UK Anti-Doping chief executive opposes the criminalisation of drugs use

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Nicole Sapstead has released a statement expressing her opposition to making doping a criminal offence in the UK.

Sapstead is the chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and has described the criminalisation of doping as “not something that UKAD wants to see at this time”, choosing to stand by the current system used by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)

Despite countries such as France and Italy already criminalising drugs use, WADA claims that its current system of cracking down on drug cheats is “globally accepted by sport and government”, and therefore does not need to change. 

Those who wish to see a change to this system include British European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey, who told the Sunday Times:”Sportspeople who choose to dope should face the possibility of a criminal process. Imposing this sort of law sends out a clear message.”

However, Sapstead has remained firmly against criminalising drug use, stating UKAD “feels the sanctions in place are proportionate.”

“We are open to dialogue around new ways of protecting sport, but our focus remains tackling the supply chain and the source of the problem.”

This comes after UK sports minister Tracey Crouch had confirmed to the BBC that the government was exploring the possibility of making drug use a criminal offence.