UK Anti-Doping launches 'Clean Sport Week' campaign in wake of scandals

Britain's anti-doping agency is promoting 'clean' athletes in a bid to clean up the image of sport in the aftermath of a succession of doping scandals in recent years.

Clean Sport Week: Supported by athletes James Wilby, Emma Wiggs, Andrew Heyes, Callum Skinner, Bernice Wilson, Sarah Winckless and Ali Jawad
Clean Sport Week: Supported by athletes James Wilby, Emma Wiggs, Andrew Heyes, Callum Skinner, Bernice Wilson, Sarah Winckless and Ali Jawad
Clean Sport Week, an awareness campaign launched on Monday by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), aims to celebrate drug-free athletes and their successes.

The campaign by UKAD, an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is being promoted across social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag #CleanSportWeek.

Athletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, gymnast Nile Wilson and sports minister Tracey Crouch are among those endorsing it and more than 100 sport governing bodies, sporting partners and athletes supported a ‘thunderclap’ on social media, which took place on Monday morning to launch Clean Sport Week. 

The media activity will continue with UKAD’s release of a survey tomorrow revealing the public’s use of and attitudes to nutrition supplements.

The campaign’s key messages are celebrating clean athletes and their success, and provoking a debate on the use of sports nutrition supplements, according to UKAD.

Now in its second year, Clean Sport Week is being run by UKAD’s five-strong comms team with support from agency Run Communications.

It is targeting the general public "who feel the integrity of sport is under threat from doping", commented Charlie Bosomworth, the agency’s head of comms. 

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of British sports fans feel anti-doping stories in the press impact their trust in sport, he added.

The campaign is a "partnership with the sporting community in the UK" and aims to exploit the social channels of its supporters as they can "deliver messages right to a very engaged and passionate sports fan base," explained Bosomworth.

A number of metrics are being used to measure the impact of Clean Sport Week, such as analysing traffic to UKAD’s website as well as the reach across targeted social channels.

Bosomworth said: "Public opinion in sport is taking a hit from stories of doping, so it’s important that we deliver this opportunity for clean athletes to make their voice heard and reassure the public that their achievements have been fairly gained."

He added: "We have a challenge in breaking through the noise that, rightly, surrounds doping in sport, and finding an angle to provoke debate. This year we chose to look at the wider public health risks that can come from taking sports nutrition supplements without getting decent advice first."

The campaign represents a "rare opportunity for the sporting community to come together for an important cause", said Bosomworth.
"We are delighted with the support so far that our partners in sport, and across government departments, have already shown. If you care about the values of sport, you should be backing Clean Sport Week," he concluded.

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