Following recent media coverage on athletics globally, the scottishathletics Board discussed various issues and looked to implement a fitting response.
There is now a three-point plan, endorsed by the Board, which will be acted upon as outlined below. There are also some further comments from Chairman, Ian Beattie.
Three-point plan endorsed by scottishathletics Board:
1) We will remind every member that entry to a Scottish National Championship event carries with it agreement to undertake anti-doping procedures on event day if requested. There is potential for these tests to happen, as an example, at the Scottish Seniors at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 30 January or the National Cross Country Champs in Falkirk on February 27.
2) We will once again issue guidelines to our athletes and remind them of the latest banned substance lists. These are available on our website and we have had staff in Birmingham only last week to discuss with UK Athletics more anti-doping education.
3) We propose to introduce what we see as a very significant step in terms of Scottish National Records. As guardians for those, scottishathletics have the right to set parameters on Scottish National Records and we will amend the criteria to ensure that – from this point onwards – any athlete who in the future receives a suspension for a serious doping offence (two years or more) will not be eligible to hold a Scottish National Record.
This will apply across all age groups and sits against the name of the athlete who received a ban (of two years or more). That is; he or she would forfeit any records already held and would not be recognised as holding any Scottish records in athletics during the rest of their competitive career.
Ian Beattie, chairman of scottishathletics, said:
‘You will be aware through the media of the current debate concerning drug misuse and corruption in athletics.
‘I know I speak for all within the scottishathletics Board and staff in wishing to under-line and re-iterate our deepest commitment to clean sport and our desire to safeguard the future of athletics in Scotland and worldwide.
‘We are very aware that the recent disclosures around anti-doping procedures globally and corruption at the IAAF have been deeply damaging and are an acute concern for lovers of the sport here in Scotland.
‘I would stress we vehemently condemn all those complicit, whatever their roles or involvement, and would like to see still more transparency in the weeks and months ahead. It is vital that all matters are dealt with now in order to shine a light on cheating and other mal-practice to allow the sport to move forward with integrity.
‘At our most recent board meeting, we discussed at some length our desire to find some practical ways in which to further outline our commitment to clean sport to our members.
‘scottishathletics does not have direct jurisdiction over anti-doping matters – that responsibility falls to UK Athletics and the independent body, UK Anti-Doping. But there are some steps we can and will take – as they are within our remit as governing body in Scotland.
‘It is worth me also at this juncture touching on historical aspects. We have as a Board on a number of occasions over the past two years discussed issues relating to some long-standing Scottish National records, against which allegations have been made regarding the use of performance-enhancing substances by the athletes at that time.
‘So far, we have not yet come up with the right framework to take action in a way which is fair to all athletes and takes account of the evidence available for historical performances.
‘However, it remains firmly on our agenda and a subject for more discussion.
‘I hope these steps demonstrate our deep determination to act on this issue and we will do so on the points out-lined as soon as possible.
‘With National Indoor and Cross County events looming, plus the Glasgow Grand Prix and the European Indoor 2019 bid for the Emirates Arena, as well as record numbers for many of our events, we are pleased with the current health of the sport in Scotland.
‘It is vital therefore that we do what we can, and urge others to play their role, in order to protect that and prove that athletics is a wonderful sport which is open to all.’