Drugs in Sport: Olympians pass stringent tests

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The Independent Online

British athletes who competed at this summer's Olympics and Paralympics in Athens were subjected to unprecedented levels of pre-Games drugs testing to ensure Britain was represented only by "clean" athletes.

UK Sport conducted 1,016 tests on behalf of the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association in the six months before the Games, equating to more than two tests on average for every athlete. The rigorous programme achieved its dual intentions. Every single pre-Games test proved negative, and Britain had no negative findings at either Games.

Of the 271-strong Olympic squad, 270 were tested at least once in the period, with some tested four times or more. The only person not tested was an unnamed sailor, who subsequently won a medal. That success, in any case, led to a mandatory in-competition Games test, which was clean.

There was nothing sinister in the sailor not being tested; it was a logistical quirk. Most nations come nowhere near Britain's pre-Games testing levels, and not all athletes would expect to be tested.

"In terms of percentage of squad tested, [the BOA and BPA programme] was one of the most successful pre-Games testing programmes of any nation in the world," said UK Sport. "It is also the most comprehensive pre-Games testing programme ever conducted by UK Sport on Britain's Olympic and Paralympic athletes."

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