Tennis Wales believes in fair play and, that every participant has the right to compete knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean.
Tennis Wales works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), Sport Wales and the LTA to ensure the integrity of tennis is maintained and to protect the health and rights of all tennis players.
Clean Sport is a sport without doping.
We all have a responsibility within tennis to protect our sport from doping. The LTA Anti-Doping Programme, which Tennis Wales is fully aligned to, includes a combination of education and deterrence activities aimed at supporting clean players and their support personnel, and to deter and catch those who cheat.
The Tennis Wales Clean Tennis Implementation Plan goes a step further, to raise awareness and educate our tennis community.
Tennis has a set of anti-doping rules that all players, coaches and athlete support personnel must abide by. Tennis Wales is fully aligned with the LTA anti-doping regulations. These regulations are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and consistent with both the UK Anti-Doping Rules, and the anti-doping regulations of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
The LTA anti-doping regulations can be found within the LTA Disciplinary Code. If you are involved in tennis at any level, and in any form, these rules apply to you regardless of age, or whether you are competing, coaching or supporting players.
The ITF runs the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme , which includes the regulations for professional tennis. These rules and regulations apply to all players who compete in events sanctioned by the ITF, ATP or WTA.
In total there are 11 anti-doping rule violations. All 11 apply to players and seven also apply to player-support personnel. Full details on the anti-doping violations are available on UKAD’s website.
All athletes have certain rights when it comes to anti-doping.
These are set out in the Athletes Anti-Doping Rights Act. The Act was developed by WADA’s WADA's Athlete Committee in consultation with thousands of athletes and stakeholders worldwide, and aims to ensure that athlete rights within anti-doping are clearly set out, accessible, and universally applicable.
The World Anti-Doping Code states the roles and responsibilities that athletes have in relation to anti-doping. So as a player, you must:
- Know and abide by the Anti-Doping Rules, policies and practices
- Be available for testing at all times at all times
- Take responsibility for what you ingest or use – ‘Strict liability’ applies
- Tell medical professionals that they should not use prohibited substances or methods, as per the WADA Prohibited List, and that any advice or treatment given to an athlete should not violate the Anti-Doping Rules
- Tell UKAD and your International Federation if you have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation within the last 10 years
- Co-operate in any doping investigations when asked to do so
- Disclose the identity of your support personnel upon request from an Anti-Doping Organisation
Strict liability is the underlying principle of anti-doping and means that a player 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.
100% me is UK Anti-Doping’s education programme for athletes. It is designed to provide information resources, education sessions and general advice to athletes throughout their sporting careers.
The 100% me values are:
Find out about 100% me in the dedicated Athlete Zone of the UKAD website.
The Prohibited List details all the substances and methods that are banned for use in sport. It is set by WADA and is updated on the first day of each year.
The list is divided into categories and identifies substances that are prohibited all of the time (in-competition and out-of-competition), and those that are only prohibited during a competition (in-competition only).
For tennis players in-competition it is usually from 00:01 of the day of their first match to 60 minutes after the player’s last match of that competition.
Some medications contain prohibited substances. Before using any medication, whether prescribed by a GP, bought over the counter in a pharmacy or even straight from a supermarket shelf, it is vital that players check whether they contain prohibited substances.
The advice from UK Anti-Doping is to check every single substance or medication before you use it, even if you have used it before. It is also important to remember that medications bought abroad may contain different substances than those in the UK and you should always check before you take them.
To quickly and easily check the status of your medications purchased or prescribed in the UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Australia or Japan use GlobalDRO.
If your medication is prohibited and no legitimate alternative is available, you may require a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to be compliant with the anti-doping regulations.
If the medication an athlete is required to take in order to treat an illness or medical condition is included on the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the right to take the medicine they need.
Players in the LTA TUE pool or in the ITF Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are required to submit a TUE before they use a prohibited medication, even for a legitimate medical condition. If this is the case, please contact us for further information and advice.
All other players are required to apply for a TUE retrospectively (after use) within 10 working days following a drug test.
If you are unsure whether you require a TUE, you can use the UKAD TUE Wizard for guidance.
Tennis Wales has a food first approach for players at all levels when advising on how to nutritionally support themselves for health and performance optimisation. Food First, is relying on food as your source of nutrition, before considering supplements. This includes the following:
- Players of all ages and standards will benefit from;
- Good hydration
- A balanced tennis-orientated diet
- Well-organised training
- A healthy lifestyle.
- Supplement use is discouraged for under-18 players unless deemed necessary by medical or nutritional staff, and is to be evaluated on an individual basis.
If a player is considering using a supplement they should consider the effectiveness and quality of the product very carefully. A plethora of supplements exist with outlandish claims supported by weak evidence. Additionally, supplements can be subject to manufacturing contamination or have prohibited substances hidden on an ingredient list by using alternative names.
It is, therefore, crucial that any product used has undergone a quality-assurance programme from a certified authority such as Informed Sport. Informed Sport is a risk-management programme that tests sports supplements for The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances by analysing raw materials, manufacturing processes and batch testing end products.
There can however be no guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances. A strict liability ruling is associated to a positive test, regardless of intent. An anti-doping violation can result in a ban from sport of up to four years.
UKAD and the ITF conduct drug testing in-competition (after a match), and out of competition (at training sessions and/or at player’s homes or accommodation).
Players can be selected at any time for a drug test on either a random or a targeted basis. Players are tested for banned substances through the collection of blood and urine samples.
All tests are collected by Doping Control Officers and chaperones, who are accredited to World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) standards. Samples are analysed at WADA-accredited laboratories.
Protecting clean sport depends on everyone in sport playing their part to maintain a level playing field.
Clean competition rests on athletes, parents and support staff having the know-how to speak out when something's wrong within sport - no matter how small the information may seem.
If you have any doping concerns or suspicions, however small they seem, please report them. You can report a doping concern on the UKAD website.
To support its commitment to Clean Tennis, Tennis Wales has:
- Developed an Implementation Plan to raise awareness and educate the tennis community in Wales.
- A trained UKAD Educator who has delivered CPD Workshops to players and parents involved in our National Performance Programme.
- Communicated to a wider audience at tournaments, in newsletters and through our social channels.
For essential anti-doping information download the Clean Sport App from iTunes, Google Play or Windows Live Store. This can be the sport-specific or the generic version.
Remember to check all medications on Global DRO, where you can search by ingredients or brand name.
Assess the Risk of Supplements on Informed Sport.