Minister calls for drug test review

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THE GOVERNMENT called for Britain's sport drug testing authority to carry out a review of its procedures yesterday after the former sprint champion Linford Christie tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

The 39-year-old former world and Olympic 100 metres champion has denied taking the substance to boost his performance. Traces of nandrolone were discovered in a urine sample at a minor meeting in Germany in February.

The Sports minister, Kate Hoey, said in a letter to the chairman of UK Sport, Sir Rodney Walker, that its system is the "most thorough and rigorous in the world".

She continued: "But we have proved in the past that the strength of the UK system is its ability to develop and change. A review of procedures will help to identify those areas which can be developed and those which work well.

"It is essential that the UK's drug testing system retains the respect of those competitors it is meant to protect, the confidence of the governing bodies who may have to undertake complex, lengthy and expensive legal proceedings, and members of the public, who need to be sure that the races they see produce genuine results.

"We must continue to demonstrate we are the front-runners in identifying and punishing cheats."

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