An Introduction to Anti-doping

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Knowledge Level: Beginner

What is doping?

Doping is when a rider uses prohibited substances or methods to unfairly improve their cycling performance.

The World Anti-Doping Code more specifically defines doping as ‘the occurrence of one or more of the eight anti-doping rule violations’ set out in the Code. This definition incorporates factors other than a rider taking or using a prohibited substance; it includes things like refusing to report to doping control, attempting to tamper with doping control, and supplying or trafficking prohibited substances.

Famous doping cases include Lance Armstrong, the Festina Team scandal, Ben Johnson and Marion Jones

Doping is cheating. It should be tolerated no more than any other form of unethical behaviour. It undermines the integrity of cycling.

What is anti-doping?

Anti-doping is the bid to eliminate doping from cycling and the fight to protect your right to compete in clean sport.

Why is it important to combat doping in cycling?

Doping poses one of the greatest threats to cycling today – and in the future – because it threatens the integrity of our sport. Doping is cheating and is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport. Doping robs riders who play by the rules of their right to competition that is safe and fair.

Doping threatens a rider’s health. In some cases, the substances and methods abused in doping have not been tested or approved for use by healthy individuals. Sometimes the substances or methods used for doping have not yet been determined safe enough for therapeutic use. There is also the abuse of counterfeit or ‘designer’ drugs that have been developed with absolutely no safety control. All of these factors are serious health risks to riders who engage in doping.

Doping does not just threaten a rider’s physical health; living with the consequences of doping can destroy lives and crush the faith people have in cycling and its participants.

Doping affects not just elite riders: young riders are heavily influenced by what their role models do.

Only by taking a concerted and comprehensive approach to the fight against doping in cycling is it possible to protect the integrity of cycling worldwide, today and tomorrow.

Key message:

The Anti-doping section aims to provide all members with information on Anti-doping and how to manage their behaviour to ensure they are riding clean and maintaining standards. We would encourage you to review all the information on this site even if you’ve been competing for a number of years so that you are up to speed with your anti-doping responsibilities. There is a lot of anti-doping information here, so we advise that you should read each section and take time to reflect on it before moving on to the next section.

If you have any queries regarding Anti-doping then please contact the British Cycling Anti-doping Officer on 0161 274 2082.

Find all of the anti-doping information in the links below:


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