Every British athlete to be drugs tested before London Games
Every one of Britain's 900 Olympic and
Paralympic athletes will be tested for banned drugs at least once in
the run-up to the London 2012 Games.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) will not confirm
exactly how many tests they will carry out but their target is for
every British athlete going to the Games to provide samples for
analysis. At least 10% of these will be blood tests, for substances such
as human growth hormone and the blood-boosting agent EPO.
More than 100 education sessions for athletes have also been planned alongside UKAD's testing programme.
Zero tolerance: UKAD have promised a robust system
UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said the organisation, which is 90% publicly-funded and has an annual budget of 7million, had already targeted athletes at previous 'high-risk' windows such as qualifying for the Games.
Parkinson said: 'Tests will be planned using our intelligence-based testing approach which utilises intelligence gathered from a wide range of sources and focuses the allocation of tests around where they will have maximum impact in terms of deterrence and detection.
'Whilst the overall aim is to test every member of the British teams at least once, obviously those in more high-risk sports or disciplines, or athletes of interest to us will be tested more often. Essentially there is no limit to the number of times we might test any individual athlete.
Warning: Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson
'As the host nation at this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to lead the way in promoting clean sport, giving the British public the confidence that the performances they see from our athletes are achieved through four years of hard work, determination and dedication.'
The programme is being delivered in
co-operation with the sports' national governing bodies, the British
Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA).
UKAD say the majority of tests will
be attempted through no-advance notice, out-of-competition tests, either
at squad training sessions or through 'whereabouts' information
provided by athletes, with additional tests targeted at key 2012
Olympics minister Hugh Robertson
said: 'UK Anti-Doping has led the way in educating athletes and has one
of the most robust anti-doping programmes in the world. But we can't be
complacent. We need to ensure that athletes and support staff are fully
aware of their responsibilities with regards to anti-doping.
'Drug cheats have absolutely no place
in sport. We want our athletes to be positive role models for the
millions who will be watching the Games this summer.'