Australia to crack down on drug cheats

Drug cheats at next year's Sydney Olympics will face fines of £40,000 and up to five years in jail if they smuggle performance-enhancing drugs into Australia.

Drug cheats at next year's Sydney Olympics will face fines of £40,000 and up to five years in jail if they smuggle performance-enhancing drugs into Australia.

The country's customs minister Amanda Vanstone said the government would double its current fines and introduce prison terms for offenders.

The Australian Olympic Committee President, John Coates, welcomed a move he had called 14 months ago and said authorities should strictly enforce the new laws.

"Evidence from past Olympic Games is that drugs are stockpiled in the lead-up period to the Games," he said.

"Whilst there exists the possibility that this stockpiling may have already started, immediate implementation and effective enforcing of these new laws will go a long way to ensuring that drugs will not be available to athletes."

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