University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) has officially pledged its commitment to keep sport free of illegal drugs by becoming one of the first UK universities to sign new agreement with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to begin the process of receiving Clean Sport University Accreditation.

UKAD is committed to Clean Sport and is heavily investing this initial four year plan as a means of prevention, with the aim to support and educate all athletes and those that influence them.

Through this opportunity with UKAD, UBSport will be entering the process to become an accredited Clean Sport University, and this Kitemark will recognise the positive work done by the institution to promote the ethos of Clean Sport.

UBSport Performance Sport Manager, Alex Taylor said: “University sport plays a key role in the development of UKs sporting talent.  Many of our elite athletes have trained and competed within the university system (BUCS) and hence UKAD accreditation scheme is a great opportunity for us to influence the attitudes and behaviours of the next generation of athletes.”

She added: “We, at UBSport are passionate about sport - how we support and educate our student athletes is key to what we do.  Promoting clean sport principles and ethics is important to us as many of our students will be the athletes, coaches and support personnel of the future.  It's exciting to be part of this scheme from the start working towards a clean sport environment for all.” 

The accreditation is separated into 3 tiers – Accredited, Advanced and Elite, with UBSport initially looking towards the advanced tier in the schemes inaugural year. The process, designed by UKAD, is a progressive process and universities will be given the opportunity to enhance their status.

Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, Ceri Fellows, who will be part of the implementation team, commentated: “This joint initiative between UBSport and UKAD, represents a fantastic opportunity for the University to build on its developing reputation as a centre of research excellence in the field of sports doping. 

“By linking with UKAD to develop this initiative, we are improving the employability of our students, who will be graduating into the sports industry, better informed and educated regarding the issues surrounding drug use in sport."

Following the signing of the agreement the universities will be subjected to a robust review and audit by UKAD, within accreditation being awarded to those who are successful within two weeks. The Kitemark will be held for an initial period of two years, subject to maintaining standards and meeting interim review criteria. 

At present UBSport supports 45 student-athletes on the University Sport Scholarship scheme, which currently provides support via the UKAD initiative ‘100% me’, with all mentors undertaking the UKAD online Advisor training to enable them to support scholars to understand Clean Sport.

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About University of Birmingham Sport

The University of Birmingham is a top three university for sport within the UK, attracted over 3,500 student-athletes annually to join one of the 53 sport clubs available. 

We offer 45 scholarships (classed as gold, silver or bronze) to National and International level athletes who are currently studying, or about to study, at Birmingham alongside 40 Sports Performance Awards for county level and above. Support is also available for athletes on TASS, R&A Golf and the Paul Weston Triathlon scholarships, plus the Physics bursary. Each year around five recent graduates are supported through the Graduate scholar scheme.

The clubs and scholars are supported by a talented Hi Performance Centre (HPC) team who specialise in sports science, nutrition, strength and conditioning, psychology and physiology, along with support for massage and physiotherapy.

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For any further information please contact UBSport PR, Media and Promotions Manager, Jenna Hadley. E: T: 0121 414 2262 M: 07736 336634

About UK Anti-Doping

UKAD is the national organisation dedicated to protecting a culture of clean sport. Every day, we are raising awareness of the issues through our extensive education and smart testing programme. As well as helping athletes to understand and follow the rules, we also prosecute offenders.

Ultimately, we are working for everyone who loves sport – whether competing, training or spectating. Together, we’re creating a level-playing field where all athletes know they can compete fairly and in the true spirit of sport.