitter @PureWinnerNI

For further information please contact Matt McKnight CANI’s Anti-Doping Lead at Mattmcknight@cani.org.uk or +447887 404006