At Saffery Champness, we regularly hold events throughout the UK featuring high-profile speakers from the sports and entertainment sectors. Our guests enjoy lively debates, discussions and Q&As covering a variety of topics. Details from our previous events are featured below.

To find out more about any upcoming events please contact your local Saffery Champness partner.

15 MAY 2019
Doping in Sport

On Wednesday 15 May, we welcomed a variety of guests to our ‘Doping in Sport’ seminar, hosted by our Sports & Entertainment team in our London office.

We were delighted to be joined by Nicole Sapstead, CEO of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), and Andrew Steele, retrospective Olympic Relay Medalist.

In December 2014, the biggest doping scandal the world has seen came to light. As a consequence, Russia was declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and this, in turn, meant that a country accused of state sponsored doping was left without a functioning anti-doping organisation.

UK Anti-Doping took the decision to fill the void that was left. Whilst the rationale for doing so was simple, the challenges, risks and general logistics of running a testing programme in another country, remotely, were neither simple nor straightforward.

Nicole Sapstead provided an overview of the motivation behind the collaboration with Russia as well as the challenges the organisation is faced with, the risks involved and lessons learned.

Andrew Steele discussed how he received his bronze medal in 2016 after it was announced that the 4x400m Russian team were stripped of their bronze medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 after one of their runners, Denis Alexeev, tested positive for a banned substance.

Julian Hedley, partner in our Sports & Entertainment team, commented:

“Our recent event ‘Doping In Sport’ provided a unique insight into the Russian Doping scandal from both the regulatory authorities and the athletes point of view. From the start in November 2015 when the Russian Anti- Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Moscow lab were suspended, through to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approaching UK Anti-Doping and asking them to undertake this most unenviable task of delivering a testing programme for Russian athletes.

The talk highlighted the problems faced in undertaking this role, but also outlined the opportunities should the programme be successful.

From the UK athletes point of view, hearing what UKAD had to deal with and the results achieved was very comforting and the resultant exclusion of Russian athletes meant that all their hard work and training was rewarded with the Olympic medals they so richly deserved.

It was encouraging for all those present to hear that this had not dampened the spirits of those competing and made them all the more keen to race clean.”

Our next event will be taking place on Monday 23 September where we are delighted to be joined by David Ellery, former Premier League referee, and other sporting guests (TBC), where they will be discussing the topic of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) and its impact on sport, including football, tennis and rugby.

These events are by invitation only but if you are interested in attending, please contact Julian Hedley.

Click here for more information on the services we offer to the sport and entertainment sectors.