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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 14:21 GMT
UK Sport denies 'fudge'
By Tom Fordyce

Drugs in sport graphic
The head of UK Sport has hit back at criticism of its anti-doping review.

An inquiry published on Monday recommended that UK Sport rather than a new independent agency should be in charge of drug-testing in the UK.

Shadow sports minister Colin Moynihan said the decision was a "fudge" and left UK Sport "hopelessly conflicted".

But UK Sport's Sue Campbell told BBC Sport: "I don't think it is a fudge. Keeping anti-doping in-house adds more benefit than taking it out."

The review concluded that the expense of setting up a completely separate anti-doping agency could not be justified and a revamp of the current programme would work better.

But David Sparkes, chief executive of British Swimming, said, "Sport couldn't have been clearer in its view that there needs to be more independence.

"The review does not address the fundamental weakness that the same agency that is looking after elite performance is also the same agency that is trying to police drugs."

I'm not King Solomon, with infinite wisdom
UK Sport's Sue Campbell

Campbell told the BBC that she was delighted with the work of PMP, the independent consultants behind the review.

"I'm not King Solomon, with infinite wisdom. I needed someone to look at it," she said.

"Looking at the amount of work PMP did, I think they did a tremendous job in a very compact space of time.

"They interviewed people one-on-one, they did surveys, best practice reports.

"I have confidence that what they have said to us is a fair and honest assessment of what needs to happen.

"You have to look at all the arguments and then weigh it up, which is what PMP have done.

"I don't see it as a fudge. What they are asking us to do is to examine very thoroughly the manner in which we ensure there is no potential for a conflict of interest.

"What they were very clear about in their report was that they could not find any trace of a conflict in the past.

"In terms of the new anti-doping structure, the UK Sport council have asked for more work to be done on that area - what the governing board look like, how it will operate, what we mean by independent, what the reporting lines are.

"The bigger problem is the trauma different sports find themselves in.

"We allocate when the tests are done, dispatch the testers and do the test results, but the moment there is a positive test, the ball goes back into the court of the governing body."

UK Sport 'weak' on drugs
22 Mar 04  |  Sport Homepage

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