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Australia lifts war on sports drugs

By Kim Hagdorn
7 February 2013 11:06AM EST

ESSENDON and the AFLís shocking drugs scandal will be embroiled in a national crackdown in an Australian Government war on cheating and doping.

Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy announced a significantly increased fight against systematic illegal drug use in sport with increased powers of investigation from Australia’s Anti-Doping Authority.

In a stunning revelation the Minister revealed that investigations into sports drug abuse will be referred to the Australian Crime Commission.

Federal and state police will have increased powers to investigate allegations of drug doping as well as match fixing anywhere in any Australian sport.

AFL chief Anddrew Demetriou spoke for a first time since the stunning announcement on Tuesday that Essendon is under full investigation for alleged illegal substance use last year.

Demetriou revealed he had been briefed on Essendon's scandal by ACC officials.

"It came as a shock, because we have always had very thorough and very rigorous testing regime," Demetriou said.

"But when you start to talk about organised crime, then you start to think about the sophistication of drugs and how the scientists are ahead of the testers.

"The tests that can't actually catch particular sorts of drugs then you do have to rely on inetlligence gathering.

"We've done everything we can, but we can do more."

Demetriou would not disclose if any other AFL clubs are under investigation as well as Essendon.

In another stunning revelation it emerged that an investigation is already under way into a match-fixing allegation within Australia.

Lundy and support staff refused to confess which sport is under investigation for an alleged fix game.

Launching a national forum in Canberra attended by top sports drug authorities and chief executives of Australia’s major sporting bodies, the Minister declared war on cheating athletes.

“If you want to cheat, we will catch you,” Lundy confessed.

“We are well on the way to seeking and hunting down those who will cheat.”

The Minister confirmed alarming reports overnight spilling from Essendon’s potential illegal drug use scandal that organised crime figures may have supplied illicit drugs in the Bombers substance use allegations.

Lundy disclosed that ACC has conducted a 12-month investigation into the integrity of all Australian sport.

The Minister announced that ASAD will now join investigations in a bid to reduce what appears to be rampant drug use throughout the nation.

"The Australian Anti-Doping Authority, ASAD, will now take over the investigation where evidence has been found to contravene the World Anti-Doping Code and undermine the integrity of our national sporting codes," Lundy announced.

"One of the issues is that some of the drugs and new andtested.

"The testing regime is comprehensive and in fact Australia leads in the fight against drugs in sport.

"There are new substances and we have to be forever vigilant to catch those cheats and we increase the investigative powers of ASADA.

"Today is about the integrity of sport in Australia.

"Australians love their sport and our sports men and women are role models for the next generation of young Australians.

"Today is a statement to those who seek to ruin sport.

"If you want to dope and cheat we will catch you.

"If you want to fix a mkatch, we will catch you."

Lundy announced:

* Establishment of integrity units in all major sporting bodies to attack doping, betting and ethical issues.

* Full cooperation with ASAD and law enforcement agencies in joint investigations

* Call on athletes and players to own up and cooperate with investigators

* Possible reduction of sanctions for copperation by offenders and informants

* Enact multi-code policies to share information across codes.

* Zero tolerance to any support and medical staff for providing inappropriate substances and assurance guilty offenders can not cross to other sporting codes.

 

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Add your comment... Comments (1)
Malcolm Kyle 7 February 2013 7:29PM

a) Who's going to pay for it?
b) Does anybody believe it may actually make a difference?