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Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 13:49 UK

UK anti-doping body set to open

Test tubes at an anti-doping laboratory
The much-delayed testing agency was due to have been operational in 2008

Britain's first dedicated anti-doping body is set to open on 14 December.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), to be based in London, will take on the responsibility for drug testing from UK Sport.

A confidential "drug cheat" hotline is planned for 2010, along with an athletes' committee to liaise between UKAD and competitors.

"It is the latest step in our war on drug cheats and will ensure this country leads the way on anti-doping," said Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

"The integrity of sport must not be put at risk and fans need to be confident that the athletes they are watching are clean.

"With greater links with law enforcement agencies, UKAD will help us catch cheats before they get to the start line."

UKAD hope the 'drug cheat' hotline - aimed at ensuring those suspected of doping are reported - will be up and running shortly after the new agency has settled into its role.

The new national anti-doping organisation will take on the existing testing and education responsibilities currently delivered by UK Sport in the build-up to the London Olympics in 2012.

The new agency has a sole focus and our aim is simple - to protect the rights of athletes to compete in drug-free sport

UKAD chairman David Kenworthy

Headed by chairman David Kenworthy and chief executive Andy Parkinson, UKAD will also ensure centralised management of doping cases and greater links with law enforcement agencies.

Kenworthy, who retired as chief constable for North Yorkshire Police in 2002 after 35 years' experience of working in law enforcement, said: "The new agency has a sole focus and our aim is simple - to protect the rights of athletes to compete in drug-free sport.

"By working in partnership with athletes, government and law enforcement, we will deliver a clean sporting environment in the run-up to 2012 and beyond.

"We hope most of the information we get will come from within the sport. It is like 'Crimestoppers' but there is no reward. The idea is for people to give us information.

"I want UKAD to be a world leader in anti-doping. I want people beating a path to our door."

Parkinson insists UKAD will continue to have a strong focus on education while hoping the clean athletes will report both the drug takers and their suppliers.

UKAD will deliver a world-class anti-doping programme in the UK - this is a unique opportunity to significantly enhance anti-doping services in the UK and to tackle the broader threats of supply and importation of banned substances

UKAD chief executive Andy Parkinson

Information will then be checked out by the intelligence agencies prior to UKAD making any further investigations.

"We won't just take information in isolation," said Parkinson. "We don't want competitors focusing our eyes on their competitors.

"UKAD will deliver a world-class anti-doping programme in the UK. This is a unique opportunity to significantly enhance anti-doping services in the UK and to tackle the broader threats of supply and importation of banned substances."

First announced to universal approval in December 2007, the agency was supposed to have opened for business in 2008 but arguments between UK Sport and the Government over start-up costs stalled the project.

But those differences have now been overcome and the separation of UK Sport's elite performance and drug testing divisions brings Britain in line with established practice in most leading sporting nations.

It also ends any debate over potential conflicts of interest for an agency that both funds and polices British sport.

UKAD has not chosen the number for its drugs hotline as yet but it will appear on the dedicated UKAD website when the agency begins its work in December.

The "athletes' committee" is still in the process of being finalised and Parkinson could not say whether any person previously convicted of drugs offences in sport would be included.



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see also
New UK anti-doping body confirmed
04 Feb 09 |  Sport Homepage
Legal threat to anti-doping code
22 Jan 09 |  Sport Homepage
Athletes to face new doping rules
22 Jan 09 |  Athletics
Beijing re-testing plans revised
09 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Home drugs test idea upsets PFA
11 Nov 08 |  Football
Drugs chief admits Olympic fears
07 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
IOC boss targets doping suspects
11 Jul 08 |  Beijing 2008
New body to tackle UK drug cheats
05 Dec 07 |  Sport Homepage
Wada to herald new drugs approach
14 Nov 07 |  Sport Homepage
UK Sport denies 'fudge'
23 Mar 04 |  Sport Homepage
UK Sport 'weak' on drugs
22 Mar 04 |  Sport Homepage


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