Anti-Doping Review 22

Sport Ireland publish 2022 Anti-Doping Report  

22 Dec 2023
Sarah Stanley
  • There were no anti-doping violations reported in 2022  
  • 2022 was the highest ever number of tests completed since the establishment of the programme in 1999 

Sport Ireland Anti-Doping has published its Annual Review for 2022, during which there were no anti-doping violations reported and a record number of tests carried out.  

 In all, 1,415 tests were carried out by Sport Ireland Anti-Doping in 2022, with samples collected from 32 different sports. That is an increase of five per cent from 2021, to make it the highest number of annual tests ever completed since the programme began. While the tests were collected across four more sports than the previous year.   

The Sport Ireland Anti-Doping Programme was established in 1999. It commenced operation in January 2000. The purpose of the Programme is to ensure that sport is drug free. It does this through three key elements; testing, research and education.  

Sport Ireland continues to emphasise the importance of education as a primary deterrent to doping in sport. In 2022, 1,800 users completed the Sport Ireland Anti-Doping e-learning programme.  

Additionally, the Anti-Doping Unit of Sport Ireland offer all National Governing Bodies of Sport the opportunity to train staff or volunteers from their organisation as Anti-Doping Tutors. In 2022 10 tutors were trained and accredited, from seven different NGBs. There were 29 online or face-to-face seminars completed by Sport Ireland’s Anti-Doping Unit, involving close to 1,000 athletes, students and athlete support personnel.    

Athletes were advised they could check the status of all pharmaceutical products purchased in the Republic of Ireland on the Eirpharm database (in January 2023 this was replaced with, and in 2022 there were 16,319 searches on this site. This figure is a significant increase on the 11,821 searches the previous year.   

There were no anti-doping violations reported in 2022, with the number of unsuccessful attempts on athletes on the registered testing pool down by seven per cent from 2021.  

Sport Ireland’s anti-doping sample collection personnel continued their important work throughout the year. In 2022, 51 sample collection personnel were re-accredited, that is 12 more than in 2021.    

In all, there were 993 urine tests and 442 blood tests, with 1,069 of the total tests taking place out of competition and 346 in-competition. In 2022, 64 samples were placed in long term storage.   

In 2022, Sport Ireland continued its close collaboration with colleagues in the Health Product Regulatory Authority (HPRA), Customs and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland from a monitoring and intelligence perspective, helping to improve testing and surveillance. A data sharing agreement was also established between Sport Ireland and An Garda Siochana in 2022. 

A team of experts from the Council of Europe carried out an evaluation visit in Dublin during the year to assess the anti-doping programme and their report found “there’s a strong commitment to anti-doping work and a shared anti-doping culture in Ireland, which was reflected in discussions with various stakeholders. Stakeholders involved in the anti-doping policy and work are motivated to promote clean sport.” 

Minister for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, commented As in previous years, partnership and collaboration continue to be at the forefront in anti-doping at a national, EU, and international level. I would like to acknowledge the work of Sport Ireland alongside many dedicated experts who give their valuable time in support of the clean sport agenda”.

Sport Ireland CEO, Dr Úna May, commented; “The figures from the 2022 Annual Report highlight the excellent work being carried out by the Sport Ireland Anti-Doping Unit to educate and increase awareness for our NGBs and Irish athletes. Record high testing figures, no anti-doping violations being reported and increased engagement with the educational and research resources available all reflect on the significant work being carried out and we would like to acknowledge the effort that has gone in by the sector at all levels to deliver this. It is clear that this education and awareness is the key to the programme’s continued progress and success.” 

Sport Ireland Anti-Doping Annual Review 2022