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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:23 UK

Agency to target drugs suppliers

Urine Samples
Athletes must be available to provide a sample 365 days a year

A new national anti-doping agency will commit more time and resources to targeting importers and suppliers of banned drugs to athletes.

UK Sport will be replaced as the country's anti-doping organisation by an independent agency later this year.

The new body's aim will be to target suppliers as much as the drugs cheats.

"A central intelligence function will target the supply and importation of drugs in the UK," said Andy Parkinson, UK Sport's director of drug-free sport.

"We have had excellent recent discussions with the soon-to-be-created Border Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

"We would like to work with these law enforcement agencies to plan how to manage intelligence, to see whether there are open gateways for people to import barrels of testosterone for example."

Parkinson, who will have to apply for his job at the new national agency, also revealed that he is confident of securing a deal with football over the new 'whereabouts' rule before the 1 July deadline.

In Britain, UK Sport's plan is for 30 of the elite players to undergo up to five tests a year - and not including those conducted after matches. Uefa and Fifa have already registered strong opposition, claiming it infringes privacy.

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Parkinson said: "We agreed an extension through to 1 July for football and we are working constructively with the Football Association and the Professional Footballers Association to address the issues.

"We know the 'whereabouts' rule puts an additional burden on the athlete and we have to demonstrate the support that we can offer is adequate.

"The last thing we want is for footballers to start missing tests because they do not have the necessary support."

Parkinson's comments on the day as UK Sport revealed they carried out 7,545 drug tests over the last year, 62% conducted out of competition at no advance notice.

There were 32 confirmed anti-doping rule violations and Parkinson said: "We believe the vast majority of athletes in this country are clean and want to be clean."

About 62% of the 7,545 tests were conducted out-of-competition, with 32 doping test failures, UK Sport said.

There were 1,613 tests on footballers, 532 on track and field athletes, 508 on rugby league players, 488 on rugby union players and 423 on GB cyclists.

And more than 1,500 of GB's Beijing Olympians and Paralympians were tested.



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see also
Remaining sports adopt Wada code
08 May 09 |  Olympics
Wada code faces report criticism
09 Apr 09 |  Olympics
Fifa fights for Wada code rethink
20 Mar 09 |  Football
Wada steps up fight with football
24 Feb 09 |  Sport Homepage
Wada close to 'Athlete Passports'
24 Feb 09 |  Sport Homepage
Wada hits back in doping rule row
06 Feb 09 |  Olympics
Anger grows over anti-doping code
04 Feb 09 |  Sport Homepage
Fifa signs up to anti-doping code
30 May 08 |  Europe
Wada chief hopeful of Fifa ruling
15 May 06 |  World Cup 2006
Court makes ruling on Fifa doping
24 Apr 06 |  Football


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