Squeaky helps UK athletes stay drug free

A new initiative is aiming to provide positive reinforcement for drug-free athletes at this year's London Olympic Games. UK Anti-doping (UKAD) has provided team members at the events with a red duck named Squeaky, which acts as a reward for athletes and their abiding by the UKAD pre-Games education and testing programme.

Psychologist Susan Backhouse, a Chartered Psychologist from the Carnegie Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University, said that Squeaky's role is to remind competitors they should feel proud their achievements in sport have come without the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

She explained Squeaky - who comes under the athlete brand 100% me - will serve as a strong visual reminder about UKAD's commitment to championing drug-free athletics.

"The principle of reinforcement is a psychological concept based on the notion that the consequences of an action will influence future behaviour," Dr Backhouse said.

She added the duck is a celebration of clean performers and highlights the fact anti-doping behaviours in the world of sport are desirable.

UK Anti-Doping is the National Anti-Doping Organisation for the UK.  

UK Anti-Doping has responsibility for ensuring sports bodies in the UK are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code through implementation and management of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy.

UK Anti-Doping’s functions include an education and information programme, athlete testing across more than 40 sports, intelligence management and exclusive results management authority for the determination of anti-doping rule violations.