Championing Olympic integrity
King's has formed an alliance with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to enable its world-renowned Drug Control Centre to operate a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited satellite laboratory during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The partnership was brokered by King’s Business, the innovation arm of King’s.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced GSK’s status as the Official Laboratory Services Provider and 25th sponsor of the Games in 2009.
Professor David Cowan, Head of the Department of Forensic Science & Drug Monitoring and Director of the Drug Control Centre, is leading the partnership between GSK and King’s. He played a key role in the successful 2012 Olympic bid, and has been involved in the science of anti-doping across four Winter Olympic Games, two Summer Olympic Games and several Commonwealth Games.
Track record in anti-doping control
The Drug Control Centre has a track record in anti-doping control, analysing samples collected from athletes competing in major sporting events and training worldwide. Working with UK Sport to implement the UK’s anti-doping policy in sport, the Centre carried out more than 8,000 tests across over 70 sports last year.
The Centre is well respected internationally and has a proven record of successfully delivering analysis services for major games. It was the first human sports drug-testing laboratory established outside of an Olympic Games.
There will be thousands of samples analysed throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the laboratory will be in operation 24 hours a day for the duration. The facility will be based at one of GSK’s research and development sites in the UK, offering the capacity for King’s to run the laboratory independently, working with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee during London 2012.
When GSK was announced as a sponsor, London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe commented, ‘Doping control is a requirement of any Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. We have taken a partnership approach to delivering it for London 2012 and I’m thrilled that GlaxoSmithKline is on board. Its involvement, working with the King’s College London experts will see world class facilities available for an independently run anti-doping operation throughout the Games.'
'The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games provide GSK with a huge opportunity to be part of the delivery of an outstanding world event,’ said Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.
‘I'm delighted we've put this alliance with King’s College London together to ensure that excellent science can play a key role in ensuring the Games are conducted to the highest ethical standards and that athletes can lead healthier lives. The Olympic and Paralympic ideals of people striving to achieve their best are core to those of GSK, as we strive to deliver medicines and vaccines that help patients to do more in their lives. There is great alignment in these missions and I look forward to our people making a significant contribution to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.’
Professor David Cowan, Director of the Drug Control Centre, added ‘I am delighted that GlaxoSmithKline has chosen to make this important contribution to our ongoing work at King's to help deter drug cheats from coming to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With this significant partner we have the capacity to be able to help protect the health of the athlete and the integrity of the Games.’
View the video which accompanied the announcement.
About the Department of Forensic Science & Drug Monitoring
Drug Control Centre