Insight & Innovation
Our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan sets out our objective to “Enhance our insight about the constantly evolving threats to clean sport in the UK and globally”.
UKAD has launched an Insight & Innovation team to co-ordinate our engagement with research and identify ways of enhancing our operations.
Contact the Team
Our Insight & Innovation team can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Research & Innovation Agenda
We will research doping prevalence within sports in the UK
We seek new methods and technologies to gain insight on doping prevalence within sports
Implementation of novel sample collection methods
Improve UKAD's detection rates for prohibited substances and methods through enhanced analyses
We will use data obtained from monitoring and evaluation processes to improve UKAD's anti-doping education and operations
We will research how we can use our existing data and external data to inform UKAD's policies
As part of a collaborative research project, UKAD and Loughborough University have launched an anonymous online survey to hear from students, graduates, and academic staff on their experiences of anti-doping education at universities and colleges.
UKAD's Insight & Innovation team have identified the following four areas as our research priorities.
Read about them below.
Prevalence studies are difficult to undertake due to the inherent difficulties of obtaining accurate and reliable data.
We will seek innovative ways of assessing prevalence of doping in sports in the UK, by sport and by level of athlete.
This will enable us to benchmark our efforts in the pursuit of clean sport.
To enhance our drug detection for prohibited substances and methods we will carry out more research in the following areas:
Dried Blood Sampling
- Detecting anabolic androgenic steroids from dried blood sampling
- Detecting steroid esters from dried blood sampling
- Expanding on the analysis menu in order to validate detection methods towards other prohibited substances and methods
- Detecting autologous blood transfusion
- Developing indirect methods for detecting blood doping
Improving existing analytical methods
- Growth hormone biomarkers
- Growth hormone releasing factors
- Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
To enhance our anti-doping education and operations at UKAD we seek to answer the following research questions:
- How can we measure the effectiveness of our education interventions?
- How effective are our education programmes towards reducing unintentional and/or intentional doping?
- What are the most effective methods for educating athlete support personnel?
- How effective is our testing strategy at deterring athletes from doping?
- Can we measure the impact of our sample storage and reanalysis programme on deterring athletes from doping?
Intelligence & Investigations
- Are there alternative methods towards gathering information on suspected doping activity?
Using data to inform our policies and processes, we seek to answer:
- What can our existing data can tell us?
- Does Artificial Intelligence have a role in supporting anti-doping activities?
Clean Sport content within Higher Education courses in the UK
The project aims to:
Understand the current extent of clean sport curriculum content across UK Higher Education (HE) courses. Specifically, we are seeking to assess:
the breadth and context of clean sport topics within courses
how clean sport topics are delivered and assessed
how relevant any prior clean sport education was towards current employment/voluntary role
The project includes:
An online survey to gather these insights from academic staff, current students, alumni and professionals within the UK sport sector.
UKAD intends to use the findings from this study to assist HE Institutes deliver a comprehensive clean sport education offering for their students and academic staff by developing tailored clean sport content and resources that can become embedded within HE courses.
UK Trial of WADA’s Doping Prevalence Survey Tool (DPST)
The WADA Prevalence Working Group has developed a Doping Prevalence Survey Tool (DPST), which uses the crosswise method designed to ensure anonymity and confidentiality and reduce the extent that participants answer sensitive questions in a socially desirable manner rather than providing honest responses.
The project aims to:
Support the assessment of WADA’s DPST through conducting a validation trial
UKAD, with support from NGBs and other stakeholders, will disseminate this anonymous survey to elite athletes in the UK
Contribute to refining and validating the DPST before formal global implementation can be considered
Establish an estimate of doping prevalence amongst elite athletes within the UK
Collaborate with WADA on the validation of a reliable and evidence-based method for estimating the prevalence of doping. Establishing a reliable estimate of doping prevalence in the UK shall enable us to benchmark our efforts and the impact of our initiatives in the pursuit of clean sport.