Britain launches strict Olympics anti-doping drive

July 11th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Venkata Vemuri
London, July 11 (IANS) As Britain launches its most extensive anti-doping campaign, it has ordered each member of the country’s Olympic team to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs, and the focus is once again on how alert the testers are to detect cheats. Around 1,500 sportspersons travelling to China to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic games this August and September are being screened as part of “a no-compromise approach” to stamping out drug cheats.

“Every British athlete that goes into the Olympic Village from July 27 will have been tested, educated and there can be no excuse,” said Andy Parkinson, acting director of drug-free sport at UK Sport.

“We are being tougher than ever and we are saying to every athlete in his country that you are going to be tested.”

As part of the tougher regime, the movement of British athletes is being monitored so they have no excuse for missing drug tests. By updating an internet database, each athlete going to Beijing has to inform UK Sport where they will be for one hour a day, five days a week.

However, the authorities can do nothing to prevent determined sportspersons from trying out latest methods for escaping detection. Among the latest are the use of growth hormones that were undetectable till 2004. The International Olympic Committee has said the testing agencies will be asked to be extra alert to detect drug cheats using sophisticated methods of avoiding detection.

The Guardian, which put out the story on its net edition, lists some simple ways in which cheats try to fool testers who are not alert:

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