“Speak out” programme for reporting doping launched

Wednesday - October 16th 2019

Drug Free Sport NZ Chief Executive Nick Paterson and Cycling New Zealand today launched a new anti-doping initiative at the 2020 Oceania Track Championships at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome. Called “Speak Out” the programme encourages anyone to make a confidential report to Drug Free Sport NZ if they see or hear something related to doping in sport. 

“We’ve partnered with Cycling New Zealand to launch Speak Out because of the great work that they do in promoting clean sport,” Mr Paterson said. “With a number of Kiwi riders racing overseas, Cycling New Zealand have worked hard to give their riders the tools that they need so that when they are in different environments, such as professional teams, their athletes have the skills and confidence to make the right decisions. Cycling New Zealand have shown a lot of leadership in making sure their riders attend clean sport education, know to check any medications and understand the risks of supplements. “ 

Mr Paterson said that the easy availability of prohibited substances, especially online, has meant that the anti-doping environment has changed. “Our ability to detect doping has expanded beyond our testing programme, and investigations and intelligence are an increasingly important part of our work.” 

“We believe that most Kiwi athletes are clean. Most of us also want to play and watch sport that is untainted by doping.  We’ve seen what a huge challenge this can be in international sport, and it’s thanks to the courage and strong ethics shown by those people who have spoken out, to expose doping in their sport, that anti-doping agencies have been able to take cases forward.

“We feel confident that Kiwis don’t tolerate athletes taking shortcuts. We want to hear from athletes, parents, coaches, managers, doctors, administrators, sponsors – basically anyone who has information to help us keep sport clean. Even if your concern may seem small, we want to hear from you. Anyone can call us on 0800 DRUGFREE, email intel@drugfreesport.org.nz or contact us through our Speak Out page.

Vantage New Zealand elite men’s endurance rider Harry Waine echoes that zero tolerance approach to doping, “Doping doesn’t have a place in any level of sport, from weekend warriors, school rugby and right the way up to elite level.” His advice to younger riders is that “If something doesn’t seem right, or you are taking something that you are unsure of, then don’t do it…it’s not worth the risk even if someone says it’s fine”.

Kirstie James is a Vantage New Zealand elite women’s endurance rider and speaks of the pride she feels when representing New Zealand at international cycling competitions: “Competing on the world stage as an athlete in a clean team makes me so proud to be representing New Zealand. There really is no room in sport for drug cheats. A major value of sport is fairness and without it, sport loses its appeal.”