Wales’ first Winter Olympic medallist, Laura Deas, has been appointed to the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) Athlete Commission as it seeks to strengthen the athlete voice within anti-doping.
The British skeleton bronze medallist joins multiple British weightlifting champion Jo Calvino, 50m backstroke world record holder Liam Tancock, and ex-Gloucester rugby lock James Hudson in taking up two-year terms on the commission.
The appointments come a month after the inaugural World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Global Athlete Forum, at which athletes, including UKAD Athlete Commission members Ali Jawad and Callum Skinner, called for a stronger athlete voice within anti-doping.
“It’s a great honour to be appointed to the UKAD Athlete Commission. I feel strongly about the protection and promotion of the right for athletes to compete on a level playing field, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the work of UKAD in achieving this,” said Deas, who won her medal at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games earlier this year.
Great Britain sprinter Bernice Wilson, who served two bans following Anti-Doping Rule Violations, and shared her story with UKAD, was also appointed onto the Commission in March of this year.
These appointments take the number of Commission members up to 11, representing Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports across Great Britain, including: athletics, cycling, rowing and powerlifting.
“We were extremely impressed with the number of high calibre candidates who applied for a position on the Athlete Commission, the level of anti-doping knowledge they held and the level of thinking they had done around the subject,” said UKAD Athlete Commission Chair, Sarah Winckless.
“Their personal commitment to clean sport was great to see. From this, it’s clear that anti-doping continues to be extremely high on the agenda of elite athletes.
“James, Jo, Laura and Liam were successfully appointed onto the commission because of their diverse experiences as top-level athletes, and their passion for anti-doping. I think all four of them will bring their own networks and ideas to the commission and I look forward to working with them.”
The UKAD Athlete Commission advises and supports UKAD’s objectives, and has the responsibility of working with other athlete-centred groups, such as the British Athletes Commission, to ensure the wider views of the UK’s athlete community are represented.