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Paddle Clean - Anti Doping

We believe all athletes have the right to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean. In pursuit of clean canoeing, British Canoeing works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to ensure that the integrity of our sport is protected.

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The British Canoeing Paddle Clean programme aims to:

  • Create a generation of canoeists, who have confidence in their own ability to succeed in canoeing cleanly and who see anti-doping best practices as an integral part of being a canoeist. 
  • Create a generation of support personnel who understand that the canoeists they are involved with can succeed in canoeing cleanly and who see anti-doping best practices as an integral part of being involved with canoeing.

The basic principle of British Canoeing’s Paddle Clean education strategy for anti-doping shall be to support, promote and educate the canoeing community to take a positive approach to anti-doping, and integrate anti-doping best practices into the overall development of a canoeist.

British Canoeing will encourage its community to protect the spirit of canoeing and sport as a whole from being undermined by doping and to establish an environment which promotes doping-free behaviour among all members. 

Education will be delivered through targeted face to face workshops, outreach at events, online and through newsletters.

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

British Canoeing has in place a set of anti-doping rules that all athletes, coaches and athlete support personnel must abide by. The anti-doping rules for British Canoeing are consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code (2015), which governs anti-doping internationally.

You can find the following Anti-Doping rules below. These rules came into effect on 1st January 2015:

British Canoeing adopts the UK Anti-Doping Rules published by UK Anti-Doping (or its successor, as amended from time to time). Such rules shall take effect and be construed as the rules of British Canoeing.

If you are a member of British Canoeing, then the anti-doping rules apply to you regardless of what level you participate at. For Information on the 2015 Code changes including the Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) please download the relevant documents from the panel on the right. Below we have highlighted several areas of Anti-Doping which all athletes and support staff should familiarise themselves with.

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What is Strict Liability?

All 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.

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. Check the documents below for the up to date changes to the Prohibited List.

Checking Medication

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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. Medications can be checked online at Global DRO and athletes are advised to keep a record/copy of each search on file.

We strongly recommend that athletes regularly check every single substance or medication before use, even if it has been used before. It is worth considering that medicines purchased whilst abroad, even in what appears to be identical packaging, may contain different or additional ingredients to those bought in the UK and should always be checked on Global DRO before use.

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Know the Risks with Nutritional Supplements

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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.

Athletes must undertake thorough internet research of any supplement products before use to minimise the risk – 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.

All athletes are advised to:

  • assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist
  • assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • assess the consequences to their careers - before making a decision to use supplements, as use of prohibited supplements could result in a four year ban

However, supplement risks can be reduced by:

  • undertaking thorough internet research
  • only using batch-tested products
  • checking on Informed-Sport (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.

Apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

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 Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

There are two types of TUE available :

  • Advance TUE - Application for a TUE must be made in advance of using the prohibited medication.
  • Retroactive TUE - Athletes who are using a prohibited medication for therapeutic purposes, apply for a TUE only if and when they are selected for testing.

The ICF and UKAD stipulate the level of competition which requires a TUE.  Currently the categories are as follows:

Advance TUEs

An Advance TUE is required for athletes at the following levels of competition: 

  1. Canoeists included within the ICF and UK Anti-Doping's Registered Testing Pools
  2. Canoeists (all disciplines) selected to compete in the following ICF and ECA Events: World/European Championships; World/Euro Cup; and World Ranking Events

Only in emergency situations (e.g. allergic reaction, exacerbation of asthma, onset of bell's palsy) should treatment begin without TUE approval.

Retroactive TUEs

A Retroactive TUE is required for athletes not listed under the categories described in the advance section.

Athletes have five (5) working days to make a Retroactive TUE application to UK Anti-Doping following the receipt of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF).  Please contact British Canoeing or UKAD if you have any questions using the contact details below.

It is important to note that retroactive TUEs are considered against the same criteria as other TUEs and there is no guarantee than an application will be authorised.  All TUE applications need to be supported by medical evidence from your Doctor and it is important that athletes check with their Doctor that sufficient supporting evidence is available.  

Information on the criteria and evidence required for granting a TUE can be found here.

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 however, provide the ICF with a copy of their TUE to ensure it is recognised.

Drug Tests

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It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Doping Control Procedure so you know what to expect.

You may be competing in events where there are doping tests taking place. Although it may seem daunting, it’s part of being an athlete and confirms your achievements as a talented, clean athlete.

You can find more information about the testing procedure from UKAD here.  Alternatively British Canoeing have published a document providing information on Urine Doping Test Procedure.

Should you be drug-tested before becoming an international athlete and a as such not previously required to hold an Advance TUE you should do the following:

  • Note any medication you have used within 7 days of the test on the Doping Control Form.
  • Get in contact with British Canoeing Anti-Doping Lead Officer immediately and advise them that you may need to submit an emergency retroactive TUE.

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Help Keep Sport Clean

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We all have a responsibility to report doping in sport and help keep it clean. A 24-hour dedicated phone line, hosted by Crimestoppers, 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.

100% me – Supporting Athletes to be Clean

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100% me is UK Anti-Doping’s education programme for athletes that provides 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.

Club Resources

Clean Sport is relevant to all paddlers, regardless of what level they are paddling at. As such we have developed some resources for clubs. These reference the basic essentials and signpost paddlers to where they can find more information.

Included in the resources are some simple posters to raise awareness of Clean Sport through to 10 ways a club can help support.

British Canoeing’s Anti-Doping Lead Officer

Gemma Wiggs, Head of Events & International Affairs
Phone: 07702 568 673 or 0115 8966 589
Email: [email protected]