British Cycling and UK Anti Doping join forces in new partnership

Joint project has been met with criticism and comments that regulators can't "cosy up" with those they must investigate

British Cycling (BC) has announced a partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) in what they call a "fight against doping in the sport."

The partnership comes following damning conclusions in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's report into 'Combatting Doping in Sport' - which stated that Team Sky "crossed an ethical line" with the use of corticosteroid.

An initiative from the new chairs of BC and UKAD - Frank Slevin and Trevor Pearce - the partnership will consist of a working group made up of senior leads from both organisations. The first meeting has already taken place.

In a press release from British Cycling, it was claimed "the two organisations will work together to create innovative strategies to tackle cheats, and ensure public faith in cycling."

Objectives and plans include establishing a medical governance committee, working with UKAD to establish roles and responsibilities for an "ethical framework", launching a campaign to encourage reporting of anti-doping offences and increasing investment in testing as well as regular data-sharing and analysis summits with UKAD.

A new 'Integrity and Compliance Director' role has already been created and it's said that "substantial changes" have been made to the provision of medical services.

“Our athletes, members, funders and the public deserve to have confidence in the cleanliness of the sport that they love" said Frank Slevin, British Cycling’s Chair, adding "It is vital that we begin to anticipate what will be needed to take forward the fight against doping in sport in the future.”

Trevor Pearce CBE, UKAD’s Chair, added: “We are keen to work in collaboration with National Governing Bodies and this demonstrates the commitment we share to tackle doping in sport."

The announcement has been met with some criticism.

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Richard Ings, former CEO of Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority commented: "UKAD should be the regulator. The investigator. It needs separation to be able to investigate sports like cycling... Your[sic] can’t partner those you must oversight."

He added: "Regulators don’t cosy up to those they must regulate and investigate."

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Former XC and Marathon MTB National Champion Jenny Copnall said "this beggars belief. "

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.