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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
New UK body to hear doping cases
Drugs in sport
Anti-doping measures in Britain will be tightened with the establishment in early 2008 of an independent national body to hear drugs cases.

Swimming, athletics and triathlon are expected to hand over drug cases to a new National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP).

But the Football Association will still deal with its cases internally.

The move follows criticism from British MPs who accused the government and UK Sport of complacency over putting in place a robust system to catch dopers.

The Sports Dispute Resolution Panel will be responsible for providing the NADP, which has been established with the aim of reducing possible conflicts of interest.

UK Sport says it has been working towards the establishment of the NADP for the past couple of years.

Speaking about the new body, John Scott, UK Sport's director of drug-free sport, said: "UK Sport can now take a step back, ensuring the panel has the independence it needs to instil confidence among sports and public alike in the handling of doping cases."

The appointment of the national anti-doping body, which will consist of lawyers, ex-athletes and administrators, has been backed by British Swimming.

Chief executive David Sparkes said: "British Swimming welcomes this important step in modernising the UK's anti-doping processes.

"The creation of an independent, robust national panel will ensure anyone endeavouring to cheat is dealt with fairly."

But a spokesman for the FA said: "We are happy with our own system so we will not be using the new panel."

The panel is expected to hear between 60 and 70 cases each year.

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