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Tougher on drugs in sport.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2001          01/155

TOUGHER ON DRUGS IN SPORT The Federal Government’s new 10 year plan, Backing Australia’s Sporting Ability, will help ensure that Australia continues to be a world-leader in the fight against drugs in sport, Federal Sports Minister, Jackie Kelly, said today.

Key measures in the strategy include a further $7.4 million over the next four years for analytical research to identify tests for so called undetectable drugs, improved Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) drug testing and continued Australian leadership and support to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“We are backing Australian research scientists and the Australian Sports Drug Agency in order to get even tougher on drugs in sport,” Jackie Kelly said.

“We worked with WADA and the International Olympic Committee to do everything we could to support a drug free Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Our combined efforts resulted in the Sydney Games having the toughest anti-doping programme in place for any Olympic or Paralympic Games.”

“While we have every reason to be proud of this achievement, and our contribution through our high quality national anti-doping program and stringent border control, we cannot stop here,” Minister Kelly said.

In May 1999 Federal Government launched its Tough on Drugs in Sport strategy which set out the toughest set of anti-doping measures in the world. It included a $5.9 million funding boost for new anti-doping initiatives and detailed actions on all fronts to address the problem - from education to detection and reducing supply.

Key outcomes included increased drug testing and detection in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Games and beyond; and the commitment to introduce uniform and harsher penalties for the manufacture and trafficking of anabolic steroids.

“The Government’s investment of an additional $1.5 million toward the development of the blood test for detection of EPO that was used at the Sydney Games was an outstanding achievement for Australia and an example of how successful international collaboration can be in the fight for drug-free sport.

“Our objective is now twofold.  We want to ensure we build on our scientific anti-doping expertise through continuing to support research.  We also want to ensure that our sports men and women can continue to compete in a drug-free environment,” Minister Kelly said.

Media inquiries: Sam Spurrett 0417 033876 

CMR  184--01  

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