Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) coped with a reduction in its grant income coupled with an increase in sample analysis costs by reducing staff and testing costs to report a net loss of £226,000 for the year to 31 March 2015. However, this was covered by UKAD cash reserves, which halved to £206,000 in order to cover the loss. However, due to an actuarial revaluation of the body’s pension scheme, UKAD showed an overall net liability of £1.49 million at 31 March 2015, up from £363,000 a year before.
Funding from the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) declined by 5% from just over £6 million in 2014 to £5.7 million during 2015. However, providing testing services to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games boosted its income in this area by over 35%, from £1.4 million in the year to 31 March 2014 to £1.9 million in 2015. This boost was hit by a resulting increase in sample analysis and legal costs, which were up by 14.2% to £1.6 million. However, a reduction in staff numbers from 46 to 45, plus the departure of former CEO Andy Parkinson allowed UKAD to reduce staff costs by 2.6% to £2.36 million in 2015.
UKAD is set to be hit with further cuts during 2015/16, as the UK government continues with its austerity plan. ‘While we have been advised that financing will be reduced in 2015/16, we have not received any indications from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport that financing will be withdrawn’, read UKAD’s financial report. ‘The returns on our investment and efforts are clear to see in the year-on-year increases we report of anti-doping rule violation cases being brought not only against athletes, but support personnel too (one of which resulted in the first lifetime ban in the UK)’, wrote UKAD CEO Nicole Sapstead in her foreword to the financial results. ‘The investment in sport made by the UK government and the public via the National Lottery must be protected’.
In her foreword, Sapstead (pictured) again warned about the danger posed by supplements. ‘Sadly, just before the Commonwealth Games began, two Welsh athletes tested positive for a steroid’, she wrote. ‘The cause was shown to have been a contaminated supplement. The lessons learnt from this episode were many – the use of supplements and, indeed, the possibility of contamination are a significant risk and will continue to remain so.’ You can read more about Sapstead’s views on supplements in this exclusive interview with the Sports Integrity Initiative, here.