UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has today announced a partnership with ukactive to improve education and awareness around Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs) in gyms and leisure facilities. The partnership, announced at UKAD’s Clean Sport Forum at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, will explore attitudes around IPEDs among gym users and how best to support operators, coaches and personal trainers to help keep sport and exercise clean.

The partnership follows a recommendation made in the UK Government’s Tailored Review of UKAD, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in January 2018, which set out the opportunity for UKAD to influence the fitness sector and to work with representative bodies to promote improved guidance and knowledge on the use of safe supplements.

UKAD Chair, Trevor Pearce CBE QPM, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with ukactive to help gyms and other leisure facilities stay free from doping.

“Doping is a complex problem reaching beyond athletes competing on the field of play, into other areas of society. It is right for us to be working closely with the fitness industry to support them to educate gym users and those who may go down the high-performance path into elite sport.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that you cannot ignore the crossover between those using IPEDs to look a certain way, and those looking to improve their performance in sport. The pressures around body image which are placed on young people need addressing. Our research with ukactive will help us to better understand and address these challenges and protect athletes and members of the public from the dangers of IPED use.”

ukactive Public Affairs Director, Huw Edwards said: “This research collaboration will help to give us a clearer picture of IPED issues in gyms and leisure centres.

“With leadership from the fitness sector, we can ensure that people of all ages make informed decisions about whether to use supplements and that starts with a joined-up approach to the education of staff, gym users and athletes.

“We look forward to working with UKAD and other partners to develop new, improved ways to ensure people choose a healthy approach to exercise and sport.”

The partnership will research IPED use and awareness in the fitness industry and explore the connection to body image pressures on young people.

UKAD’s Clean Sport Forum is the organisation’s annual conference bringing together partners across sport and public health to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in clean sport. The agenda this year includes: Public Health Wales, and the Wales Government Agency Intelligence Network and Regional Organised Crime Unit, aimed specifically at targeting IPED use in Wales.

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