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23 August 2021

UKAD renews partnership with King's to test athlete samples for anti-doping purposes

A new six-year contract has been signed between UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) and DCC (The Drug Control Centre), King’s Forensics at King’s, marking a new stage in a longstanding partnership aimed at keeping sport clean.

Forensics UKAD

UKAD and DCC have pioneered innovative ways of testing and analysing data. Partnership milestones to date have included boosting detection of human Growth Hormone biomarkers and improving micro-dosing detection.

The DCC lab also provides the retesting service for UKAD, an increasingly powerful tool to catch cheats retrospectively, with samples stored and accessible for reanalysis for up to ten years.

UKAD is integral to the work of the DCC. It’s a two-way relationship in which we provide research and expertise on methodological advances and analytical scope, and UKAD’s teams deliver the outreach to test and supply the samples. UKADs ability to work with us on research and educational programmes has been critical too. We are currently working on a Massive, Open, Online Course (MOOC) to jointly explain the anti-doping process. Its impact societally is particularly significant. The course will be released in advance of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Collaborative developments such as this illustrate how well we work together to ensure detection as well as education, at all levels, is central to our enduring relationship.

Professor Kim Wolff, The Director of King’s Forensics, which hosts the DCC

Commenting on the new contract Emily Robinson, UKAD’s Interim Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that we are extending the partnership with King’s College London. The collaboration links a lab of world-renown with UKAD’s own experienced teams undertaking quality testing, results, and investigations. The DCC and its unique capabilities are also underpinned by a superb research and education programme. The DCC’s innovative and research-based approach to analysis helps keep UKAD’s work cutting edge, rigorous, and of the highest quality.

“Notable recent advances include the reanalysis programme that could help us catch sporting cheats retrospectively, and so act as another deterrent. On the immediate horizon we have been working with the DCC on new sample testing methods such as Dried Blood Spots (DBS), which offer an additional option to urine samples and will enable greater numbers of athletes to be tested more quickly. We hope to start trialling this early in 2022.”

The contract runs from August 2021 for six more years and locks into UKADs 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

In this story

Kim Wolff

Director King's Forensics