Tue, May 30, 2023

UK Anti-Doping v Nicky Watt


  • Sport: Ice Hockey
  • Issue: Arbitration
  • Type: Anti-Doping
  • Tribunal: Christopher Quinlan KC, Professor Kitrina Douglas, Colin Murdock
  • Decision date: 19 April 2023
  • Outcome: 18 months ineligibility

Decision Details

A decision in the case of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) against Nicky Watt has been issued by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP).

On 22 July 2022, UKAD issued Mr Watt, a former ice hockey player, with a Notice of Charge for committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for violating the prohibition against participation during the period between 17 June 2014 – 28 July 2020, contrary to Article 10.12.1 of the 2015 and 2019 ADR.

The National Anti-Doping Tribunal, comprised of Mr Christopher Quinlan KC (Chair), Professor Kitrina Douglas, and Mr Colin Murdock, was appointed to hear this matter. 

On 06 November 2014, the NADP confirmed that Mr Watt had committed two ADRVs contrary to Articles 2.1 and 2.3 of the UK Anti-Doping Rules (version 2.0, dated 14 December 2009), sanctioning Mr Watt to a period of Ineligibility of eight (8) years. Mr Watt appealed the first instance decision and the NADP Appeal Tribunal upheld the sanction. Mr Watt’s eight-year period of Ineligibility commenced on 17 June 2014 and expired at 23:59 on 16 June 2022. 

During this period of Ineligibility, Mr Watt was subject to the provisions of the ADRs, and a further consequence of the Ineligibility was prohibition of participation as provided by in Article 10.12.1 of the 2015 and 2019 ADRs. In 2019, UKAD were informed that Mr Watt had allegedly breached this prohibition, and they informed Mr Watt on 11 August 2020 that he would be under investigation. On 13 April 2021, during an interview with UKAD, Mr Watt admitted he had provided generic personal fitness training to ice hockey players but not training for a specific sport. Mr Watt did not seek confirmation from UKAD on the activities he could or could not undertake during this period, and stated he was not aware that working as a personal trainer would amount to a breach of the ADR. He contended that provision of such training did not amount to him assisting athletes to participate in regulated activity and was not a violation on the prohibition on participation. 

However, the Tribunal were satisfied with the evidence presented that the provision of personal training and other training both amounted to assisting an athlete, in participating within the meaning of Article 10.12.1 of the 2015 and 2019 ADR. 

Accordingly, the Tribunal accepted that Mr Watt had violated the prohibition of participation during the period of Ineligibility and imposed a further period of Ineligibility of 18 months. The sanction is imposed retroactively, commencing on 17 June 2022, the day after Mr Watt’s eight-year period of Ineligibility ended, and will end at 23:59 on 16 December 2023.

The National Anti-Doping Panel is the United Kingdom’s independent tribunal responsible for adjudicating anti-doping disputes in sport. It is operated by Sport Resolutions and is entirely independent of UK Anti-Doping who is responsible for investigating, charging and prosecuting cases before the NADP. 

A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related links tab on the right-hand side.