Clean athletes earn praise from Walker

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The Independent Online

UK Sport yesterday unveiled its Anti-Doping report for 2000-2001 which included 5,406 tests covering 50 sports including football, rugby, cricket, Olympic and Paralympic sports. Only two per cent of the 94 trangressors had committed offences that were serious enough to be reported to their sport's governing body for action.

Eleven of the 94 refused to take a test and there were findings in 10 cases of cannabis and 22 for anabolic steroids. A further 54 were for stimulants, with the vast majority for prescribed substances for competitors suffering illness or allergies such as asthma.

The effects of events cancelled as a result of the foot-and-mouth epidemic and bad weather meant that the number of tests conducted were slightly lower than on the previous year, but four out of every 10 tests were conducted out of competition, ensuring that competitors were never sure about when or where they would be tested.

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of UK Sport, said: "The vast majority of UK athletes are clean and a credit to their sports."He added, however, "There is some satisfaction because the results are not getting worse, but it is only because they are conducting a vigorous programme."

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