The first anti-doping body in UK is ready for a start from 14th December. The Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe announced this initiative recently. UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) will be based at Cockspur Street in central London and will be headed by Chair David Kenworthy and Chief Executive Andy Parkinson. A well experienced senior team, who are being recruited, will also be a part of the body.
Two other novel initiatives that were also announced are – (i) A “Drug Cheats” hotline which may be used to provide information on doping or supply of banned substances in sports. (ii) An athletes’ committee which will enable Ukad to liaise with the athletes and understand the best ways to support them in future. The hotline will start operating after Ukad starts working. The number of the hotline has not been decided as yet but will appear in its website when Ukad begins to function.
The Sports Minister said, “UK Anti-Doping will be up and running, as promised, by the end of the year. It is the latest step in our war on drug cheats and will ensure this country is leading the way on anti-doping. 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.”
Mr.Sutcliffe also said that he had proposed the International Olympic Committee and the organizers of the 2012 Games that the athletes should agree to the terms of their rooms being searched anytime by anti-doping officials. This would be the first time that Olympic anti-doping officials will get the right to enter the athlete’s room unannounced and search them on suspicion of doping. But it is doubtful whether athletes will agree to it.