Anti Doping

As the National Governing Body for archery throughout the United Kingdom, Archery GB operates in accordance with the rules and regulations of World Archery.

Why is clean sport important? 

However you are involved in archery, whether as a competitor, recreational shooter, spectator or official, we all want to know that it’s the real deal. Integrity is fundamental to sport and cheating in any form undermines the spirit of sport and the efforts of clean archers. Through its activities, the anti-doping movement also seeks to safeguard the health of athletes by discouraging use of potentially harmful substances.

Everyone has a duty to protect clean sport. Those with influence through their involvement in clubs and competitions can play a particularly important role in creating safe and positive anti-doping environments.

Whilst anti-doping has its highest profile at the elite end of the sport, it is relevant to all involved in archery. Effective education and sound values at grassroots protects everyone and creates the safe and fair foundations for the champions of tomorrow.

Anti-doping governance in the UK and Worldwide

Doping is the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in sports. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) is the national body responsible for protecting sport in the UK from doping. It does so through:

  • its prevention focused education programme
  • intelligence-led athlete testing
  • Anti-Doping Rule Violations investigations and results management

Through its management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy, UKAD works with Archery GB and other National Governing Bodies to ensure UK sports are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) International Standard for Code Compliance.

The WADA Code also requires International Federations such as World Archery to support anti-doping activities by conducting testing at their competitions and out-of-competition; providing education programs; and sanctioning those who commit anti-doping rule violations.

100% ME Principles

There are no shortcuts to clean sporting success.

100% me is UKAD’s education programme for athletes to help them to make the right choices. It supports athletes to “be clean and stay clean” throughout their sporting journey.

It focuses on promoting the values of clean sport: Passion, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Enjoyment.

The 100% me Clean Sport App is a one-stop tool for practical information about clean sport. Download the 100% me Clean Sport App for Apple and Android.

UKAD also post regular anti-doping updates on Twitter at @ukantidoping where you can stay up to date with the latest news.

The UKAD website has resources on its Athlete Zone for those involved in school sport through to athletes competing internationally.

These resources are great for sharing to promote awareness and ensure that everyone in your archery setting has access to the right information.

Strict Liability

The principle of strict liability is a core component of 100% me.

Strict liability means that an athlete is solely responsible for any banned substance they use, attempt to use, or is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was any intention to cheat.

To receive an Anti-Doping Rule Violation for use or presence of a prohibited substance, it is not necessary to demonstrate intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on the athlete’s part.

It is not a defence against receiving an Anti-Doping Rule Violation that, for example, a coach or a member of athlete support personnel gave the athlete a substance; or that a prohibited substance was not listed on a product label; or that a prohibited substance or method would not have improved the athlete’s performance.

In anti-doping, not knowing is not an excuse!

The Prohibited List

The Prohibited List sets out the substances and methods prohibited in sport. It is published by WADA in January each year but substances and methods can be added at any time.

Some substances and methods are prohibited at all times and others are only prohibited in-competition or only prohibited in particular sports.

If a substance is prohibited in-competition, an athlete may face a ban if it is found in their system at that time regardless of when they actually took it.

At the start of 2018, WADA removed alcohol from the Prohibited List. However, World Archery brought in regulations to ban alcohol at competitionsunder the same principles as the Prohibited List and carries out alcohol testing with penalties for violations.

Anti-Doping Rule Violations

There are 10 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs). All 10 apply to athletes and six (highlighted) also apply to athlete support personnel such as coaches.

  1. Presence (of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample)
  2. Use (of a prohibited substance or method)
  3. Evading, refusing (to take a test as part of the Doping Control process)
  4. Whereabouts failures (more later on Whereabouts)
  5. Tampering or attempted tampering (with the Doping Control process)
  6. Possession (of a prohibited substance or method)
  7. Trafficking or attempted trafficking (of a prohibited substance or method)
  8. Administration, aiding, abetting (or attempted administration of a prohibited substance or method to any athlete)
  9. Complicity (in helping to cover up, being involved in, or supporting someone else to avoid being detected for an ADRV)
  10. Prohibited Association (with someone who has already been found guilty of an ADRV)

The sanctions for committing a violation range from a life ban for the most serious offences to a four-year ban where there is an intention to cheat. There is some clemency if it can be convincingly proven that there was no significant fault or negligence where sanctions can be reduced to 1-2 years.

The consequences of doping on an athlete or athlete support personnel goes beyond not being able to take part in their sport. It can impact not only health, psychological and mental well-being but a ban can damage one’s social standing and have financial consequences for those who rely on their reputation.

Checking Medications

Athletes are responsible for checking that they do not inadvertently take any medications that contain a prohibited substance. Fortunately, there is an easy way to do this without having to check all the ingredients against the Prohibited List.

The Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) site allows athletes to check the status of specific medications bought in the UK, Canada, the US, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The search engine returns results that are sport-specific and advises whether the result applies only in competition or at any time as well as whether the method of administration is permissible. Each search has a unique reference number which should be recorded as proof of due diligence.

It is really important to be careful that the correct medication name or brand name is chosen when checking medications. Medications bought in other countries cannot be guaranteed to be free of prohibited substances even if the brand and product name is the same since different ingredients can be used in their manufacture.

Global DRO cannot be used to check supplements!

Therapeutic Use Exemptions

The health of athletes is important and does not come secondary to their anti-doping responsibilities. In some cases, an athlete with a legitimate medical condition may need to use a prohibited substance or method if there are no other suitable permitted medications or treatments that can be used. In this case they will need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Only archers competing at the highest levels specified by UKAD for each sport need to apply for an advance TUE. For archery, this only concerns archers on Senior National Squads and those competing internationally. All other archers may apply for a retroactive TUE if they are subject to Doping Control.


There are no guarantees that supplements do not contain prohibited substances.

Risks can include:

  • Contamination (where banned substances are accidentally mixed in with the supplement) can occur during the manufacturing process
  • Ingredients on the label may be listed differently to how they are shown on the Prohibited List
  • Supplements may be sold as counterfeit products
  • The risk of fake supplement products is greatest when buying over the internet
  • A label saying ‘Safe for Sports People’, or ‘Approved by WADA or UKAD’ is meaningless. WADA and UKAD do not approve any supplement products

If an archer is considering taking supplements, they should:

  • Assess the need – seek advice from a medical professional or nutritionist
  • Assess the risk – undertake thorough research
  • Assess the consequences – consider the potential sanctions for an ADRV

With strict liability in mind, Archery GB promotes a Food First policy to lessen the need for archers to take any form of supplementation:

  • Archery GB reminds athletes that what they put into their body is their own responsibility.
  • Food must come first. The use of supplements should only be considered if no natural solutions can be found.
  • Every meal should be balanced.
  • Hydration is critical. If an athlete feels thirsty, they are already in the early stages of dehydration. Water bottles should always be carried and are essential during training sessions.
  • Never skip meals. The body will process and store the next meal differently if it has been starved even for a short while. Healthy snacking is a good thing and small meals little and often will be beneficial for athletes.

Reporting Doping in Sport

UKAD rely on intelligence from the wider sporting community to enable it to investigate and pursue doping violations. Since 2016, almost half (47%) of the Anti-Doping Rule Violations that were prosecuted came through intelligence.

UKAD are keen to stress that they investigate all claims thoroughly and do not sanction athletes without conclusive evidence. They welcome information, however big or small, to allow them to piece together the jigsaw of evidence that helps them to prosecute those who chose to dope. Information can be submitted anonymously through an online form or via email, phone, WhatsApp or Twitter.

Testing Procedures

Athletes can be tested at any time, any place. The Doping Control process for archery involves urine testingalthough blood tests may also be used in other sports.

Tests are carried out by trained and authorised Doping Control Officers either from National Anti-Doping Organisations such as UKAD, International Federations such as World Archery or Major Event Organisers such as the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The main stages of the testing process are as follows:

  • Notification of selection for a drugs test
  • Reporting for testing
  • Selecting a collection vessel
  • Providing the sample under supervision
  • Selecting the sampling kit
  • Dividing and sealing the sample
  • Testing the suitability of the sample
  • Recording and certifying the information

Samples are analysed in WADA accredited laboratories and are anonymised so the lab doesn’t know whose sample they have.

Refusal to take a test is an ADRV.


Athletes competing at the highest levels may be part of a Registered Testing Pool. This means that they have to inform UKAD of their Whereabouts at all times in order to be available for unexpected out-of-competition testing.

Athletes must enter and update their Whereabouts information on an online system including details of regular activities and competitions, their overnight accommodation and specify a 60-minute timeslot every day when they can be available for testing. It is the athlete’s responsibility to make sure their Whereabouts information is up-to-date, accurate and detailed so a Doping Control Officer can find them easily if required. Failure to file Whereabouts information appropriately or a missed test on three occasions in any 12-month period is an ADRV.

Anti – Doping Policy

Archery GB does not have its own separate Policy but adopts those of UK Anti-Doping. Details may be found at and the policy itself is found here at UKAD. The UK Anti-Doping Policy & Rules require Archery GB to also bring attention to World Archery’s Anti-Doping Policy.

More information

For more information, consider completing UKAD’s free Clean Sport Advisor Course

Or alternatively their Coach specific course, Coach Clean

UKAD enquiries:

Phone: 020 7842 3450


Report doping:

Phone: 08000 32 23 32