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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 15:39 GMT
New body to tackle UK drug cheats
Drugs in sport
UK Sport currently spends 4m a year on its anti-doping activities
UK Sport has revealed radical plans for an independent anti-doping body to be established before the 2012 Olympics.

The National Anti-Doping Organisation (Nado) will take responsibility for the fight against drugs cheats in the UK.

Like the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Nado will work closely with police and investigative agencies to stop the supply of banned substances.

It will also control the distribution of tests across all sports and decide if an athlete has a case to answer.

UK Sport has previously resisted calls from the government and the British Olympic Association to hand over control of anti-doping. It argued there was no evidence an independent body would be any more effective in catching drug cheats.

But announcing the plans on Wednesday, UK Sport chair Sue Campbell said: "I don't think anyone doubts the quality of UK Sport's work to date in anti-doping.

By 2012 drug cheats will never have had it so bad
Minister of Sport Gerry Sutcliffe

"But these recommendations reflect the experience to date of UK Sport, and that the global fight against doping in sport is changing.

"The small minority of athletes who are determined to cheat are increasingly sophisticated in the ways in which they go about their business, as are the people that supply and manipulate them, and we need to ensure we adapt our approach accordingly.

"The changes proposed will allow the UK's Nado to address such people properly for the first time."

Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe welcomed the announcement.

"Establishing an independent anti-doping organisation is a natural evolution in the fight against drugs in sport," he said.

"In the same way drug cheats are constantly finding new ways to beat the system, we have to constantly look at what we do to catch them. We have to ensure they have no place to hide and these new powers, implemented by an independent agency, will help us do that.

"This comes on the back of the work I have been leading across Government to tackle the supply and trafficking of doping substances and the revised World Anti-Doping Code that we supported in Madrid last month.

"By 2012 drug cheats will never have had it so bad."

British Olympic Association chief executive Simon Clegg added: "I would like to congratulate UK Sport for taking this positive step

"The British Olympic Association believes that the decision to establish a strong independent anti-doping organisation will send out a very clear message to athletes around the world, that the UK is determined to be at the forefront of tackling doping in sport on the road to and beyond 2012."

Critics have long argued that UK Sport's handling of anti-doping clashed with its role as the funding agency for athletes.

UK Sport has denied this and says the reforms have been implemented to ensure the 2012 Games in London are drug-free.

More information about the new body - such as how it will be funded - will be revealed in 2008.

UK Sport's annual budget for anti-doping is currently around 4m but the cost for the new agency could be nearly double that.

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